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Nov 30, 2023

OpenAI Gives Employees Extra Month to Opt Into Plan to Sell Shares

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

OpenAI tender offer is on — allowing employees to sell shares, and they have until 1/5 to opt in.

OpenAI is sticking with a plan to let employees sell shares in the company through what’s known as a tender offer, and it’s giving would-be participants an extra month to decide whether to take part, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

OpenAI had been in talks to sell shares in a deal that would value the artificial intelligence pioneer at $86 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg in October. But concerns it might not proceed as planned emerged earlier this month amid the turmoil that led to the firing — then quick re-hiring — of Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman.

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Nov 30, 2023

Anthrobots: Tiny Biobots From Human Cells Heal Neurons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, robotics/AI

Summary: Researchers developed ‘Anthrobots,’ microscopic biological robots made from human tracheal cells, demonstrating potential in healing and regenerative medicine.

These self-assembling multicellular robots, ranging from hair-width to pencil-point size, show remarkable healing effects, particularly in neuron growth across damaged areas in lab conditions.

Building on earlier Xenobot research, this study reveals that Anthrobots can be created from adult human cells without genetic modification, offering a new approach to patient-specific therapeutic tools.

Nov 30, 2023

Collecting debris in outer space

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

Old rocket parts, broken satellites, lost screws and other space debris have been floating near Earth’s orbit for more than 50 years. Innovative solutions are needed to remedy this dangerous situation.

Nov 30, 2023

Solar maximum: Why April’s total Solar Eclipse will bring unique views of the sun’s corona

Posted by in category: futurism

With the solar cycle set to peak earlier than predicted, the sun’s corona should look its spectacular spiky best for April 8’s total solar eclipse.

Nov 30, 2023

Firefly conducts first Miranda engine test

Posted by in category: space travel

WASHINGTON — Firefly Aerospace has conducted the first hot-fire test of a new engine that will power the company’s future launch vehicles.

Firefly announced Nov. 28 that it conducted the test of its Miranda engine at the company’s Texas test site. A company spokesperson said the test, performed at 65% power, was designed to validate the engine’s startup sequence.

The company plans to work its way up to a full-duration test in the coming months, running the engine for 206 seconds. Miranda uses liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants, generating 230,000 pounds-force of thrust.

Nov 30, 2023

Tesla Cybertruck delivery event: everything Elon revealed about the EV pickup

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, media & arts, sustainability, transportation

With dubstep as the soundtrack and neon lighting as the backdrop, Elon Musk handed the first Cybertrucks over to a select group of customers that included Reddit co-founder and VC fund Seven Seven Six founder Alexis Ohanian and Trousdale Ventures founder and CEO Phillip Sarofim.

The live streamed portion of the Tesla Cybertruck delivery event was a short affair — around 30 minutes. But the event still had all the traditional trappings one has come to expect from Tesla: the pomp and pumpy music, VIP guests and of course, Musk.

The Tesla Cybertruck deliveries come at least six years since Musk first tweeted about building a truck and four years since he debuted the futuristic-looking pickup.

Nov 30, 2023

Could theropod dinosaurs have evolved to a human level of intelligence?

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

Noting that some theropod dinosaurs had large brains, large grasping hands, and likely binocular vision, paleontologist Dale Russell suggested that a branch of these dinosaurs might have evolved to a human intelligence level, had dinosaurs not become extinct. I offer reasons why the likely pallial organization in dinosaurs would have made this improbable, based on four assumptions. First, it is assumed that achieving human intelligence requires evolving an equivalent of the about 200 functionally specialized cortical areas characteristic of humans. Second, it is assumed that dinosaurs had an avian nuclear type of pallial organization, in contrast to the mammalian cortical organization. Third, it is assumed that the interactions between the different neuron types making up an information processing unit within pallium are critical to its role in analyzing information. Finally, it is assumed that increasing axonal length between the neuron sets carrying out this operation impairs its efficacy. Based on these assumptions, I present two main reasons why dinosaur pallium might have been unable to add the equivalent of 200 efficiently functioning cortical areas. First, a nuclear pattern of pallial organization would require increasing distances between the neuron groups corresponding to the separate layers of any given mammalian cortical area, as more sets of nuclei equivalent to a cortical area are interposed between the existing sets, increasing axon length and thereby impairing processing efficiency. Second, because of its nuclear organization, dinosaur pallium could not reduce axon length by folding to bring adjacent areas closer together, as occurs in cerebral cortex.

Keywords: avian brain; axonal length; connectivity; dinosaur evolution; humans; intelligence; troodon.

© 2023 The Authors. The Journal of Comparative Neurology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Nov 30, 2023

Breakthrough in Quantum Storage of Entangled Photons May Usher Age of Solid State-based Quantum Networks

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

Chinese researchers report the successful quantum storage of entangled photons at telecom wavelengths within a crystal, in a breakthrough achievement that reportedly lasted 387 times longer than past similar experiments.

The research team, based at Nanjing University, says their findings could potentially “pave the way for realizing quantum networks based on solid-state devices.”

The Coming Quantum Internet

Nov 30, 2023

Alibaba Shuts Down its Quantum Computing Effort

Posted by in categories: business, quantum physics, robotics/AI

In case you missed it, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has shut down its quantum computing research effort. It’s not entirely clear what drove the change. Reuters’ reported earlier this week that Alibaba “cut a quantum computing laboratory and team from its research arm, donating both the lab and related experimental equipment to Zhejiang University.”

Alibaba was a relatively early entrant among giant e-commerce/cloud providers into quantum computing research, placing the effort in its Alibaba’s DAMO Academy research organization. There are reports it had invested on the order of $15 billion in the effort. According to the Reuters report, about 30 employees are being released with and effort under way to find positions for them at Zhejiang.

Rather than being tied to specific issues with the quantum research, the prevailing opinion seems to be that the quantum work was caught in the larger turmoil surrounding Alibaba and its ongoing reorganization. The company said its DAMO organization will deepen its work on AI and machining learning research which may be able to have a nearer-term impact on Alibaba’s business.

Nov 30, 2023

These ‘anthrobots’ created from human cells are healing neurons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

The researchers are excited by the potential of how cells cooperate and communicate in the body and how they can be reprogrammed to create new structures and functions.

With the help of Simon Garnier at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the team characterized the different types of Anthrobots that were produced.

They observed that bots fell into a few discrete categories of shape and movement, ranging in size from 30 to 500 micrometers (from the thickness of a human hair to the point of a sharpened pencil), filling an important niche between nanotechnology and larger engineered devices.

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