Turing test with walking android robots – can it fool 90% of human observers? Figure just unveiled an AI-powered humanoid

Figure 01 is a bipedal, AI-powered humanoid. And it wants to work in a warehouse.


Key to Figure’s robotics approach is its reliance on artificial intelligence to enable its robots to learn and improve their abilities. As movements and performance evolves, the robots can progress from basic lifting and carrying tasks to more advanced functions. That work will start out in the warehouse setting, doing the kind of heavy lifting that people don’t particularly enjoy.


“Our business plan is to get to revenue as fast as we can. And honestly that means doing things that are technically easier,” says Figure founder Brett Adcock.


Single-purpose robots are already common in warehouses, like the roving robots that carry boxes to shelves in Amazon fulfillment centers, and a robot created for DHL Supply Chain that unloads boxes from trucks at warehouse loading bays. Human-like robots could be a more versatile solution for the warehouse, Adcock says. Instead of relying on one robot to unload a truck and another to haul boxes around, Figure’s plan is to create a robot that can do almost anything a human worker otherwise would.


In some ways, it’s a narrower approach to the humanoid robot, which many other companies have sought to build. Honda’s Asimo was intended to help a range of users, from people with limited mobility to older folks needing full-time care. NASA has invested in humanoid “robonauts” that are capable of assisting with missions in space. Boston Dynamics has pushed the limits of robotics by creating humanoids that can jump and flip.


“Existing humanoids today have just been stunts and demos,” Adcock says. “We want to get away from that and show that they can be really useful.” Figure has produced five prototypes of its humanoid. They’re designed to have 25 degrees of motion, including the ability to bend over fully at the waist and lift a box from the ground up to a high shelf. Hands will add even more flexibility and utility. That is the plan, at least. Right now, the prototype robots are mainly just walking.


Adcock expects to conduct extensive testing and refinement in the coming months, getting the robots to the point where they can handle most general warehouse applications by the end of the year. A pilot of 50 robots working in a real warehouse setting is being eyed for 2024. “Hardware companies take time,” he says. “This will take 20 or 30 years for us to really build out.”

With a reflective featureless face mask that may remind some viewers of a character from G.I. Joe, Figure 01 is a sleeker vision of the humanoid robots people may now be familiar with. Atlas, the walking, jumping, and parkour-enabled robot from the research wing of Boston Dynamics, for example, has prioritized mechanical skills over aesthetics.


Figure’s robot bears some similarity to Tesla’s Optimus robot. Announced in 2021 during a presentation featuring a human in a spandex robot suit, Optimus also aspires to a smoother form but its latest prototype looks more science science than science fiction. Adcock says Figure’s robots use advanced electric motors, enabling smoother movement than the hydraulically run Atlas, which is allowing the prototypes to have a more natural gait while also fitting the mechanical systems into a smaller package. “We want to fool like 90% of people in a walking Turing test,” he says.


The concept is being built around the notion that the robot can be continually improved over time, learning new skills and eventually expanding into more complex tasks. Being able to do more, Adcock says, makes what could be a very expensive device much more affordable to build and buy. That could someday lead to Figure’s robots working in manufacturing, retail, home care, or even outer space. “I really believe that humanoids will colonize planets,” Adcock says.


For now, Figure is targeting the humble warehouse. “If we unveil the humanoid at some big event, it’ll just be doing warehouse work on stage the whole time,” Adcock says. “No back flips, none of that crazy parkour stuff. We just want to do real, practical work.”

Read the full article at: www.fastcompany.com

Start preparing for “THE SINGULARITY” – it will be here soon enough…

The Singularity, often referred to as the Technological Singularity, is a hypothetical point in the near future at which artificial intelligence (AI) becomes so incredibly advanced that it surpasses human intelligence, leading to rapid, unforeseeable changes in society and technology, life as we know it. The term was popularized by mathematician and computer scientist Vernor Vinge and futurist Ray Kurzweil.


At the Singularity, AI systems would possess the ability to autonomously learn, self-improve, and create new AI systems with very advanced capabilities and more intelligent than themselves, resulting in an exponential increase in intelligence. This self-improvement cycle could lead to AI systems that are vastly more capable and sophisticated than human minds and anything humans can even imagine.


