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Daniel Clery

2 months ago

Twisted device investigates fusion alternatives

More on Science

Sam Warain

Sam Warain

1 month ago

Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, foresees the next trillion-dollar AI company

“I think if I had time to do something else, I would be so excited to go after this company right now.”

Source: TechCrunch, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently discussed AI's present and future.

Open AI is important. They're creating the cyberpunk and sci-fi worlds.

They use the most advanced algorithms and data sets.

GPT-3...sound familiar? Open AI built most copyrighting software. Peppertype, Jasper AI, Rytr. If you've used any, you'll be shocked by the quality.

Open AI isn't only GPT-3. They created DallE-2 and Whisper (a speech recognition software released last week).

What will they do next? What's the next great chance?

Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently gave a lecture about the next trillion-dollar AI opportunity.

Who is the organization behind Open AI?

Open AI first. If you know, skip it.

Open AI is one of the earliest private AI startups. Elon Musk, Greg Brockman, and Rebekah Mercer established OpenAI in December 2015.

OpenAI has helped its citizens and AI since its birth.

They have scary-good algorithms.

Their GPT-3 natural language processing program is excellent.

The algorithm's exponential growth is astounding. GPT-2 came out in November 2019. May 2020 brought GPT-3.

Massive computation and datasets improved the technique in just a year. New York Times said GPT-3 could write like a human.

Same for Dall-E. Dall-E 2 was announced in April 2022. Dall-E 2 won a Colorado art contest.

Open AI's algorithms challenge jobs we thought required human innovation.

So what does Sam Altman think?

The Present Situation and AI's Limitations

During the interview, Sam states that we are still at the tip of the iceberg.

So I think so far, we’ve been in the realm where you can do an incredible copywriting business or you can do an education service or whatever. But I don’t think we’ve yet seen the people go after the trillion dollar take on Google.

He's right that AI can't generate net new human knowledge. It can train and synthesize vast amounts of knowledge, but it simply reproduces human work.

“It’s not going to cure cancer. It’s not going to add to the sum total of human scientific knowledge.”

But the key word is yet.

And that is what I think will turn out to be wrong that most surprises the current experts in the field.

Reinforcing his point that massive innovations are yet to come.

But where?

The Next $1 Trillion AI Company

Sam predicts a bio or genomic breakthrough.

There’s been some promising work in genomics, but stuff on a bench top hasn’t really impacted it. I think that’s going to change. And I think this is one of these areas where there will be these new $100 billion to $1 trillion companies started, and those areas are rare.

Avoid human trials since they take time. Bio-materials or simulators are suitable beginning points.

AI may have a breakthrough. DeepMind, an OpenAI competitor, has developed AlphaFold to predict protein 3D structures.

It could change how we see proteins and their function. AlphaFold could provide fresh understanding into how proteins work and diseases originate by revealing their structure. This could lead to Alzheimer's and cancer treatments. AlphaFold could speed up medication development by revealing how proteins interact with medicines.

Deep Mind offered 200 million protein structures for scientists to download (including sustainability, food insecurity, and neglected diseases).

Source: Deep Mind

Being in AI for 4+ years, I'm amazed at the progress. We're past the hype cycle, as evidenced by the collapse of AI startups like C3 AI, and have entered a productive phase.

We'll see innovative enterprises that could replace Google and other trillion-dollar companies.

What happens after AI adoption is scary and unpredictable. How will AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) affect us? Highly autonomous systems that exceed humans at valuable work (Open AI)

My guess is that the things that we’ll have to figure out are how we think about fairly distributing wealth, access to AGI systems, which will be the commodity of the realm, and governance, how we collectively decide what they can do, what they don’t do, things like that. And I think figuring out the answer to those questions is going to just be huge. — Sam Altman CEO

Laura Sanders

Laura Sanders

7 months ago

Xenobots, tiny living machines, can duplicate themselves.

Strange and complex behavior of frog cell blobs


A xenobot “parent,” shaped like a hungry Pac-Man (shown in red false color), created an “offspring” xenobot (green sphere) by gathering loose frog cells in its opening.

Tiny “living machines” made of frog cells can make copies of themselves. This newly discovered renewal mechanism may help create self-renewing biological machines.

According to Kirstin Petersen, an electrical and computer engineer at Cornell University who studies groups of robots, “this is an extremely exciting breakthrough.” She says self-replicating robots are a big step toward human-free systems.

Researchers described the behavior of xenobots earlier this year (SN: 3/31/21). Small clumps of skin stem cells from frog embryos knitted themselves into small spheres and started moving. Cilia, or cellular extensions, powered the xenobots around their lab dishes.

