H+ Weekly — Issue #52
Old and new exoskeletons, the killer robots dilemma, Google’s AI created a song, should you trust the robots, DNA as a data storage, more robots, AR and VR and more!
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More than a human
tl;dr the intelligence wants to be free, but the biological body doesn’t allow it to flourish. Good starting point for further thoughts.
U.S. Special Operations Command is Engineering a Next-Generation Exoskeleton to Keep Operators Alive
There are basically two major areas for exoskeletons now. The first one is medical research. The second one is military research. This news article focuses on the latter, briefly describing US army attempts to create a real-life Iron Man armour for special forces.
Would you believe that early robotic exoskeletons were built in the late 60s? Here you can find a collection of photos of Hardiman I, an exoskeleton from 1965. It looked pretty awesome.
If you are bored with your normal limbs and you look for a replacement, you might check this infographic showing one possible set of bionic body parts (hand, lungs, eyes, legs, and heart) as well as explains briefly what they are and how they work.
I mentioned Google’s Magenta project in the last issue. Magenta is a project to create an AI able of making art. Its first test was to create a piece of music. In the article you can listen to Magenta’s song. Sounds ok. It’s not brilliant, but it’s ok.
Warner had just DMCA’d an artificial reconstruction of a film about artificial intelligence being indistinguishable from humans, because it couldn’t distinguish between the simulation and the real thing.
Eric Schmidt shared his vision of AI, in which AI system help humans. He said that the ultimate goal is actually AI-assisted science, where intelligent machines could help find new patterns or show new solutions. He shared his three rules about AI (AI should benefit all humanity, it should be open and we should be able to control and understand AI systems). On a personal level, there will be You and Not You, which is your personal AI assistant helping you with your daily tasks.
Good question and a long answer, but when you finish reading this article you will know why AI researchers like giving games to their creations.
Someone asked Ray Kurzweil this question: “In a world where AI passes the Turing test, who gets to vote? Does democracy make sense?”.
The rumor spread out that Toyota will buy two robotic companies from Alphabet. These companies are Boston Dynamics and Schaft. I read somewhere that the deal is sealed, but as I’m writing this (02.06.2016) there is no official confirmation.
A behind the scenes stories told by one of the Boston Dynamics employee on how Boston Dynamics and Google’s paths diverged.
Jerry Kaplan talks about ethics of autonomous weapons. He gives an interesting example of a landmine. Normal landmine will blow up if anyone steps on it. But landmine with a camera could “see” that the person who stepped on it isn’t a soldier, so it will not blow up. This intelligent landmine is more humane, complicating even more the issue of autonomous weapons.
Here’s a different viewpoint on autonomous weapons. The argument here is that autonomous weapon systems might get quickly out of control and do what they were designed to do — kill.
I want it. Also, I’m quite sure sooner or later someone will add an AI system to this robot.
Would you trust a robot? IEEE Spectrum came up a special report exploring the trust relation between humans and machines. The report asks such questions as would you allow the autonomous car to pickup your children from school, would you allow a robot to decide how much medicine your grandma needs or asks about autonomous weapons and making the decision of life and death.
If robots are going to drive our cars and play with our kids, we’ll need to teach them right from wrong. That’s why a team of researchers is attempting to model moral reasoning in a robot. In order to pull it off, they’ll need to answer some important questions: How can we quantify the fuzzy, conflicting norms that guide human choices?
You might hear a lot about robots stealing jobs lately. Some of them will be taken by robots. Other jobs, like surgeons, might be greatly enhanced by robotic revolution.
Or why the miniaturization of farm machinery will help encourage small, diverse farms.
Some people build guns to shoot down unwanted drones. Other build drones to take down other’s drones. Dutch police trains eagles to take down drones.
IEEE Spectrum created a short video showcasing six surgical robots, which might help you get back to full health in the future. Or if you were (un)lucky, they did it already.
This microdrone is lighter than the average bee and can perch to save energy.
We produce so many data and will be producing even more, that we have to start looking for alternative methods of data storage. Maybe in the future instead of solid state hard drives, we will use DNA to store photos of cats.
CRISPR gene drives allow scientists to change sequences of DNA and guarantee that the resulting edited genetic trait is inherited by future generations, opening up the possibility of altering entire species forever. Jennifer Kahn explains how using CRISPR we malaria in just one year, but she also explains why this might a double-edged sword.
This program uses augmented reality to show you on a real Rubik’s cube step by step what to do to solve the puzzle.
The US Olympic Cycling Team is currently training with the help of smart glasses that allow them to view relevant information about their ride.
Virtual reality is no longer part of some distant future, and it’s not just for gaming and entertainment anymore. Michael Bodekaer wants to use it to make quality education more accessible. In this refreshing talk, he demos an idea that could revolutionize the way we teach science in schools.
According to this flow chart, whatever we do, the strong AI will wipe us all.
Brace yourself, the robots are coming.
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