The Singularity is often associated with the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which is an AI system that can perform any intellectual task that a human being can do. AGI is distinct from narrow AI, which is designed for specific tasks and lacks the broad cognitive abilities and adaptability of human intelligence.


The implications of the Singularity are the subject of much speculation and debate today. Most people who have thought about it agree that the Singularity would be a decisive turning point in human history. Some view this with awe and trepidation, almost like a religious event that will lead to everlasting life and happiness. Many believe it will bring about tremendous breakthroughs in medicine, energy, and space exploration. Others are more cautious, expressing concerns about the ethical, societal, and existential risks associated with super-intelligent AI systems. Some predict doom and gloom. Others think it is all but impossible.



Predicting the Singularity Start Date

The general caveat to this question given by all experts is that predicting when the Singularity might occur is highly uncertain, as it depends on the pace of AI research, breakthroughs in understanding human cognition, and the development of advanced hardware and software systems. Still, ChatGPT-4 has predicted a 5%-10% chance that the singularity will happen within five years, 2028.  Chat GPT-4 did so without knowledge of what has happened since September 2021, when it was last fed data.


We know what has happened since September 2021, we know the pace of change, even though the ChatGPT model does not. We know that when ChatGPT-3.5 was released in November 2022, it scored in the bottom 10% of the multi-state Bar exam. But just five months later, when 4.0 was released in March 2023, it scored in the top 10%. Let that sink in and remember no new data was provided. There was only improvement in reasoning ability. As lawyers who have all taken this test, we know better than anyone the significance of a jump from the bottom to the top 10% of this challenging test. Yes, it is getting pretty smart, fast. How much longer until its intelligence exceeds our own?


Opportunities and Challenges Presented by the Singularity

The three opportunities listed here, all good, are generally thought to be possible in a time of technological Singularity, a time where AI intelligence and capacities accelerate at an exponential rate.

  1. Accelerated Technological Progress: The Singularity could lead to rapid advancements in various fields, as super-intelligent AI systems develop new technologies and solve complex problems that were previously beyond human reach.
  2. Economic Growth: With Ai systems handling tasks more efficiently and effectively than humans, productivity and economic growth could increase dramatically, potentially leading to higher standards of living and reduced global inequality.
  3. Scientific Discoveries: The Singularity might enable breakthroughs in areas such as healthcare, environmental sustainability, and space exploration, as Ai systems analyze vast amounts of data, simulate complex phenomena, and generate innovative solutions to pressing challenges.


Conversely, as usual, their is a flip side to opportunities, the generally accepted challenges, some might say threats, presented by the Singularity:

  1. Ethical Concerns: As Ai systems surpass human intelligence, ethical considerations become paramount. Ensuring that Ai systems behave ethically, adhere to human values, and respect individual rights will be crucial.
  2. Job Displacement: The widespread adoption of super-intelligent Ai systems could result in job displacement across various industries, as human workers are replaced by more efficient Ai. This raises concerns about unemployment, workforce retraining, and social safety nets.
  3. Existential Risks: The Singularity poses potential existential risks, as super-intelligent Ai might act in ways that are harmful to humanity, either intentionally or unintentionally. Ensuring Ai safety and robustness is essential to mitigate these risks.

Read the full article at: e-discoveryteam.com

Alan’s conservative countdown to AGI – We are 50% there…

AI reports by Dr Thompson
Cited: NBER AI report for US Government
The ChatGPT Prompt Book
Roadmap: AI’s next big steps…
Google Pathways: An Exploration…
Use cases for large language models…
What’s in my AI? Analysis of Datasets…
The rising tide lifting all boats
Irrelevance of intelligence


Annual AI retrospectives
The sky is infinite (2022 AI retrospective)
The sky is bigger… (mid-2022 AI)
The sky is on fire (2021 AI retrospective)


AI models
Google DeepMind Gemini
Snapchat My AI
Fudan MOSS
Google Bard
The GPT-3 Family: 50+ Models
Microsoft Bing Chat (Sydney)
Anthropic RL-CAI 52B
DeepMind Sparrow
Chinchilla scaling laws
Google Pathways