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Dec. 7. The xenobots can gather loose frog cells into spheres, which then form xenobots.
The researchers call this type of movement-induced reproduction kinematic self-replication. The study's coauthor, Douglas Blackiston of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and Harvard University, says this is typical. For example, sexual reproduction requires parental sperm and egg cells. Sometimes cells split or budded off from a parent.

“This is unique,” Blackiston says. These xenobots “find loose parts in the environment and cobble them together.” This second generation of xenobots can move like their parents, Blackiston says.
The researchers discovered that spheroid xenobots could only produce one more generation before dying out. The original xenobots' shape was predicted by an artificial intelligence program, allowing for four generations of replication.

A C shape, like an openmouthed Pac-Man, was predicted to be a more efficient progenitor. When improved xenobots were let loose in a dish, they began scooping up loose cells into their gaping “mouths,” forming more sphere-shaped bots (see image below). As many as 50 cells clumped together in the opening of a parent to form a mobile offspring. A xenobot is made up of 4,000–6,000 frog cells.

Petersen likes the Xenobots' small size. “The fact that they were able to do this at such a small scale just makes it even better,” she says. Miniature xenobots could sculpt tissues for implantation or deliver therapeutics inside the body.

Beyond the xenobots' potential jobs, the research advances an important science, says study coauthor and Tufts developmental biologist Michael Levin. The science of anticipating and controlling the outcomes of complex systems, he says.

“No one could have predicted this,” Levin says. “They regularly surprise us.” Researchers can use xenobots to test the unexpected. “This is about advancing the science of being less surprised,” Levin says.

Sara_Mednick

Sara_Mednick

3 months ago

Since I'm a scientist, I oppose biohacking

Understanding your own energy depletion and restoration is how to truly optimize

Photo: Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Hack has meant many bad things for centuries. In the 1800s, a hack was a meager horse used to transport goods.

Modern usage describes a butcher or ax murderer's cleaver chop. The 1980s programming boom distinguished elegant code from "hacks". Both got you to your goal, but the latter made any programmer cringe and mutter about changing the code. From this emerged the hacker trope, the friendless anti-villain living in a murky hovel lit by the computer monitor, eating junk food and breaking into databases to highlight security system failures or steal hotdog money.

Remember the 1995 movie, Hackers, in which a bunch of super cool programmers (said no one ever) get caught up in a plot to destroy the world and only teenybopper Angelina Jolie and her punk rock gang of nerd-bots can use their lightening quick typing skills to save the world? Remember public phones?

Now, start-a-billion-dollar-business-from-your-garage types have shifted their sights from app development to DIY biology, coining the term "bio-hack". This is a required keyword and meta tag for every fitness-related podcast, book, conference, app, or device.

Bio-hacking involves bypassing your body and mind's security systems to achieve a goal. Many biohackers' initial goals were reasonable, like lowering blood pressure and weight. Encouraged by their own progress, self-determination, and seemingly exquisite control of their biology, they aimed to outsmart aging and death to live 180 to 1000 years (summarized well in this vox.com article).

With this grandiose north star, the hunt for novel supplements and genetic engineering began.

Companies selling do-it-yourself biological manipulations cite lab studies in mice as proof of their safety and success in reversing age-related diseases or promoting longevity in humans (the goal changes depending on whether a company is talking to the federal government or private donors).

The FDA is slower than science, they say. Why not alter your biochemistry by buying pills online, editing your DNA with a CRISPR kit, or using a sauna delivered to your home? How about a microchip or electrical stimulator?

What could go wrong?


I'm not the neo-police, making citizen's arrests every time someone introduces a new plumbing gadget or extrapolates from animal research on resveratrol or catechins that we should drink more red wine or eat more chocolate. As a scientist who's spent her career asking, "Can we get better?" I've come to view bio-hacking as misguided, profit-driven, and counterproductive to its followers' goals.

We're creatures of nature. Despite all the new gadgets and bio-hacks, we still use Roman plumbing technology, and the best way to stay fit, sharp, and happy is to follow a recipe passed down since the beginning of time. Bacteria, plants, and all natural beings are rhythmic, with alternating periods of high activity and dormancy, whether measured in seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Nature repeats successful patterns.

During the Upstate, every cell in your body is naturally primed and pumped full of glycogen and ATP (your cells' energy currencies), as well as cortisol, which supports your muscles, heart, metabolism, cognitive prowess, emotional regulation, and general "get 'er done" attitude. This big energy release depletes your batteries and requires the Downstate, when your subsystems recharge at the cellular level.

