This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through May 27)


IBM Wants to Build a 100,000-Qubit Quantum Computer
Michael Brooks | MIT Technology Review
“Late last year, IBM took the record for the largest quantum computing system with a processor that contained 433 quantum bits, or qubits, the fundamental building blocks of quantum information processing. Now, the company has set its sights on a much bigger target: a 100,000-qubit machine that it aims to build within 10 years.”


Scientists Use AI to Discover New Antibiotic to Treat Deadly Superbug
Maya Yang | The Guardian
“After scientists trained the AI model, they used it to analyze 6,680 compounds that it had previously not encountered. The analysis took an hour and half and ended up producing several hundred compounds, 240 of which were then tested in a laboratory. Laboratory testing ultimately revealed nine potential antibiotics, including abaucin. The scientists then tested the new molecule against A baumannii in a wound infection model in mice and found that the molecule suppressed the infection.”


Nvidia Is Poised to Join $1 Trillion Club Thanks to AI-Driven Surge
Sharon Goldman | VentureBeat
“Nvidia’s stock soared nearly 30% after it announced its first-quarter financial results yesterday, setting the stage for Nvidia to become only the fifth publicly traded US company to be currently worth $1 trillion—joining Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon. And it’s all thanks to the hunger for high-powered AI chips in the era of generative AI.”


A Paralyzed Man Can Walk Naturally Again With Brain and Spine Implants
Oliver Whang | The New York Times
“In a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers in Switzerland described implants that provided a ‘digital bridge’ between Mr. Oskam’s brain and his spinal cord, bypassing injured sections. The discovery allowed Mr. Oskam, 40, to stand, walk and ascend a steep ramp with only the assistance of a walker. More than a year after the implant was inserted, he has retained these abilities and has actually showed signs of neurological recovery, walking with crutches even when the implant was switched off.”


Humanoid Robots Are Coming of Age
Will Knight | Wired
“Eight years ago, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency organized a painful-to-watch contest that involved robots slowly struggling (and often failing) to perform a series of human tasks, including opening doors, operating power tools, and driving golf carts. …Today the descendants of those hapless robots are a lot more capable and graceful. Several startups are developing humanoids that they claim could, in just a few years, find employment in warehouses and factories.”


Scientists Working to Generate Electricity From Thin Air Make Breakthrough
Becky Ferreira | Motherboard
“Scientists have invented a device that can continuously generate electricity from thin air, offering a glimpse of a possible sustainable energy source that can be made of almost any material and runs on the ambient humidity that surrounds all of us, reports a new study.”


How NASA Plans to Melt the Moon—and Build on Mars
Khari Johnson | Wired
“In June a four-person crew will enter a hangar at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and spend one year inside a 3D printed building. Made of a slurry that—before it dried—looked like neatly laid lines of soft-serve ice cream, Mars Dune Alpha has crew quarters, shared living space, and dedicated areas for administering medical care and growing food.”


Replica Unveils AI-Powered Smart NPCs for Unreal Engine
Dean Takahashi | VentureBeat
“The smart NPCs are powered by OpenAI or the user’s own AI language model, and Replica’s library of over 120 ethically licensed AI voices, allowing game developers to develop games at scale and create new dynamic gaming experiences. …In Replica’s smart NPC experience, AI-powered NPCs will dynamically respond to the player’s in-game voice in real time, the company said. Characters will change their dialogue, emotional tone and body gestures in reaction to how the player speaks to them.”


‘Fluxonium’ Is the Longest Lasting Superconducting Qubit Ever
Karmela Padavic-Callaghan | NewScientist
“Somoroff says that the best transmon qubits have coherence times of hundreds of microseconds, but he and his team measured about 1.48 milliseconds for their fluxonium qubit. They also determined that they could change their qubit’s state, something that would have to happen many times during a computation on a fluxonium quantum computer, with 99.991 per cent fidelity. This makes the fluxonium qubit one of the most reliable qubits that exists, almost always changing states exactly as instructed.”


Some Neural Networks Learn Language Like Humans
Steve Nadis | Quanta
“The researchers—led by Gašper Beguš, a computational linguist at the University of California, Berkeley—compared the brain waves of humans listening to a simple sound to the signal produced by a neural network analyzing the same sound. The results were uncannily alike. ‘To our knowledge,’ Beguš and his colleagues wrote, the observed responses to the same stimulus ‘are the most similar brain and ANN signals reported thus far.’i

Image Credit: Maxim BergUnsplash

* This article was originally published at Singularity Hub

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