Head transplants, dead colonists, and the AI hive mind...
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Hello, carbon-based lifeforms!

Head transplants and brain implants

Howdy folks,

How's everyone doing? Enjoying the small talk? Cool cool cool. 

I was thinking about head transplants this morning. Way back when I was an intern at TNW I wrote about Sergio Canavero, a scientist hellbent on being the first person to successfully perform one.

Canavero insisted he'd pull off the transplant in 2019. After that deadline passed, and he didn't, he reportedly moved to China to continue his work. It's unclear if there's a new target date set yet... and why are even indulging this crap? 

Even the brightest, most optimistic expert projections put the technology required to make it possible to re-fuse the spinal cord together after a total severance at least a decade away.

Canavero's been called a "quack" by more than one expert and it appears he's generally viewed as an outcast in the medical community. 

But what if Canavero were a tech mogul or the heir to a business empire? What if, when he started out, he'd had millions to spend on marketing and fundraising efforts, VCs on speed dial, and the social media acumen of Elon Musk?  

Neuralink's building an invasive brain computer interface for healthy people and Facebook's conducting AI-powered psychological experiments on billions of unwitting people at a time. 

If Canavero can figure out a way to incorporate NFTs, Dogecoin, the blockchain, or advanced machine learning into his pitch for choppin' n' swappin' noggins, he'll probably end up as the chief scientist and head chopper off-er for a company that makes chatbots or something. 

Anyhooo... here's 5 really scary things about the future of AI that The Terminator movies didn't prepare you for. 

Tales from the arXiv archives

One algorithm to lead them all

Last week, I talked about Stanford's study on foundational algorithms. 

Now, I'd like to move forward by going backwards.

In 2019, researcher Daniel Buehrer published a pre-print paper called "A Mathematical Framework for Superintelligent Machines." 

This work posited a new class calculus capable of providing the platform through which a master algorithm could emerge. 

At the time, Buehrer appeared to believe we were within a year of this emergence. But, the best thing about lofty predictions for ambitious ideas is that they can always be "a year away." 

You can read our take here on Neural, and the original paper here on arXiv. 

What we’re writing


So you want to live on Mars eh? Good luck. You’ll probably die a horrific death Lol, don't forget to bring a towel


I can’t believe I have to say this: GPT-3 can’t channel dead people GPT-3 = not people, Soylent green = people


Scientists discover mysterious 'quantum pressure' emanating from a black hole Well, this quite changes the gravity of the situation


Scientists want to cure elephant herpes so woolly mammoths can stop climate change cringe


Researchers lay the groundwork for an AI hive mind Resistance is obligatorily futile


Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous review – I keep rolling, rolling, rolling Nothing AI-related here, just a review of a game I'm really enjoying

What we’re reading


Military intel officials highlight efforts to counter online disinformation (NextGov)


West shouldn’t misinterpret or overstate Beijing’s new tech regulations, ex-Google China exec says (CNBC)


Ghosts in the machine learning pipeline will be impossible to exorcise (The Register)

Sponsored by TNW

Neural is taking the stage at TNW Conference

Yes, Neural covers AI and quantum computing but we're so much more! We’ve got one eye on big tech, one on the startup scene, and a third robotic eye focused on politics and government policy.

And that’s exactly why we’re proud to introduce Neural at TNW Conference, featuring an amazing speaker list with people who work and create in a variety of domains.

From Unity’s Danny Lange – a legend in the gaming industry – to Shopify’s Ella Hilal, we’re hosting some of the AI/ML community’s most important thinkers. And, as a technology journalist, I can’t wait to see and hear what Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, the CEO and publisher of MIT’s Technology Review, has to say.

Come see them virtually or in person at our two-day tech festival on Sept 30 and Oct 1.

Something profound from the internet

A fantastic thread about how things really work:


Our favorite AI video of the week

Here's an excellent interview from Bloomberg with Kai-Fu Lee, a world-renowned AI expert who once made a wager that would have involved him having to eat 1, 000,000 Tesla robotaxis if he lost. Legen-wait-for-it-dary!

Click the pic below to watch on YouTube:


Well, bye

Do you think we're more likely to perform a human-to-human head transplant or put a human brain in a machine body first? 

Let me know on Twitter: @mrgreene1977




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