H+ Weekly — Issue #88
This week — Intel’s drone show at Super Bowl. DARPA builds an arm to catch drones. How does the AI that learned how to play poker work. German government is warning biohackers. The future of delivery drones, AIs and more!
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MORE THAN A HUMAN
TOBE, short for Tangible Out-of-body Experience With Biosignals, is a little robot that can record your biological signals to replay them or to share them with other people. The project is open source — all you need is a bunch of sensors and you can show how did you felt when you were doing some awesome things.
The scientific team of biotech company Gero recently published a study that debunks a long-held misconception regarding two parameters of the Gompertz mortality law — a mortality model that represents human death as the sum of two components that exponentially increases with age. Interesting result, although there was a paper proving that people can’t live more than 120 years.
Artificial General Intelligence, or machines with human-like versatile intelligence, are going to be our last inventions, argues Ben Goertzel. These machines will be able to improve themselves much faster and better than any human could, quickly surpassing the whole humankind. What will we get then? A great tool, says Ben Goertzel, able to solve all our problems.
Here’s a quick and high-level explanation how Libratus, an AI made by two computer science researchers at Carnegie Mellon, learned how to play poker on its own and beat every human.
What do you get when you give a design tool a digital nervous system? Computers that improve our ability to think and imagine, and robotic systems that come up with (and build) radical new designs for bridges, cars, drones and much more — all by themselves. Take a tour of the Augmented Age with futurist Maurice Conti and preview a time when robots and humans will work side-by-side to accomplish things neither could do alone.
Politicians and lawmakers, beware! There is an AI that’s going to track what have you said or done, so the public can check if you do the right job.
As machines become more and more autonomous and more of them are around us, it’s just a matter of time for an accident to happen. When it happens, who is responsible? Manufacturer? The operator of the machine? The robot itself? It’s a hard legal problem to solve and this article will give a glimpse of possible solutions.
Currently, world’s top AI systems learn from a vast amount of data. They are really good at one thing, but as soon something unexpected happens, many of them fail. To fix that, AI researchers are looking at Bayesian methods. The Bayesians look for ways of dealing with uncertainty, of feeding new evidence into existing models, of doing the stuff that neural networks aren’t all that good at.
Intel was experimenting with the swarm of drones for sometime now. They showed what their swarm can do, but nothing on this scale before such a large audience. It’s even more impressive when you learn that the whole swarm was controlled by just only one person.
NASA knows that the future belongs to robots and to accelerate research they announced a competition named Space Robotics Challenge in August last year. Recently, NASA released a list of 20 teams which made to the next round. Check their names, some of them are quite funny.
How do you launch and land a drone from a ship with limited space? You use a robotic arm that doubles as a drone rail launcher and a grabbing arm. DARPA and your crazy ideas.
As the number of bees is declining (and we still don’t know what exactly causes this), we might have to make our own “bees”. Researchers in Japan have created insect-sized drones capable of artificial pollination, thanks to the help of horse hair and an ionic sticky gel.
As we see more drones used on the battlefields, the question how to stop them becomes even more burning. In many cases, these drones are just cheap drones you can buy to fly around your home to which someone attached a grenade or other explosive. The countermeasures are being developed, ranging from nets, microwave guns, jamming the signal or even using eagles, but all of these possible solutions are more expensive than the drone. Time will show which approach to stop a drone is the best.
Drone delivery. The thing of the future where all the stuff we need will come to us from the air with a futuristic flying robot. Amazon and many other companies are trying to make this vision true, but analysts from Gartner aren’t so sure. In their new report on drone industry, they predict delivery drones to make up less than less than 1% of the commercial drone market by 2020, asserting that it does not expect them to be “a major factor for several years”.
Some believe that the future of delivery is in drones dropping packages from the air. Some believe that robots on wheels are going to deliver your pizza. Agility Robotics believes that your package will be delivered by this bipedal robot able to walk on through terrain and maintaining balance, even when kicked (robotkind would like to say thank you to Boston Dynamics).
If you live in London or plan to visit London, there is an exhibition about robots in Science Museum. Looks exciting.
Bad news for all biohackers in Germany. The Germany’s government reminded biohackers that there is a law stating that everyone doing genetic engineering outside of a licensed facility might face a fine of €50,000 or up to three years in prison.
Researchers from China have used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to successfully produce first live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis with no detectable off target effects.
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