Downstates are when you give your heart a break from pumping nutrient-rich blood through your body; when you give your metabolism a break from inflammation, oxidative stress, and sympathetic arousal caused by eating fast food — or just eating too fast; or when you give your mind a chance to wander, think bigger thoughts, and come up with new creative solutions. When you're responding to notifications, emails, and fires, you can't relax.

Every biological plant and animal is regulated by rhythms of energy-depleting Upstate and energy-restoring Downstates.

Downstates aren't just for consistently recharging your battery. By spending time in the Downstate, your body and brain get extra energy and nutrients, allowing you to grow smarter, faster, stronger, and more self-regulated. This state supports half-marathon training, exam prep, and mediation. As we age, spending more time in the Downstate is key to mental and physical health, well-being, and longevity.

When you prioritize energy-demanding activities during Upstate periods and energy-replenishing activities during Downstate periods, all your subsystems, including cardiovascular, metabolic, muscular, cognitive, and emotional, hum along at their optimal settings. When you synchronize the Upstates and Downstates of these individual rhythms, their functioning improves. A hard workout causes autonomic stress, which triggers Downstate recovery.

This zig-zag trajectory of performance improvement illustrates that getting better at anything in life isn’t a straight shot. The close-up box shows how prioritizing Downstate recovery after an Upstate exertion (e.g., hard workout) leads to RECOVERYPLUS. Image from The Power of the Downstate by Sara C. Mednick PhD.

By choosing the right timing and type of exercise during the day, you can ensure a deeper recovery and greater readiness for the next workout by working with your natural rhythms and strengthening your autonomic and sleep Downstates.

Morning cardio workouts increase deep sleep compared to afternoon workouts. Timing and type of meals determine when your sleep hormone melatonin is released, ushering in sleep.

Rhythm isn't a hack. It's not a way to cheat the system or the boss. Nature has honed its optimization wisdom over trillions of days and nights. Stop looking for quick fixes. You're a whole system made of smaller subsystems that must work together to function well. No one pill or subsystem will make it all work. Understanding and coordinating your rhythms is free, easy, and only benefits you.

Dr. Sara C. Mednick is a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Irvine and author of The Power of the Downstate (HachetteGO)

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Alex Mathers

Alex Mathers

21 days ago

12 habits of the zenith individuals I know

Follow Alex’s Instagram for his drawings and bonus ideas.

Calmness is a vital life skill.

It aids communication. It boosts creativity and performance.

I've studied calm people's habits for years. Commonalities:

Have mastered the art of self-humor.

Protectors take their job seriously, draining the room's energy.

They are fixated on positive pursuits like making cool things, building a strong physique, and having fun with others rather than on depressing influences like the news and gossip.

Every day, spend at least 20 minutes moving, whether it's walking, yoga, or lifting weights.

Discover ways to take pleasure in life's challenges.

Since perspective is malleable, they change their view.

Set your own needs first.

Stressed people neglect themselves and wonder why they struggle.

Prioritize self-care.

Don't ruin your life to please others.

Make something.

Calm people create more than react.

They love creating beautiful things—paintings, children, relationships, and projects.

Don’t hold their breath.

If you're stressed or angry, you may be surprised how much time you spend holding your breath and tightening your belly.

Release, breathe, and relax to find calm.

Stopped rushing.

Rushing is disadvantageous.

Calm people handle life better.

Are aware of their own dietary requirements.

They avoid junk food and eat foods that keep them healthy, happy, and calm.

Don’t take anything personally.

Stressed people control everything.

Self-conscious.

Calm people put others and their work first.

Keep their surroundings neat.

Maintaining an uplifting and clutter-free environment daily calms the mind.

Minimise negative people.

Calm people are ruthless with their boundaries and avoid negative and drama-prone people.

Sneaker News

Sneaker News

6 months ago

This Month Will See The Release Of Travis Scott x Nike Footwear

Following the catastrophes at Astroworld, Travis Scott was swiftly vilified by both media outlets and fans alike, and the names who had previously supported him were quickly abandoned. Nike, on the other hand, remained silent, only delaying the release of La Flame's planned collaborations, such as the Air Max 1 and Air Trainer 1, indefinitely. While some may believe it is too soon for the artist to return to the spotlight, the Swoosh has other ideas, as Nice Kicks reveals that these exact sneakers will be released in May.

Both the Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 and the Travis Scott x Nike Air Trainer 1 are set to come in two colorways this month. Tinker Hatfield's renowned runner will meet La Flame's "Baroque Brown" and "Saturn Gold" make-ups, which have been altered with backwards Swooshes and outdoors-themed webbing. The high-top trainer is being customized with Hatfield's "Wheat" and "Grey Haze" palettes, both of which include zippers across the heel, co-branded patches, and other details.

