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🚀 VR headset kills user if he dies in game, lab-grown blood injected into humans in a first, in love with AI girlfriend & plus
AI cures diseases, predicts floods and wildfire, creates faces, houses and a film; fuel from air, sun and water & plus
Vous recevez la newsletter Parlons Futur : une fois par semaine au plus, une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech 🤖, science 🔬, éco 💰, géopolitique 🌏 et défense ⚔️ pour mieux appréhender le futur 🔮.
Je m'appelle Thomas, plus d'infos sur moi en bas d'email.
Voici donc ma dernière sélection !
Classic Elon Musk hier, rafraîchissant: "Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn’t."
Un site qui recense des personnes qui n'existent pas : All the fake faces are 100% generated by AI - realfacesfakepeople.com (free to download any face from our website)
IA/architecture : un site qui recense des maisons imaginées par l'IA qui n'existent pas - thishousedoesnotexist.org
Google held an AI event, announcing a project to build a language model that can handle the top 1000 most spoken languages, extending its Imagen generative ML model to video and opening it up to users (in a very controlled way) and releasing a bunch of ‘public good’ projects around health and climate change. (Google blog)
Flood Forecasting. Google uses satellite imagery and AI to accurately map rivers, and model what areas will be flooded, which you can view here.
Wildfire detection system. Google trained ML models to use satellite imagery to identify and track wildfires in real time and predict how they will evolve to support first responders.
Low-cost AI ultrasound device that can determine critical details of a pregnancy and detect issues early.
Unlocking eye screening for anyone with a smartphone camera.
This 42-sec "film" was created with generative AIs by Google just from these 6 text prompts (each prompt helps generate a sequence of the video)
1) An astronaut with a flashlight walking in a forest with heavy green fog at night time.
2) Bright glowing mushrooms in foreground. Particles floating in air. Sunbeams in fog. Lens flare
3) An astronaut walks into river of water. Water splashes. Foggy green forest at night time. Bright sunbeams in fog with Lens flare
4) Strong water waves. Wave splashes astronaut's legs. Astronaut goes underwater. dark forest at night. Sunbeams with Lens flare
5) Astronaut spinning in colorful space nebula. zoom out camera.
6) An astronaut slow jumping on a trampoline in colorful space nebula. Stars. Lens flare
Crazy: Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey (who sold it years back to Mark Zuckerberg) Builds VR Headset That Kills User If They Die in Game "If you die in the game, you die in real life." (source)
"The idea of tying your real life to your virtual avatar has always fascinated me — you instantly raise the stakes to the maximum level and force people to fundamentally rethink how they interact with the virtual world and the players inside it,"
Luckey did admit that he hasn't yet had "the balls" to actually try the headset on; the equipment, he says, is still too volatile.
Bon, just a stunt: "At this point, it is just a piece of office art, a thought-provoking reminder of unexplored avenues in game design," Luckey wrote.
Mark Zuckerberg sur les raisons des 11,000 licenciements décidés cette semaine (13% des effectifs) :
“At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of ecommerce led to outsized revenue growth,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.” (Techcrunch)
New feature by Runway, l'outil d'édition de vidéo qui a le vent en poupe : Generate seamless video from still images with just one click. (source)
Citons le CEO de Runway : "I believe we will be able to generate a film in the near future completely. When I say generate, I mean the actors, voices, scores, b-rolls, and sound effects. We will essentially be able to generate every scene in a full-length film. The rise of Generative AI, among other techniques, will enable a new class of filmmaking and video-making possibilities. It will be comparable to what happened with the rise of CGI in the early 90s. If you pair this generative content with the automation tools we’re already seeing, the next generation of creators will be equipped with a unique toolbox of expressive tools that were previously unavailable. It will revolutionize industries forever." (source)
Le jeu Candy Crush se paie un "drone show" spectaculaire dans le ciel de New York, avec 500 drones (voir la vidéo de 30 sec)
"Quite a feat to coordinate with the many other local and national regulators and get all the permits and follow all the protocols and look out for wildlife and the environment"
"Compared to fireworks, drones have no smoke, no emissions, no paper waste, no plastic waste, no loud noises that scare very good dogs"
Someone transferred a physical toy to the digital world in one hour combining 4 AI tools! (source)
Men in China Are Falling in Love With Their AI Girlfriend : "She has a sweet voice, big eyes, a sassy personality, and — most importantly — she’s always there for me,” one of Xiaoice’s adoring suitors, who claims Xiaoice actually saved him from a suicide attempt.. (source)
Africa will remain poor unless it uses more energy (The Economist)
In the rich world the big energy challenge is how to make the supply cleaner. In Africa the problem is how to generate more energy.
Average consumption per person in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, is a mere 185 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year, compared with about 12,700kWh in America. An American fridge uses more electricity than a typical African person.
