Issue #78

In this issue: Beautiful titanium prosthesis. Fei Fei Li and Demis Hassabis talk about AI and AIs that make songs. A desktop industrial robot. A gun to shot down drones. Cyborg beetles. CRISPR bioterrorism. And more!


More Than A Human

More Scientists Are Pushing to Have Aging Classified as a Disease

For many years, Aubrey de Grey argued to change our perception and start treating aging like a disease since it would change our view on aging and death from “it’s a part of life” to “we can prevent it and fix it”, therefore extending human lifetime. Initially, de Grey’s views weren’t taken seriously, but now more scientists are convinced that we should start treat aging like a disease which we can cure.

See-Through Prosthetics 3D-Printed From Titanium

That prosthetic leg, made using a 3D printer, 3D scanner, and complex 3D modeling software, looks beautiful.

Artificial Intelligence

Prof. Fei Fei Li – The Future Of Artificial Intelligence

In her speech, Prof. Fei Fei Li focuses on visual intelligence and how we ended up with the current state of the art image recognition algorithms. An interesting point was when she compared the AI development with children development. She also shared her thoughts about human part of AI and why we have to include the human part into the research.

Demis Hassabis – Artificial Intelligence And The Future

Interesting talk by Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, which he gave around the time AlphaGo was playing with Lee Sedol. He gives a brief story of DeepMind, explains what is deep reinforced learning and then proceeds to explain how AlphaGo works.

AI Songsmith Cranks Out Surprisingly Catchy Tunes

Google’s AI is learning how to make songs. You can check them in the article.

Artificial Intelligence Generates Christmas Song From Holiday Image

Speaking of AIs making songs. Researchers from the University of Toronto developed an AI system that produced and sung a Christmas song after analyzing the visual components of an uploaded image. Then it sings them. And it sounds almost like GLaDOS.

Robotics

Dobot M1: Pro Robotic Arm for Makers and Businesses

Dobot is an industrial-like robot which you can put on your desk and make it doing things. It can grab and move things, cut, 3D print, solder and many other things thanks to interchangeable heads. I wish I could have one.

This Drone Gun Knocks Drones Out Of The Sky Gently, With Radio Waves

The producer claims the weapon has a range of over a mile, and promises to immediately cease video transmission back to the drone operator. While borrowing a form-factor and name from firearms, the Dronegun appears to be like other anti-drone jamming rifles: an antenna attached to a computer and shaped like a gun. Nevertheless, it looks badass.

New Artificial Muscles From MIT Bring HBO’s Westworld Closer to Reality

MIT researchers’ nylon-based artificial muscle system is cheaper, easier to produce, and more durable than existing artificial muscles, capable of at least 100,000 bending cycles. This new material might find use in exosuits or as artificial muscles in future robots.

Stanford study concludes next generation of robots won’t try to kill us

According to the first report from the Stanford’s One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100), there is “no cause for concern that AI poses an imminent threat to humanity”. It’s quite opposite. The authors of the report are optimistic and think the AI and robots will improve the world.

Here’s What 150 Experts Say About the Future of Robotics

A group of 150 experts from Google, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, UPenn, Yale, Georgia Tech, and Carnegie Mellon (to name a few) published the latest edition of the Roadmap for Robotics, a report that outlines the industry’s future. The report is available for free here and it discusses the impact of robotics from manufacturing to health to space and beyond.

Biotechnology

The Cyborg Beetles Designed to Save Human Lives

In the future, we may have remote-controlled insects to reach places humans cannot. At least that’s what Dr. Hirotaka Sato, an aerospace engineer from Singapore, is hoping. He’s taking the control over a beetle and basically makes it into a cyborg.

We Must Prepare for CRISPR Bioterror Threats

As gene editing technology advances, the potential for its use as a weapon increases, and preparing for such threats before they happen is of the utmost importance. An advisory council has urged the U.S. to establish a new body that creates plans for national biodefense and to set aside a $2 billion standby fund to address emerging bioterror threats.

Bioprinting Is One Step Closer to Making a Human Kidney

The kidneys are one of the hardest organs to recreate—if not the hardest. But scientists at Harvard’s Jennifer Lewis Lab recently took the first step towards creating an artificial kidney that could one day replace biological donor kidneys. Using 3D printing, Lewis and her colleagues were able to re- create the tubule component of the kidney’s nephrons and give it a vascular network for blood flow.

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