23rd September 2016

Issue #68

This week – we are going to look into the future of humanity, both short- medium term (cyborgs and etc.) to long-term. Other than that – AI beats humans in Doom , Elon Musk elaborates on his AI concerns, DeepMind can now speak, AI ethics and more!


More Than A Human

Human Evolution – an Infographic

Here’s an infographic that tries to imagine what will happen to the humanity in near, far and way far future. At some point, it stops tracking humans and starts to track human intellect, which is a quite interesting thing.

Cyborg World: How Biohacking Will (and Already Is) Changing Everything\

Cyborgs are among us, but aren’t the scary humanoid robots we see in the movies. Through biohacking, one can potentially experience more from life, especially those of us with disabilities.

Yuval Noah Harari on the Rise of Homo Deus

A talk with Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow , about the future of humanity and our relation with technology in a bigger scope, how our values may be about to shift – away from humans, as we transfer our faith to the almighty power of data and the algorithm.

Artificial Intelligence

Trained AI Beats Humans In Doom Deathmatches

Working with Doom the 1993 first-person shooter, the researchers trained an AI to defeat the native enemies in the game, as well as human players fighting in the same deathmatch arena. The AI learned how to navigate in the 3D space, which might be very useful for future robots.

Elon Musk elaborates on his AI concerns

Elon Musk on AI. It should be democratized, no one should have a total control over AI, and that we should merge with AI via some kind of neural lace.

Ray Kurzweil: We Can Control AI Before It Controls Us

Someone asked Ray Kurzweil how to avoid robo-apocalypse and how to control AI. Kurzweil pointed out that the biotech industry had the same issue about 40 years ago and they came up with a set of rules and guidelines designed to keep everything safe. He believes a similar approach might work for AI and other exponential technologies.

The AI of Tomorrow: Amelia’s Like Siri, But With A Doctorate in Psychology

The London Borough of Enfield has employed AI Amelia to handle some customer service aspects. The program will guide customers through the site while learning and even picking up on emotions.

Google DeepMind’s WaveNet AI Sounds Human

Another big step in AI research has been made by guys from DeepMind. DeepMind unveiled WaveNet, an artificial intelligence system that the company says outperforms existing text-to-speech technologies by 50 percent. WaveNet learns from raw audio files and then produces digital sound waves that resemble those produced by the human voice, which is an entirely different approach.

Work in the World of Tomorrow: AI to Replace 7% of Jobs by 2025

A new report asserts that, by 2025, jobs from the customer service, trucking, and taxi industries will be taken over by cognitive technologies. Yet, we will begin to truly feel the impact of this in just 5 years.

This AI Sees Things in Art That Humans Don’t

At Tate Britain, an AI program compares classical paintings stored in the gallery with recent photographs provided by Reuters and tries to find similarities between both. It pairs the images based on image recognition techniques that analyse objects, faces, composition, and context gleaned from metadata. Sometimes, the pairing is obvious, but sometimes it takes a while to understand why the program chose the combination.

Robotics

Self-driving boats will be tested on Amsterdam’s canals next year

Nearly a quarter of the city of Amsterdam is covered by water, so it is not surprising to hear that Amsterdam will be testing self-driving boats. The boats will be used not only to transport people and goods, but also to build bridges on demand.

Boston Dynamics’ Mark Raibert Discusses Where His Robotics Company is Headed

During the recent TechCrunch Disrupt, Mark Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics brought a couple of robots with him on stage to show what they can do and explain what’s happening with the company – is it still in Google or not?

Do no harm, don’t discriminate: official guidance issued on robot ethics

Isaac Asimov gave us the basic rules of good robot behaviour: don’t harm humans, obey orders and protect yourself. Now the British Standards Institute has issued a more official version aimed at helping designers create ethically sound robots.

Single-Actuator Wave Robot Zips Around With High-Speed Wiggles

That’s an interesting robot. SAW, or Single Actuator Wave-like robot, is “a novel bioinspired robot which can move forward or backward by producing a continuously advancing wave.” Basically, SAW moves around by doing the worm nonstop.

This Scientist Is Commanding A Swarm Of Drones With His Mind

One mind to rule them all.

Biotechnology

Ray Kurzweil Outlines the Coming Biomedical Revolution

Ray Kurzweil answers the question “Can we live forever? “. Being Kurzweil, he sees an optimistic future, when in 10 years from now the technology will be able to fix major health issue. On top of that, he adds nanotech, which might “transcend the limitations of biology”.

Virtual Worlds

Virtual reality in Japan

How does VR do in Japan? According to this article, it’s doing excellent and it will be even better.

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