‘Deep Nostalgia’ Uses AI to Make Old Photos of Your Relatives Wink, Nod, Dance, and More

‘Deep Nostalgia’ Uses AI to Make Old Photos of Your Relatives Wink, Nod, Dance, and More Genealogy services have grown in popularity in recent years. Ancestry.com and 23andMe let users analyze their DNA to show their ethnic makeup, connect with relatives they didn’t know they had, create online family trees, and search databases for information about ancestors. Now a third service, called MyHeritage, has added a particularly unique feature to this list: bringing photos of your deceased relatives “alive” by adding animations like blinking, nodding, head-bopping, and a number of other gestures. Enjoy #DeepNostalgia even more with 10 #new special…

There’s a New Nirvana Song Out, and It Was Written by Google’s AI

There’s a New Nirvana Song Out, and It Was Written by Google’s AI One of the primary capabilities separating human intelligence from artificial intelligence is our ability to be creative—to use nothing but the world around us, our experiences, and our brains to create art. At present, AI needs to be extensively trained on human-made works of art in order to produce new work, so we’ve still got a leg up. That said, neural networks like OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Russian designer Nikolay Ironov have been able to create content indistinguishable from human-made work. Now there’s another example of AI artistry…

How Scientists Grew Human Muscles in Pig Embryos, and Why It Matters for Organ Transplants

How Scientists Grew Human Muscles in Pig Embryos, and Why It Matters for Organ Transplants The little pigs bouncing around the lab looked exceedingly normal. Yet their adorable exterior hid a remarkable secret: each piglet carried two different sets of genes. For now, both sets came from their own species. But one day, one of those sets may be human. The piglets are chimeras—creatures with intermingled sets of genes, as if multiple entities were seamlessly mashed together. Named after the Greek lion-goat-serpent monsters, chimeras may hold the key to an endless supply of human organs and tissues for transplant. The…

This Huge Hologram-Like 3D Display Is Made of Thousands of Tiny LED Lights

This Huge Hologram-Like 3D Display Is Made of Thousands of Tiny LED Lights Though we don’t quite have the technology to make three-dimensional holograms a reality yet, companies like PORTL and Microsoft are working on it. But a third company decided to forego the traditional approach and came up with a whole new way to create 3D shapes made of light. LED Pulse uses thousands of strings of LED lights to make volumetric displays that, while not technically holograms, look a lot like them. The latest iteration of their technology is called Dragon O, and it can be as big…

OpenAI’s GPT-3 Algorithm Is Now Producing Billions of Words a Day

OpenAI’s GPT-3 Algorithm Is Now Producing Billions of Words a Day When OpenAI released its huge natural-language algorithm GPT-3 last summer, jaws dropped. Coders and developers with special access to an early API rapidly discovered new (and unexpected) things GPT-3 could do with naught but a prompt. It wrote passable poetry, produced decent code, calculated simple sums, and with some edits, penned news articles. All this, it turns out, was just the beginning. In a recent blog post update, OpenAI said that tens of thousands of developers are now making apps on the GPT-3 platform. Over 300 apps (and counting)…

This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 3)

This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 3) ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Here’s How We’ll Know an AI Is Conscious Joel Frohlich | Nautilus “Just as ethical tragedies arise when we pull the plug on patients who are aware yet unresponsive, similar tragedies will arise if we pull the plug on artificial consciousness. And just as my lab at UCLA relates theoretical measures of consciousness to the hospital bed behavior of brain-injured patients, future researchers must relate theoretical measures of artificial consciousness to an AI’s performance on something akin to a Turing test.” VIRTUAL REALITY 5 Years After the…

Xenobots 2.0: These Living Robots Self-Assemble From Frog Skin Cells

Xenobots 2.0: These Living Robots Self-Assemble From Frog Skin Cells The line between animals and machines was already getting blurry after a team of scientists and roboticists unveiled the first living robots last year. Now the same team has released version 2.0 of their so-called xenobots, and they’re faster, stronger, and more capable than ever. In January 2020, researchers from Tufts University and the University of Vermont laid out a method for building tiny biological machines out of the eggs of the African claw frog Xenopus laevis. Dubbed xenobots after their animal forebear, they could move independently, push objects, and…

The US Just Set Ambitious Offshore Wind Power Targets. What Will It Take to Meet Them?

The US Just Set Ambitious Offshore Wind Power Targets. What Will It Take to Meet Them? The United States’ offshore wind industry is tiny, with just seven wind turbines operating off Rhode Island and Virginia. The few attempts to build large-scale wind farms like Europe’s have run into long delays, but that may be about to change. The Biden administration announced on March 29, 2021, that it would accelerate the federal review process for offshore wind projects and provide more funding. It also set a goal: Develop 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity this decade—enough to power 10 million homes…

Watch Hypnotic Drone Footage of Boiling Lava Taken Inside Iceland Volcano’s Crater

Watch Hypnotic Drone Footage of Boiling Lava Taken Inside Iceland Volcano’s Crater The proliferation of drones bearing cameras has brought many a new sight. Like, a bird’s-eye-view of sharks casually swimming at the local beach—which is, let’s just say, unsettling—or, now, an eyewitness view of a high dive into an erupting volcano. When Fagradalsfjall, near Reykjavik, began its recent eruption—the first on the Reykjanes Peninsula in some 800 years—drone pilots took advantage. The volcano poses limited threat to populated areas (with the exception of some noxious fumes).  Still, even though it’s a small eruption, the government warned people the area…

Boston Dynamics’ New Warehouse Robot, Stretch, Moves 800 Boxes an Hour

Boston Dynamics’ New Warehouse Robot, Stretch, Moves 800 Boxes an Hour This week, Boston Dynamics (whose dancing robots video I still can’t watch without cracking up) unveiled the newest addition to its robot menagerie. Stretch is the less aesthetically pleasing but highly practical cousin of Atlas, Handle, and Spot, and it has the potential to bring significant changes to warehouse operations. As mundane as “warehouse operations” sounds, consider that online spending represented more than a fifth of total US retail sales in 2020, growing by 44 percent from 2019 (granted, the pandemic was responsible for the bulk of this). That’s…

How Scientists Used Ultrasound to Read Monkeys’ Minds

How Scientists Used Ultrasound to Read Monkeys’ Minds Thanks to neural implants, mind reading is no longer science fiction. As I’m writing this sentence, a tiny chip with arrays of electrodes could sit on my brain, listening in on the crackling of my neurons firing as my hands dance across the keyboard. Sophisticated algorithms could then decode these electrical signals in real time. My brain’s inner language to plan and move my fingers could then be used to guide a robotic hand to do the same. Mind-to-machine control, voilà! Yet as the name implies, even the most advanced neural implant…

Fiber Optics Could Be the Key to Million-Qubit Quantum Computers

Fiber Optics Could Be the Key to Million-Qubit Quantum Computers Bridging the gap between the cryogenically-cooled inner workings of quantum computers and the conventional electronics that control them is an outstanding challenge. Current approaches look unlikely to scale, but new research suggests optical fiber could be the key to creating devices big enough to revolutionize computing. The past decade has seen significant breakthroughs in quantum computing, and a host of well-heeled technology companies joining the race to build the first commercially useful machines. But despite the progress, today’s leading quantum processors still only feature a few tens of qubits, the…

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