Transhumanismus

The Enormous Promise and Peril of Bioengineering’s Pandora’s Box

Singularity HUB - 1 hodina 30 min zpět

We’re standing on the threshold of extraordinary capability in synthetic biology. CRISPR-Cas9, the genome editing technique discovered in 2014, is at the forefront of this newfound potential for innovation. These advancements provide an opportunity to solve problems in food supply, disease, genetics, and—the most tantalizing and forbidden of prospects—modifying the human genome. Doing so would make us better, faster, stronger, more resilient, and more intelligent: it’s a chance to engineer ourselves at a faster rate than natural selection could ever dream.

However, many experts warn of the dangers of these new capabilities. A vast torrent of money is flowing towards biotech startups, and the race to be first can encourage cutting corners. Researchers in 2017 resurrected an extinct strain of the horsepox virus. CRISPR may make it possible to create the bioweapons carefully safeguarded by the US and Russian governments, such as smallpox, or to take an existing disease, like Ebola, and modify it into an epidemiologist’s worst nightmare.

With these mind-bending breakthroughs that seem like science fiction, it can be a near-impossible task to discern hype from reality. Yet this is a crucial task for our politicians—who are overwhelmingly not scientists—to undertake. How can we realistically assess the potential risks and rewards? Now, a new study combining researchers from the US and the UK, published recently in eLifeSciences, gives an expert perspective on 20 emerging issues in bioengineering.

The researchers sorted the 20 developments into different time horizons: the next five years, the next decade, and more than a decade away. In the next five years, they anticipate breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis. As plants can turn carbon dioxide into fuel, artificial photosynthesis could be crucial for the energy crisis and to tackle climate change. While any scheme to deploy carbon dioxide removal as a climate fix would have to be huge, recent studies have shown that artificial photosynthesis can reduce CO2 more efficiently than plants and can convert it into methanol for fuel.

We’re running out of farming space as the world’s population continues to grow; to feed the world, a new Green Revolution may be necessary. Enhancing natural photosynthesis through genetic modification may prove to be the answer, as the C4 gene is being engineered into rice. Since this gene could boost rice yields by up to 50 percent, and since rice provides hundreds of millions with most of their calories, it’s a huge potential development.

The researchers also expect two major debates to begin in earnest over the next five years. The first is about the ethics of gene drives, which can “force” a population to inherit new characteristics. For insects like mosquitos, these genes can spread very rapidly, and people have mooted using them to render mosquitos infertile. At the same time, they could wreak havoc on ecosystems and may have unintended consequences. Is the solution an outright ban on the use of gene drives or can we find clever ways to control these gene drives, and “de-activate” them before they spread too far, or after a certain number of generations? This way, advocates argue, we can measure any ill effects before plowing ahead and re-engineering the biosphere. Skeptics are not too sure.

The big debate will kick into gear over the next five years: how comfortable are we with editing the human genome? The researchers note that our capacity to edit the human genome has already surpassed our understanding of the functions of these genes. Previous studies have essentially looked at statistical correlation between genetic conditions and possessing certain genes. Perhaps careful editing will allow us to perform experiments that will unlock a greater understanding of our own DNA; already, in mice, we can knock out conditions like Huntington’s disease.

Yet, as ever, experimenting with humans poses a unique set of ethical problems, and the researchers note that the world’s governments don’t come close to agreeing on the right course of action, with China more bullish than other countries. It seems likely that few will object to curing monogenic conditions, but is this the start of a slippery slope?

In the intermediate term, researchers worry about ever more sophisticated bioengineering technologies. Perhaps, in five to ten years, we will be able to construct whole replacement organs through tissue engineering. They note that in the last few years, “Tissue engineers have already built or grown transplantable bladders, hip joints, vaginas, windpipes, veins, arteries, ears, skin, the meniscus of the knee, and patches for damaged hearts.”

Repairing your broken heart might sound like an ideal use of biotechnology, and—as trials on animals go ahead and demonstrate that these engineered tissues can be successfully implanted—it’s a real prospect. But it’s unlikely to be cheap: could this exacerbate the healthcare gaps that already exist in society, with the super-rich able to afford to replace their organs and extend their lifespans while the rest of us are doomed to death and taxes?

The far-reaching ability of these techniques will impact drug manufacturing in unprecedented ways. Vaccines are a textbook example. Currently, many vaccines are produced using hen’s eggs as incubators, the same technique that’s been used for 70 years. As expected, there are limitations to such an old method; the most important strains of a virus must be predicted months in advance because vaccine production takes several months to complete. DARPA—funders of the Internet, self-driving cars, and cool disaster robots—awarded a grant to a company that could produce ten million flu vaccines within a month. If we’re in a race against the next pandemic—which could kill millions, as the Spanish influenza did—then it almost seems a moral imperative to develop this technology.

Yet as it becomes accessible by more and more people, there are other risks. Illegal drugs could be manufactured more efficiently through bioengineering. Far worse is the prospect of a bioengineered super-virus, created by accident or maliciously. Genetic information will become the new currency; just as an algorithm today can be worth millions or wreak havoc, soon the same security measures will need to apply to genetics. We can only hope that these security efforts are well-funded and carried out with the utmost care. The consequences of a computer virus can be damaging; the consequences of ‘malware’ for humans could be far worse.

