Issue #82

Inside – brain-to-brain communication, Uber moves its fleet of self-driving cars to Arizona, a French woman wants to marry a robot, bioprinting human organs, the ethics of biotechnology, a closer look at that giant Korean mech robot and more!

More Than A Human

We will soon be able to read minds and share our thoughts

This article is optimistic when it comes to mind reading and telepathy using brain-computer interfaces. It claims that “the first true brain-to-brain communication in people could start next year, thanks to huge recent advances”. Will see. If it happens to be true, you can be sure I’ll let you know.

Could we soon ‘upgrade’ our bodies? Extreme bionics will create modular superhumans

Six MIT rock stars – Hugh Herr, Ed Boyden, Canan Dagdeviren, Kevin Esvelt, Robert Langer and Joseph Jacobson – have launched the Center for Extreme Bionics with the goal to eliminate human disabilities and push us beyond the limits of our own bodies.

DARPA is giving war vets first access to LUKE bionic arms

After eight years of development, DARPA is finally giving first LUKE bionic arms to war veterans. The arm can understand multiple commands at any one time, giving it the ability to move as naturally as possible. In earlier tests, people were able to use it to brush their hair and to open locks.

Mind Melds and Brain Beams: The Dawn of Brain-to-Brain Communication

This is a discussion panel recorded at World Science Festival. The discussion is about brain-to-brain communication – what it is, where are we with and what can we expect from the research.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and the King Midas Problem

Or be careful what do you ask a robot or AI to do for you. It will do it, but you might not like how it made it.

White House AI Report: Everything You Need to Know

In October, the White House released a special report on artificial intelligence and its impact on different areas, from military to everyday life. If you want to know the key points without reading the whole report, Futurism prepared this infographic that summarizes the report.

People For The Ethical Treatment Of Reinforcement Learners

I’m still wrapping my head around this. Basically, this group thinks we should consider ethical standards for the treatment of algorithms because the algorithm might suffer… somehow.

The Cultural Significance of Artificial Intelligence

Someone asked “How should we be thinking about machine learning and AI?” on Quora and here is the answer that explores what would happen if a sentient machines were around us and how the life with them might change. Plus there is some history about chatbots.


Arizona governor welcomes Uber fleet of self-driving cars

Uber and its self-driving cars was kicked out from California over the lack of required permits, so they went to Arizona to test the technology.

Safety test proposal for drone users

Anyone who buys a drone in future in the UK may have to register it and take a safety test. That could be the outcome of a government consultation on strict new drone safety rules. There could also be tougher penalties for anyone who flies a drone in a no-fly zone, with the possibility of a new criminal offence of misuse of a drone.

Woman reveals she has fallen in love with a robot and wants to marry it

The shape of things to come? A French woman is in a relationship with a robot she 3D-printed herself and wants to marry it.

Experts predict human-robot marriage will be legal by 2050

At the “Love and Sex with Robots” conference at Goldsmith University in London, David Levy, author of a book on human-robot love, predicted that human-robot marriages would be legal by 2050. Adrian Cheok, computing professor at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, says the prediction is not so farfetched.

Interview: Vitaly Bulgarov, designer of that giant Korean robot suit

In the last issue, I shared with you a video of a Korean mech robot. It was designed by Vitaly Bulgarov, a guy was working in movie and game industry designing robots for such movies like Terminator 4, Ghost in the Shell, Robocop and Transformers 4. In this interview, he gives the story behind the robot, explains in details the challenges he and his team had to overcome and where this mech can be used. Good read if you are into giant robots.

Don’t Be Fooled by This Giant ‘Mech’ Robot

On the other hand, some people are more skeptical when it comes to that giant mech robot. They point out that the company behind the robot does not look legit, its website does not exist and that everything points back to Vitaly Bulgarov. They are also concern about technical difficulties.

France Becomes First Federal Postal Service to Use Drones to Deliver Mail

The French postal service is beginning an experimental drone delivery program to deliver parcels on a nine mile (almost 15km) route once a week. After the program gets approval from the French aviation regulatory authority, the federal postal service will be the first to ever use drone delivery on a regular route.

JustEat is now delivering takeout with self-driving robots in the UK

If you live in Greenwich, London, and you order something from JustEat, the chances are your order will be delivered by an autonomous delivery robot.


Organs on Demand: Bioprinting Will Be the Answer to Donor Shortages

3D bioprinting technology can be used to custom-build organs, tissues, bones, and more using a patient’s own cells, decreasing the chances of rejection. However, growing replacement organs can be very challenging, particularly with regards to the technical intricacies involved in printing solid organs such as kidneys, hearts, and lungs. Time and money must be invested to conduct trials, study the long-term risks of compatibility, and seek approval from regulatory boards.

The moral imperative for bioethics

Steven Pinker says to bioethics “Get out of the way”.

The era of personal DNA testing is here

From improving vaccines to modifying crops to solving crimes, DNA technology has transformed our world. Now, for the first time in history, anyone can experiment with DNA at home, in their kitchen, using a device smaller than a shoebox. We are living in a personal DNA revolution, says biotech entrepreneur Sebastian Kraves, where the secrets buried in DNA are yours to find.

The Ethics of Crossing Humans with Animals

Harvard bioethics specialist Glenn Cohen considers the complex question of whether humans should mix their genetic material with other animals to create chimeras. He shares examples like a mouse with human brain cells or a gorilla with a human face and asks a question how should we treat these creatures and where is the border between right and wrong.

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