This week — Alexa laughs; build your own Boston Dynamics robot; UK prepares for driverless cars; AI tricks human to see things in the pictures; and more!
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More than a human
At a trendy east London bar, a group of body hackers are putting forward their reasons for human augmentation to a packed audience of mainly under-35s, many of whom are sporting piercings and tattoos. BBC asked the panellist what made them to get an implant and how does a life with one looks like.
Companies like Open Bionics bring faith in humanity back. They make accessible 3D printed prosthetic arms. All their designs are open source and they even have special arms, like Iron Man’s or Elsa’s hand designed to make children who need a prosthetic arm like a superhero.
Give an AI an old Atari game and it will find a bug no one knew about, exploit it and blew researchers minds.
Recently, there were some papers showing how easy it is to trick a computer vision algorithm to “see” things that are not in the picture. For example, one team tricked AI to see a gun instead of an innocent turtle. Now, researchers from Google Brain show that adversarial images can trick both humans and computers, and the implications are scary.
In this video, Joe Scott explores the boundary between human and machine — from Turing test (and it’s variations) to robots crossing the uncanny valley to an army of twitterbots influencing people’s worldviews.
So that’s how the robot uprising is starting… with Alexa’s creepy laugh.
This is an interesting find. Microsoft Azure’s computer vision API tends to see sheep in photographs where there are no sheep. If you, however, give it a picture of a sheep, it does not see it. Very peculiar.
If the current decline in bee population continues, the only solution to get the plants to grow might be to employ swarms of bioinspired microrobots. If you watched Black Mirror you know what can happen if this goes wrong but the researchers say this could be the revolution in robotics that spearheads the next generation in manufacturing technology.
Here is a robot doing “weeeeee!”.
Boston Dynamics robots are not for sale. But if you ever wanted to have one of theirs robot-dogs, here is how to build one.
The British government said it wants to establish a looser framework for testing self-driving vehicles “without a safety operator” with the stated aim of getting driverless cars on the roads by 2021.
Here’s another company that wants to use driverless trucks to automate delivery. Just like Otto (which was bought by Uber and caused them a lot of problems with Google), Starsky Robotics uses existing trucks and makes them driverless by adding sensors and computer into the truck. They also have a successful fully automated delivery and plan to start making completely driverless deliveries in Florida by the end of 2018, with at least one truck.
MhAX is a new gene editing technique that is so precise it can modify a single letter of DNA. It combines CRISPR and a DNA repair system to give the most precise tool in genetic engineering.
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Originally published at hplusweekly.com on March 9, 2018.