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Jul 22, 2023

The connectome of an insect brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A synaptic-resolution map of the neural circuits of a Drosophila larval brain reveals its connection types, neuron types, and circuit motifs.

Jul 22, 2023

Consciousness in a Rotor? Science and Ethics of Potentially Conscious Human Cerebral Organoids

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI, science

Human cerebral organoids are three-dimensional biological cultures grown in the laboratory to mimic as closely as possible the cellular composition, structure, and function of the corresponding organ, the brain. For now, cerebral organoids lack blood vessels and other characteristics of the human brain, but are also capable of having coordinated electrical activity. They have been usefully employed for the study of several diseases and the development of the nervous system in unprecedented ways. Research on human cerebral organoids is proceeding at a very fast pace and their complexity is bound to improve. This raises the question of whether cerebral organoids will also be able to develop the unique feature of the human brain, consciousness. If this is the case, some ethical issues would arise. In this article, we discuss the necessary neural correlates and constraints for the emergence of consciousness according to some of the most debated neuroscientific theories. Based on this, we consider what the moral status of a potentially conscious brain organoid might be, in light of ethical and ontological arguments. We conclude by proposing a precautionary principle and some leads for further investigation. In particular, we consider the outcomes of some very recent experiments as entities of a potential new kind.

Jul 22, 2023

Astrochickens & Von Neumann Probes

Posted by in category: space

To explore the trillions of worlds in our galaxy, we will need space probes far more sophisticated than any craft we’ve ever built, including the ability to…

Jul 22, 2023

How judges, not politicians, could dictate America’s AI rules

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

It’s becoming increasingly clear that courts, not politicians, will be the first to determine the limits on how AI is developed and used in the US.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into whether OpenAI violated consumer protection laws by scraping people’s online data to train its popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. Meanwhile, artists, authors, and the image company Getty are suing AI companies such as OpenAI, Stability AI, and Meta, alleging that they broke copyright laws by training their models on their work without providing any recognition or payment.

Jul 22, 2023

ChatGPT for Android launches next week

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI

OpenAI is releasing the Android version of the app for ChatGPT next week after launching on iOS in May.

Since launching in November, OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool has reached a number of users at a rate that’s astounding for anything outside of Threads — now the company says it’s ready to release an app for Android.

The ChatGPT for Android app is launching a few months after the free iOS app brought the chatbot to iPhones and iPads.

Continue reading “ChatGPT for Android launches next week” »

Jul 22, 2023

Biden Administration Secures Voluntary Commitments From AI Firms: A Step Forward Or Empty Rhetoric?

Posted by in categories: governance, government, robotics/AI, security

The Biden administration announced on Friday a voluntary agreement with seven leading AI companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The move, ostensibly aimed at managing the risks posed by AI and protecting Americans’ rights and safety, has provoked a range of questions, the foremost being: What does the new voluntary AI agreement mean?

At first glance, the voluntary nature of these commitments looks promising. Regulation in the technology sector is always contentious, with companies wary of stifling growth and governments eager to avoid making mistakes. By sidestepping the direct imposition of command and control regulation, the administration can avoid the pitfalls of imposing… More.

That said, it’s not an entirely hollow gesture. It does emphasize important principles of safety, security, and trust in AI, and it reinforces the notion that companies should take responsibility for the potential societal impact of their technologies. Moreover, the administration’s focus on a cooperative approach, involving a broad range of stakeholders, hints at a potentially promising direction for future AI governance. However, we should also not forget the risk of government growing too cozy with industry.

Continue reading “Biden Administration Secures Voluntary Commitments From AI Firms: A Step Forward Or Empty Rhetoric?” »

Jul 22, 2023

Apple Engineers Building ChatGPT Clone, But Execs Unsure Of Launch

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Apple is secretly developing its own generative AI tools to challenge OpenAI’s GPT and other language models like Google’s Bard, reports Mark Gurman of Bloomberg News. Internally dubbed “Apple GPT,” the company’s ChatGPT clone is already being used by some employees for work tasks.

Gurman reveals that a cross-functional collaboration is underway at Apple, with teams from AI, software engineering, and cloud infrastructure working together on this covert project. This initiative is driven by concerns within Apple that its devices may lose their essential status if the company lags behind its competitors in AI.

AI has been a component of Apple’s devices for years, primarily operating behind the scenes to enhance photo and video quality, and to power features such as crash detection. More recently, Apple has begun to introduce AI-powered enhancements to its iOS.

Jul 22, 2023

I Used Generative AI To Create A Synthetic Self And You Can Too

Posted by in categories: business, existential risks, robotics/AI

Generative AI has been front and centre of the news for the last nine months and attention is often on existential risks, copyright claims or suspicions around deepfakes. However, there are a growing number of more positive ways it can be integrated into businesses.

One of those areas is customer service. The Samsung Neon people were a good example of what could be achieved with embodied AI. Samsung created an impressive suite of customer service agents whose profiles could match those of customers in need of help.

I wanted an avatar that was a bit ‘uncanny’, so that it had some resemblance to my real physical self but looked quite artificial too.

Continue reading “I Used Generative AI To Create A Synthetic Self And You Can Too” »

Jul 22, 2023

Scientists Are Confused Why The Sun Is Strangely Heating Up

Posted by in category: futurism

It’s fair to say that the sun is one of the most-studied features in all of the cosmos, and because of that, you might expect that it’s easy to predict what it will do next. However, recent unexpected sun activity has surprised scientists and confirmed yet again how difficult it can be to predict what this cosmological phenomenon will do next.

Jul 22, 2023

James Webb Space Telescope makes 1st detection of diamond-like carbon dust in the universe’s earliest stars

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

The James Webb Space Telescope has detected the earliest-known carbon dust in a galaxy ever.

Using the powerful space telescope, a team of astronomers spotted signs of the element that forms the backbone of all life in ten different galaxies that existed as early as 1 billion years after the Big Bang.

The detection of carbon dust so soon after the Big Bang could shake up theories surrounding the chemical evolution of the universe. This is because the processes that create and disperse heavier elements like this should take longer to build up in galaxies than the age of these young galaxies at the time the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) sees them.

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