9th September 2016

Issue #66

Inside – Elon Musk and neural lace, prosthetics, ethics of transhumanism, IBM Watson creates a trailer, EU might request mandatory drone registry, robots at Haneda Airport, the taste of CRISPR-modified crops and more!


More Than A Human

Elon Musk is Looking to Kickstart Transhuman Evolution With “Brain Hacking” Tech

Elon Musk has recently hinted that he may be working on a “neural lace,” a mesh of electronics that will allow AI and the brain to work together. This could help human brains keep up with future enhancements in AI.

3D Printed Prosthetic Puts The Power In The Hands Of Those Who Need It

The story of Nicholas Huchet, founder of Bionicohand and amputee, who designed an affordable 3D printed prosthetic hand.

The ethics of transhumanism

From defeating death and aging to merging with machines to gene editing, transhumanist movement is going to challenge our current worldview and ask some serious ethical questions.

We Risk Programming Inequality into Our DNA

Will gene editing allow rich to be better, healthier and smarter than everyone else? This is one of the concerns some people have when it comes to transhumanism and human enhancements.

How close are we to Deus Ex technology?

ShoddyCast, a YouTube channel confronting games with science, takes Deus Ex and asks how close are we to technology depicted in the game.

Do Nootropics Give Esports Gamers an Edge?

Nootropics, or smart drugs, were once the domain of a select few biohackers testing the limits of brain enhancement. But Nootropics are becoming more mainstream, leaving many to wonder what effect smart drugs will have on esports—one of the most rapidly growing spectator sports in the world, where cognitive enhancement could become a competitive advantage.

Artificial Intelligence

Watch: IBM Watson creates the first AI-made movie trailer

IBM Watson was challenged to create a trailer for a movie. The challenge has been accepted and here is the result. Watson analyzed hundreds of horror/thriller movie trailers. After learning what keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, the AI system suggested the top 10 best candidate moments for a trailer from the movie Morgan, which an IBM filmmaker then edited and arranged together.

AI Wants to Be Your Bro, Not Your Foe

Artificial intelligence will transform just about everything, but technologists should stop fretting that it’s going to destroy the world like Skynet.

Anthrobotics: Where The Human Ends and the Robot Begins

Here’s an interview with Luis de Miranda, who with his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh created the Anthrobotics Cluster, where they try to develop a way of figuring humans, robots, and intelligent systems alongside one another.

Robotics

EU aviation groups want all drones to be registered

Looks like EU will follow US example and drone owners in the EU might be requested to register their drones.

The Future of Farming: Meet The Driverless Tractor

Case IH recently showed off a prototype of their “Autonomous Concept Vehicle.” It’s a farm tractor that can plant, monitor crops, and harvest without a driver.

This trippy drone racing course looks like real-life Tron

I love drone racing and every time I see video like this one I love it even more.

If you’re flying via Haneda Airport, you can now ask this robot for directions

At Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, you might encounter a robot ready to help you. Because it’s Japan and it’s 21st century.

Disney Robot With Air-Water Actuators Shows Off “Very Fluid” Motions

Quite impressive is how smoothly this robot named Jimmy moves.

Check Out The Pentagon’s Likely New Autonomous Drone

Pentagon posted a $1 million contract award for a new drone for the US Army. The drones need to be quite autonomous because it’s required from them to able to fly into unknown buildings and explore them without crashing.

The UK Wants Swarms of Drones for Defence Missions

The UK’s Ministry of Defence has launched a public competition to evaluate how swarms of tiny drones could be used in future warfare.

Biotechnology

A Taste of Crisp: First Meal Created With CRISPR Gene Editing

A Swedish university has served the first-ever CRISPR-Cas9 modified vegetables. What is a meal of the future? Pasta — tagliatelle, to be exact. But it wasn’t the pasta that made this meal futuristic. It was the vegetable.

CRISPR-modified Corn May Soon Be Ready For Market

Meanwhile, in the US, the corn engineered with CRISPR to be more resistant to drought may soon be coming to market and more can follow.

Liz Parrish – Gene Modification to Cure Aging

A short, but interesting interview with Liz Parrish, CEO of BioViva, on how gene editing can cure aging. I found the point about injecting neurons “preprogrammed” with a foreign language to be a quite interesting vision.

The biotech empires of Silicon Valley and Europe

If you ever asked yourself who are the big players in the biotech, here’s your answer.

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