See below for a closer look at the four footwear. TravisScott.com is expected to release the shoes on May 20th, according to Nice Kicks. Following that, on May 27th, Nike SNKRS will release the shoe.

Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 "Baroque Brown"
Release Date: 2022
Color: Baroque Brown/Lemon Drop/Wheat/Chile Red
Mens: $160
Style Code: DO9392-200
Pre-School: $85
Style Code: DN4169-200
Infant & Toddler: $70
Style Code: DN4170-200

Travis Scott x Nike Air Max 1 "Saturn Gold"
Release Date: 2022
Color: N/A
Mens: $160
Style Code: DO9392-700

Travis Scott x Nike Air Trainer 1 "Wheat"
Restock Date: May 27th, 2022 (Friday)
Original Release Date: May 20th, 2022 (Friday)
Color: N/A
Mens: $140
Style Code: DR7515-200

Travis Scott x Nike Air Trainer 1 "Grey Haze"
Restock Date: May 27th, 2022 (Friday)
Original Release Date: May 20th, 2022 (Friday)
Color: N/A
Mens: $140
Style Code: DR7515-001

Ben Chino

Ben Chino

2 months ago

100-day SaaS buildout.

We're opening up Maki through a series of Medium posts. We'll describe what Maki is building and how. We'll explain how we built a SaaS in 100 days. This isn't a step-by-step guide to starting a business, but a product philosophy to help you build quickly.

Focus on end-users.

This may seem obvious, but it's important to talk to users first. When we started thinking about Maki, we interviewed 100 HR directors from SMBs, Next40 scale-ups, and major Enterprises to understand their concerns. We initially thought about the future of employment, but most of their worries centered on Recruitment. We don't have a clear recruiting process, it's time-consuming, we recruit clones, we don't support diversity, etc. And as hiring managers, we couldn't help but agree.

Co-create your product with your end-users.

We went to the drawing board, read as many books as possible (here, here, and here), and when we started getting a sense for a solution, we questioned 100 more operational HR specialists to corroborate the idea and get a feel for our potential answer. This confirmed our direction to help hire more objectively and efficiently.

Survey findings

Back to the drawing board, we designed our first flows and screens. We organized sessions with certain survey respondents to show them our early work and get comments. We got great input that helped us build Maki, and we met some consumers. Obsess about users and execute alongside them.

Using whiteboards

Don’t shoot for the moon, yet. Make pragmatic choices first.

Once we were convinced, we began building. To launch a SaaS in 100 days, we needed an operating principle that allowed us to accelerate while still providing a reliable, secure, scalable experience. We focused on adding value and outsourced everything else. Example:

Concentrate on adding value. Reuse existing bricks.

When determining which technology to use, we looked at our strengths and the future to see what would last. Node.js for backend, React for frontend, both with typescript. We thought this technique would scale well since it would attract more talent and the surrounding mature ecosystem would help us go quicker.

Maki's tech

We explored for ways to bootstrap services while setting down strong foundations that might support millions of users. We built our backend services on NestJS so we could extend into microservices later. Hasura, a GraphQL APIs engine, automates Postgres data exposing through a graphQL layer. MUI's ready-to-use components powered our design-system. We used well-maintained open-source projects to speed up certain tasks.

We outsourced important components of our platform (Auth0 for authentication, Stripe for billing, SendGrid for notifications) because, let's face it, we couldn't do better. We choose to host our complete infrastructure (SQL, Cloud run, Logs, Monitoring) on GCP to simplify our work between numerous providers.

Focus on your business, use existing bricks for the rest. For the curious, we'll shortly publish articles detailing each stage.

Most importantly, empower people and step back.

We couldn't have done this without the incredible people who have supported us from the start. Since Powership is one of our key values, we provided our staff the power to make autonomous decisions from day one. Because we believe our firm is its people, we hired smart builders and let them build.

Maki Camp 2 team

Nicolas left Spendesk to create scalable interfaces using react-router, react-queries, and MUI. JD joined Swile and chose Hasura as our GraphQL engine. Jérôme chose NestJS to build our backend services. Since then, Justin, Ben, Anas, Yann, Benoit, and others have followed suit.

If you consider your team a collective brain, you should let them make decisions instead of directing them what to do. You'll make mistakes, but you'll go faster and learn faster overall.

Invest in great talent and develop a strong culture from the start. Here's how to establish a SaaS in 100 days.