This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through December 10)


ChatGPT Proves AI Is Finally Mainstream—and Things Are Only Going to Get Weirder
James Vincent | The Verge
“OpenAI has previously sold access to GPT-3 as an API, but the company’s ability to improve the model’s ability to talk in natural dialogue and then publish it on the web for anyone to play with brought it to a much bigger audience. And no matter how imaginative AI researchers are in probing a model’s skills and weaknesses, they’ll never be able to match the mass and chaotic intelligence of the internet at large.”


Amazon’s Quest for the ‘Holy Grail’ of Robotics
Christopher Mims | The Wall Street Journal
“Amazon, along with a collection of other robotics companies developing similar machines, are chasing what experts in the field call the ‘holy grail’ of robotics—machines as dexterous, quick and adaptable as a human arm and hand. Such a robot could someday be capable of handling any of the thousands—or in Amazon’s case, millions—of different goods carried in a typical e-commerce fulfillment warehouse. ‘What we’re doing is unlike anything that’s been done in human history—the scale we’re working at,’ says [Amazon’s Tye Brady].”


DNA That Was Frozen for 2 Million Years Has Been Sequenced
Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review
“After an eight-year effort to recover DNA from Greenland’s frozen interior, researchers say they’ve managed to sequence gene fragments from ancient fish, plants, and even a mastodon that lived 2 million years ago. It’s the oldest DNA ever recovered, beating the mark set only last year when a different team recovered genetic material from a million-year-old mammoth tooth.”


What Causes Alzheimer’s? Scientists Are Rethinking the Answer.
Yasemin Saplakoglu | Quanta
“The emerging new models of the disease are more complex than the amyloid explanation, and because they are still taking shape, it’s not clear yet how some of them may eventually translate into therapies. But because they focus on fundamental mechanisms affecting the health of cells, what’s being learned about them might someday pay off in new treatments for a wide variety of medical problems, possibly including some key effects of aging.”


Xiaomi’s Humanoid Drummer Beats Expectations
Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum
“In a nice surprise, Xiaomi roboticists have taught the robot to do something that is, if not exactly useful, at least loud: to play the drums. The input for this performance is a MIDI file, which the robot is able to parse into drum beats. It then generates song-length sequences of coordinated whole-body trajectories which are synchronized to the music, which is tricky because the end effectors have to make sure to actuate the drums exactly on the beat.”


Eight Artists Chosen for First Civilian Moon Trip
Trevor Mogg | Digital Trends
“Four years ago, Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa stood alongside SpaceX chief Elon Musk to announce plans for the first civilian mission to the moon. At the presentation in 2018, Maezawa said he had covered the costs of the weeklong mission and wanted to invite eight other people to join him on the lunar flyby, a voyage that will likely be similar to NASA’s current Artemis I mission involving the Orion spacecraft. …On Thursday, Maezawa confirmed that the search for his fellow crewmembers has now finished as he revealed eight young creatives from around the world.”


Synthetic Bacteria Becomes Smallest Lifeform That Can Move Around
Michael Irving | New Atlas
“In 2010 scientists at JCVI unveiled the world’s first completely synthetic lifeform—a micro-organism derived from a synthetic chromosome made up of four chemicals and designed using a computer. …In the new study, scientists at Osaka Metropolitan University edited the latest version of the organism, known as syn3, to give it a new ability—movement. This synthetic bacteria is usually spherical and can’t get around on its own, so the team experimented by adding seven proteins thought to allow natural bacteria to swim.


Girl With a Pearl Earring and Mona Lisa Recreated With Nanotechnology
Jason Arunn Murugesu | New Atlas
“Ting Xu at Nanjing University in China and his colleagues made these minuscule masterpieces using nanostructures that manipulate light rays that hit them, reflecting only specific colours, while suppressing all others. The technique is inspired by insects such as butterflies that have intricate colours in their wings that are created through structural means, rather than pigment. It allows for better colour reproduction than paints or dyes, which don’t work on these tiny scales, says Xu.”

Image Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

Post a Comment