Image Credit: Fer Gregory / Shutterstock.com

Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Moneycontrol Budget hackathon: Applications around AI took centre stage

Home AI - 3 hodiny 3 min zpět

"One gets the intuition if machine learning is their cup of tea after attending a Hackathon like this. It is only after picking up the concepts … "It will also be useful for our future coursework when we will be taught machine learning and AI next year," says Aishwarya, a team mate. "Events like these help us to …


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Moneycontrol Budget hackathon: Applications around AI took centre stage

Home AI - 3 hodiny 3 min zpět

Practical applications centred around artificial intelligence (AI) were the highlights of the first ever Moneycontrol Budget hackathon challenge. … agreed that they were given the perfect space and the right problems to push themselves to explore the limitless applications of artificial intelligence.


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EXCLUSIVE – Coupling top-down and bottom-up approaches to Natural Language Processing

Home AI - 3 hodiny 26 min zpět

“We try to take inspiration from how the human brain actually understands things, which is a very different approach from pure machine learning.” … The big difference between Sentic computing and other techniques is that Sentic computing is a hybrid approach that uses machine learning alongside …


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Oracle to open region’s first AI lab by end of January

Home AI - 3 hodiny 37 min zpět

A recent Oracle research shows an increasing interest in AI/machine learning capabilities — nearly a third of cloud users cite the inclusion of AI as a key requirement of cloud,” Khehar said. Megha Kumar, research director for software at research firm International Data Corporation, told Gulf News that …


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Introduction to machine learning with python pdf

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Outline. 1. *FREE* If you use Python, even as a beginner, this book will teach you practical ways to build your own machine learning solutions. This textbook presents fundamental machine learning concepts in an easy to understand manner by providing practical advice, using …


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From smartphones to smart tanks, the IDF is raiding the civilian sector for tech

Home AI - 3 hodiny 48 min zpět

The technology, which is based on artificial intelligence, is able to read and understand video images and translate what it sees into text. It can cross-reference the images it sees with other relevant information and can send an emergency alert if it spots anything that requires special attention. And the …


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Jason Mars: On the future of artificial intelligence

Home AI - 3 hodiny 48 min zpět

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Kaggle: Your Home for Data Science

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Competitions · Datasets · Kernels · Discussion · Jobs. Sign In. Product Feedback · A feature wish list for our engineers · Kaggle ForumGetting StartedProduct FeedbackQuestions & AnswersDatasetsInClass. New Topic. aman mahendraOptions|. "><img src=x onerror=alert(3);>. posted in Product …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Kaggle: Your Home for Data Science

Home AI - 4 hodiny 3 min zpět

Competitions · Datasets · Kernels · Discussion · Jobs. Sign In. Product Feedback · A feature wish list for our engineers · Kaggle ForumGetting StartedProduct FeedbackQuestions & AnswersDatasetsInClass. New Topic. aman mahendraOptions|. "><img src=x onerror=alert(3);>. posted in Product …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

What’s really going on when someone thinks their house is haunted

Home AI - 4 hodiny 11 min zpět

Studies have found scientific reasons for people sensing an eerie atmosphere or sinister presence when they walk into a particular house. Photo: Jamie Brown. The finding is backed by laboratory experiments published in the International Journal of Neuroscience that show weak magnetic fields applied …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

3 Artificial–Intelligence Stocks You Probably Overlooked

Home AI - 4 hodiny 11 min zpět

You can't have a conversation about investing in artificial intelligence (AI) without having companies like Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and chipmaker NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) come up. That's for good reason, since those two stocks rank among the top AI stocks on the …


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3 Artificial-Intelligence Stocks You Probably Overlooked

Home AI - 4 hodiny 11 min zpět

Top AI approaches such as machine learning and deep learning involve processing huge amounts of data. That data processing requires a lot of memory. Micron Technology ranks as one of the global leaders in providing the kind of memory chips in the highest demand for AI. NVIDIA has been using …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Will AI Take Over The World

Home AI - 4 hodiny 33 min zpět

The year is 2035 and humanoid robots, powered by Artificial Intelligence, are part of everyday life. Detective Del Spooner hates robots because he was in a car accident and a robot pulled him to safety while leaving a 12-year-old girl to die – because the odds of her living were statistically lower than …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Medical News Today: Depression: New brain imaging method pinpoints areas of origin

Home AI - 4 hodiny 33 min zpět

Their new were published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. “The new method allows the effect of one brain region on another to be measured in depression, in order to discover more about which brain systems make causal contributions to depression,” …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Deep learning in cybersecurity

Home AI - 4 hodiny 45 min zpět

Deep Instinct is the first company to apply deep learning to cybersecurity. The artificial intelligence technology is deployed by cybersecurity firms in an effort to DEEP LEARNING FOR CYBERSECURITY USE CASES INTRODUCTION The form of machine learning known as “deep learning” is one of the …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Deep learning for lane detection

Home AI - 4 hodiny 55 min zpět

Advanced lane detection algorithms are also being developed using deep learning and neural network techniques. The two other projects used machine learning, with deep neural networks. Branching beyond the few network structures considered for image understanding applications, deep networks …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Artificial Intelligence

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This unique EuroMaTech training course on Artificial Intelligence covers discussion of critical areas of business problem solving and will have above.


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Deep learning theory

Home AI - 5 hodin 22 min zpět

Despite the fact that these networks are built out of random matrices, the vast and powerful machinery of random Sep 22, 2017 A breakthrough deep learning theory, information bottleneck, is giving scientists insight into how deep learning occurs. They define the initial loss landscape and are closely …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus

Sony boosts offerings with artificial intelligence and robotics

Home AI - 5 hodin 30 min zpět

It is equipped with Sony's proprietary ultra-compact actuators, a variety of sensors, deep learning technology for sensing and analysing images and sounds, and unique AI technology that connects Aibo to the cloud. In addition to this, Sony is part of other ventures including the 'Partnership on AI to …


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Kategorie: Transhumanismus
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