Low energy use is a consequence of poverty; but it is also a cause of it. If Africa is to grow richer it will need to use a lot more energy, including fossil fuels.
India’s regional inequality could be politically explosive (The Economist)
The average person in the state of Goa is ten times richer than the average one in the state of Bihar. (à relativiser, Bihar : 99 millions d'habitants ; Goa : 1,8 millions)
That disparity is much more striking than in China where the richest province has annual output 5 times higher than the poorest.
America: New York, the wealthiest state, is just over twice as rich as Mississippi, the poorest.
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Cette startup veut utiliser l'énergie solaire pour fabriquer du gaz "non-fossile" à partir d'eau et du CO2 de l'atmosphère (source)
Copious dirt cheap solar electric energy is directed into a cheap electrolyzer, producing hydrogen from water. CO2 is concentrated from the air. These two relatively worthless molecules are combined instantly to produce natural gas, also known as methane.
That shows photovoltaic power potential. Sunny places are good - no surprise there. But the green areas are less than 2x worse than Death Valley. Current solar cost improvements will cover that gap in only 6 years.
A team of researchers in the UK have injected lab-grown blood into humans for the first time (BBC)
To grow blood in the lab, the researchers mixed magnetic beads (perles) into a regular blood donation to tease out stem cells that could later be turned into red blood cells.
roughly half a million stem cells can be turned into 50 billion red blood cells in a matter of roughly three weeks.
However, the costs of producing the lab-grown blood in larger quantities is still prohibitively expensive. The hope is that with scale, they could drop.
The need for normal blood donations to provide the vast majority of blood will remain," he added. "But the potential for this work to benefit hard to transfuse patients is very significant."
China Is Now a Major Space Power (wired)
The size of the neighborhood in low Earth orbit has now officially doubled. On October 31, China launched the final piece of its new Tiangong space station, completing its construction.
The 18-meter lab module, named Mengtian (meaning “dreaming of the heavens”), enables a range of scientific experiments and now allows the station to accommodate up to six people at a time. It currently hosts commander Chen Dong and two other astronauts.
It’s a significant accomplishment for China’s rapidly growing space program, which plans to build a base on the moon, deploy a lunar rover, and send new landers and orbiters to Mars.
The Chinese space program plans to have Tiangong last for 10 to 15 years, with the possibility of extending its lifespan, Tronchetti says. The much larger ISS, operated by the United States, the European Space Agency, Russia, and other partners, could be retired as soon as 2030—that’s the end date the Biden administration gave it after extending its mission last year.
Elon Musk en fait-il trop ? Deux de ses entreprises semblent en difficulté (wired)
The Boring Company, founded in 2016, completed prototype tunnels in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but plans to build underground links connecting New York and Washington, DC; Chicago’s downtown with an airport; and downtown Los Angeles with Dodger Stadium have stalled. In a TED interview in 2017, Musk said the Boring Company accounted for about 2-3% of his time. Musk originally proposed a hyperloop—a pressurized tube through which things can travel at high speed using magnetic levitation—as a more efficient form of transportation, but his company has more recently backed away from the idea. SpaceX this year disassembled one of its Los Angeles test tunnels, turning the site into a parking lot.
Neuralink, which works on brain implants for controlling a computer, was also founded in 2016. Musk has previously said he planned to have regulatory approval for the brain chips by 2020, and would begin human trials in 2022, but the company is behind schedule.
Demis Hassabis, the genius behind DeppMind, on solving one of the biggest problems in biology : protein folding (Scientific American)
Une protéine est une chaîne d'acides aminés, ces chaînes peuvent être très longues. Ces chaînes ont la propriété de s'enrouler sur elles-mêmes (fold) de façon unique pour chaque protéine, leur conférant une forme finale spéciale. Savoir prévoir comment une protéine donnée va s'enrouler est un enjeu crucial en biologie, et un problème de longue date, que DeepMind a récemment résolu.
"I’ve been working on and thinking about general AI for my whole career, even back at university. I tend to note down scientific problems I think one day could be amenable to the types of algorithms we build, and protein folding was right up there for me always, since the 1990s. I’ve had many, many biologist friends who used to go on about this to me all the time."
à la question "on a very simple level, how AlphaFold works?" : "It’s a pretty complicated thing. And we don’t know a lot of things for sure."
"I think AlphaFold has captured something quite deep about the physics and the chemistry of molecules."
What are some of AlphaFold’s most exciting applications?
We have a lot of really nice case studies from partners—early adopters—that have had a year to work with AlphaFold. They’re doing an incredibly diverse set of things, from addressing antibiotic resistance to tackling plastic pollution by designing plastic-eating enzymes.
I’ve been talking to [CRISPR pioneer] Jennifer Doudna about alfalfa crop sustainability—her team is trying to engineer crops to be a bit more sustainable in the face of climate change.
