AI

Elon Musk, Others Fund $1B Non-Profit To Advance AI Research, Ethics (openai.com) 56

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, and many others (including this widely run Reuters story), a heavily backed non-profit group called OpenAI on Friday introduced itself and its utopian-sounding goals of open sourcing a great deal of AI research and, as The Verge puts it, "to stop AI from ruining the world." Elon Musk and Peter Thiel are two of the backers, along with Y-combinator president Sam Altman and other Silicon Valley luminaries, so the group starts out with a war chest big enough to support a wide range of research -- a billion dollars. According to the Wall Street Journal, The idea for OpenAI crystallized last summer as a result of ongoing discussions between Mr. Musk and Mr. Altman over the future of AI. Mr. Musk has warned in the past that the future of the Earth is at risk if AI develops in the wrong ways. Tesla, one of the companies he leads, is adding autonomous capabilities to its cars that require AI technology such as image recognition. ... OpenAI intends to collaborate with the academic and for-profit worlds, but it also wants to give researchers the freedom to pursue lines of enquiry without pressure to achieve an immediate pay-off. “Our focus is not only doing the right thing for today, but also doing the right thing for 50 years from now,” Mr. Brockman said.
Medicine

Cancer Patient Receives 3D-Printed Titanium Sternum and Ribs 38

An anonymous reader writes: A Spanish cancer patient diagnosed with chest wall sarcoma has received the world's first 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage. Anatomics, an Australian medical device company, designed and manufactured the metal rib cage. Cnet reports: "Once printed, finished and polished, the implant was couriered to the Salamanca University Hospital, where it was implanted into the patient's chest. It has now been two weeks since the surgery, and the patient has been discharged is recovering well."
Technology

MIT Researchers Can Take Your Pulse, Right Through the Walls 125

An anonymous reader writes MIT researchers develop technology that can monitor people's breathing and heart rate through walls. 'Their latest report demonstrates that they can now detect gestures as subtle as the rise and fall of a person's chest. From that, they can determine a person's heart rate with 99 percent accuracy. The research could be used for health-tracking apps, baby monitors, and for the military and law enforcement.' The report describes how they extended their through-wall technology to up to five users and how they track vital signs.

GDC: LucasArts and The Force Unleashed 54

With the title of 'Next Generation GamePlay in Service of Story and Characters', LucasArts had a lot of ground to cover Thursday morning. Their new technologies have been well received, and the developers and journalists in the room were anticipating details on the over-the-top effects we've seen from The Force Unleashed. From a technical standpoint, Haden Blackman's talk fully delivered. Read on for my notes from this fascinating look at the point where storytelling and physics meet.

Excerpt from Kessler's 'The End of Medicine' 116

The same technology and silicon and 3D algorithms we play around with every day are about to invade medicine. The following is an excerpt from Andy Kessler's new book, The End of Medicine: How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor.
News

'I Was a Human Crash-Test Dummy' 71

kris writes "Salon.com has a gross story titled I was a human crash test dummy about a professor who gave his body for human impact-survival research -- and lived to tell the tale. 'We needed some information on what the human body could stand." This is what retired Wayne State University biomechanics professor Lawrence M. Patrick will tell you if you ask him why he agreed to be slammed in the chest by a 22-pound metal pendulum, to hurl one knee repeatedly against a metal bar outfitted with a load cell and to undertake some 400 rides on a rapid-deceleration sled that mimics the effects of a car crashing head-on into a wall. From 1960 to 1975, Lawrence Patrick was a human crash-test dummy.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Uncle Robin's Advice for Lovelorn Geeks 766

"How do I find a woman like her?" I often get asked this question by young computer dudes who meet my lovely wife, Debbie, and wonder how an old ugly guy like me managed to get hold of such a wonderful woman while smarter, studlier young guys (like them) seem to strike out with every female they meet. These lonely youngsters all seem to think I must have a set of magic rules for attracting females. And guess what? I do. Click "Read More" and I'll share them with you.
The Internet

Is The Net About to Transform Politics? 172

Pundits in media and politics are already going into overdrive hyping 2000 as the year in which the Net will crash into the American political system like a tidal wave.

It's not going to happen. Washington is the last holdout against the wall-busting power of the Net. They'll go kicking and screaming, but not next year.

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