TECH NEWS REVIEW Week 4-11 May 2020, by Stelios Iordanis

Biotech

 

Can gender-bending Israeli superprawns help feed the world?  | Ars Technica

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/05/can-gender-bending-israeli-super-prawns-help-feed-the-world/

Creating Single-sex populations of genetically mutated prawns, despite being a very popular food, will definitely trigger various reactions, however, it will offer tremendous ecological and economic advantages in food production, however we may see many other similar interventions after this attempt if successful.

 

Doctors Are Cloning COVID Patients’ Antibodies For New Treatment

https://futurism.com/neoscope/doctors-cloned-covid-patients-antibodies-treatments

The cloning of protective antibodies and use to mass-produce a “pharmaceutical cocktail” is definitely a superior, super high tech approach against the COVID virus; it is rather expensive, though, but it has minimal risks and guaranteed success unlike all vaccines, without any controversial aspects. So called monoclonal antibody drugs are very hard to manufacture in large scale and represent one of the most expensive drug categories, at the moment.

 

Elon Musk: Neuralink Will Do Human Brain Implant in “Less Than a Year”

https://futurism.com/elon-musk-neuralink-human-brain-implant

Musk revealed that the secretive brain stimulation link startup Neuralink, which he co-founded, is close to starting testing in actual humans. The envisaged implant is about one inch in diameter and has to be implanted by removing a small section of the skull.

Despite sounding too futuristic, we already have similar applications, such heart monitors and devices for epileptic seizures, deep brain simulation, artificial hips and knees, and Neuralink is not viewed as a probable cause for a rejection from the human organism. Neuralink will commence as a therapeutic technology, but later on it will be used a brain enhancement device augmenting human capabilities, that may offer unfair advantage to the early adopters, versus the classical humans. Regardless, it could offer a quantum leap in human evolution.

 

 

AI

 

Preventing AI From Divulging Its Own Secrets – IEEE Spectrum

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/artificial-intelligence/machine-learning/how-prevent-ai-power-usage-secrets

 

Spying on electronics through radiation leakage, such as the project TEMPEST, is a relatively old technique, and modern advances allow even more sophisticated espionage approaches.

Countermeasures are developed in the form of AI software based on on cryptography research and augmented for securing neural networks.

 

ALLSTEPS: Curriculum-driven Learning of Stepping Stone Skills

https://www.cs.ubc.ca/~van/papers/2020-allsteps/index.html

 

Humans are highly adept at walking in environments with foot placement constraints, including stepping-stone scenarios where the footstep locations are fully constrained. Finding good solutions to stepping-stone locomotion is a longstanding and fundamental challenge for animation and robotics. This new software using deep learning and reinforcement learning has amazing results and it could revolutionize robot applications in unpredictable real world terrain. Military uses are more than certain to follow.

 

Driverless Cars Still Have Blind Spots. How Can Experts Fix Them? | Discover Magazine

https://www.discovermagazine.com/technology/driverless-cars-still-have-blind-spots-how-can-experts-fix-them

Using LIDAR and other additional sensors, Waymo cars are designed to see around other vehicles while on the road, using a 360-degree, bird’s-eye-view camera that can see up to 500 meters away, detect vehicles coming in the opposite lane and decide whether it’s safe to circumvent a parked truck, or spot a motorcyclist from several football fields away, for instance. Higher reliability performance from such cars than human drivers now appears realistic somewhere in the not so distant future, e.g. 10 years from now. Making humans redundant in driving professions, will lead to the direct and indirect loss of a huge percentage of jobs.