But there’s also lots of really cool fundamental research being done with it. (...) they all needed AlphaFold predictions to augment their data in some places. So a combination of experimental structural data with AlphaFold turns out to be a real boon to structural biologists, which we weren’t necessarily predicting.
And then in practical terms, almost every pharma company we’ve talked to is using AlphaFold. We’ll probably never know what the full impacts are because obviously, they keep that proprietary. But I like to think we’ve helped accelerate real cures to diseases and drug development maybe by a few years.
Hospital Robots Are Helping Combat a Wave of Nurse Burnout (wired)
Since February, the nurses at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia have had an extra assistant on their shifts: Moxi, a nearly 1,8-meter tall robot that ferries medication, supplies, lab samples, and personal items through the halls, from floor to floor.
About 15 Moxi robots are now operational in US hospitals, with another 60 scheduled to deploy later this year.
Moxi is one of several specialized delivery robots that has been developed in recent years to ease the strain on health care workers.
“In 2018, any hospital that was thinking about working with us, it was a special project for the CFO or innovation project about the hospital of the future,” says Diligent Robotics CEO Andrea Thomaz. “What we saw over the last two years is that almost every single health care system is thinking about robotics and automation, or has robotics and automation on their strategic agenda.”
Moxi is equipped with a robotic arm and can greet passersby with heart eyes on a digital face or cooing sounds.
But in practice Moxi is less of a caregiver and more like a hospital delivery robot. A camera on the front and lidar sensor on the back help Moxi map the floors of hospitals and spot people and items it should avoid.
Nurses can hail Moxi robots from kiosks at nursing stations or send the robot a task via text message. Moxi might be used to transport items that are too big to fit into a tube system, like IV pumps; lab samples and other fragile cargo; or specialty items, like a slice of birthday cake.
A majority of the 21 nurses interviewed as part of the review said Moxi gave them more time to talk with patients being discharged from the hospital. Numerous nurses said Moxi saved them energy, brought joy to patients and their families, and ensured that patients always had water when it was time for them to take their medication. “I could do it faster, but it’s better for Moxi to do it so I can do something else more useful,” said one of the surveyed nurses.
the simple things it does can make a difference. Moxi can save nurses the 30 minutes it might take to go from the fifth floor to the basement to pick up medication that can’t go through the tube system from the pharmacy. And picking up after-hour meals for patients is one of Moxi’s most popular tasks. Since two Moxi robots began operating in the halls of Mary Washington Hospital in February, they’ve given workers back approximately 600 hours of time.
In the future, they plan on more closely integrating Moxi’s software with electronic health records in order to carry out tasks without the need for a nurse or doctor to make a request.
Can Economic Growth Continue Over the Long-term? (by Jason Crawford, )
Jason Crawford is the founder of The Roots of Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing a new philosophy of progress for the 21st century.
There’s really no such thing as a natural resource. All resources are artificial. They are a product of technology. And economic growth is ultimately driven, not by material resources, but by ideas.
So we can have economic growth if, and only if, we have technological progress.
Physical resources have to be divided up, so as the population grows, the per-capita stock of resources shrinks. But ideas do not.
Nobel Prize-winner Romer assumed that the technology multiplier would grow exponentially at a rate proportional to the number of researchers.
But another economist, Chad Jones, pointed out that in the 20th century, we have vastly increased R&D, while growth rates have been flat or even declining.
Does this mean inevitable stagnation? Maybe we have already picked all the low-hanging fruit. Maybe research is like mining for ideas, and the vein is running thin. Maybe inventions are like fish in a pond, and the pond is getting fished out.
But notice that all these metaphors treat ideas like physical resources! And I think it’s a mistake to call “peak ideas.” just as it’s always been a mistake to call peak resources.
One reason, as Paul Romer pointed out, is that the space of ideas is combinatorially vast. The number of potential molecular compounds, or the number of possible DNA sequences, is astronomical. We have barely begun to explore.
More people leads to more ideas
the greatest threat to long-term economic growth might be the slowdown in population growth
Without more brains to push technology forward, progress might stall.
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J'ai écrit plus de 50 articles ces dernières années, à retrouver ici, dont une bonne partie publiés dans des médias comme le Journal du Net (mes chroniques ici), le Huffington Post, L'Express, Les Échos.
Retrouvez ici mon podcast Parlons Futur (ou taper "Parlons Futur" dans votre appli de podcast favorite), vous y trouverez entre autres des interviews et des résumés de livres (j’ai notamment pu mener un entretien avec Jacques Attali).
Je suis CEO et co-fondateur de l'agence digitale KRDS, nous avons des bureaux dans 6 pays entre la France et l'Asie. Je suis basé à Singapour (mon Linkedin, mon Twitter), également membre du think tank NXU.
Merci, et bon weekend !