AI overview
The Gap: Waiting for the AI time lag
The AI Alignment Problem
AI: The Great Flood
GPT-3.5 and Raven’s
Talk to GPT
Large language models
AI report card
AI + IQ testing
Life-changing AI
Books written by AI
AI art
AI + the human brain
Learn more about AI


AI video
Una AI
Leta AI
GPT-3 vs IBM Watson
Aurora AI
Zhibing Hua AI (China)


AI media
Alan talks to ABC
AI is outperforming humans
AI fire alarm
AI sound bites


AI theory
The Who Moved My Cheese? AI awards!
Dr Ilya Sutskever
Dr Ray Kurzweil
Mocking AI panic
Arguments about AI
Why does AI make you so angry?
AI + economics
AI + ethics
AI + prompt crafting
AI + spirituality
AI timeline
AI papers
Connor Leahy
Quotes about AI
Marvin Minsky
AI definitions
Get The Memo (w/ MIT, Meta, IBM, Tesla)

Read the full article at: lifearchitect.ai

Human or not? Sam Altman’s Worldcoin is betting the next big thing in AI is proving you are indeed human

Fake virtual identities are nothing new. The ability to so easily create them has been both a boon for social media platforms — more “users” — and a scourge, tied as they are to the spread of conspiracy theories, distorted discourse and other societal ills.

Still, Twitter bots are nothing compared with what the world is about to experience, as any time spent with ChatGPT illustrates. Flash forward a few years and it will be impossible to know if someone is communicating with another mortal or a neural network.

Sam Altman knows this. Altman is the co-founder and the CEO of ChatGPT parent OpenAI and has long had more visibility than most into what’s around the corner. It’s why more than three years ago, he conceived of a new company that could serve first and foremost as proof-of-personhood. Called Worldcoin, its three-part mission — to create a global ID, a global currency and an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers using its own token, along with other digital assets and traditional currencies — is as ambitious as it is technically complicated, but the opportunity is also vast.

In broad strokes, here’s how the outfit, still in beta and based in San Francisco and Berlin, works: To use the service, users must download its app, then have their iris scanned using a silver, melon-sized orb that houses a custom optical system. Once the scan is complete, the individual is added to a database of verified humans, and Worldcoin creates a unique cryptographic “hash” or equation that’s tied to that real person. The scan isn’t saved, but the hash can be used in the future to prove the person’s identity anonymously through the app, which includes a private key that links to a shareable public key. Because the system is designed to verify that a person is actually a unique individual, if the person wants to accept a payment or fund a specific project, the app generates a “zero-knowledge proof” — or mathematical equation — that allows the individual to provide only the necessary amount of information to a third party. Some day, the technology might even help people to vote on how AI should be governed. (A piece in the outlet IEEE Spectrum better spells out the specifics of Worldcoin’s tech.)

Investors eager to be in business with Altman jumped at the chance to fund the outfit almost as soon as it was imagined, with Andreessen Horowitz, Variant, Khosla Ventures, Coinbase and Tiger Global providing it with $125.5 million. But the public has been more wary. When in June 2021, Bloomberg reported that Altman was at work on Worldcoin, many questioned its promise to give one share of its new digital currency to everyone who agreed to an iris scan. Worldcoin said it needed to be decentralized from the outset so it could deliver future currency drops as part of universal basic income programs. (Altman has long predicted that AI will generate enough wealth to pay every adult some amount of money each year.) From Worldcoin’s perspective, the crypto piece was necessary. Yet some quickly deemed it another crypto scam, while others questioned whether a nascent startup collecting biometric data could truly secure its participants’ privacy.

Altman later said the press owed to a “leak” and that Worldcoin wasn’t ready to tell its story in 2021. Now, reorganized under a new parent organization called Tools for Humanity that calls itself both a research lab and product company, the outfit is sharing more details. Whether they’ll be enough to win over users is an open question, but certainly, more people now understand why proving personhood online is about to become essential.

Read the full article at: techcrunch.com

Traces from the past: scientists recover intact ancient human DNA from a 20,000 year-old pendant

An international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has for the first time successfully isolated ancient human DNA from a Paleolithic artefact: a pierced deer tooth discovered in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. To preserve the integrity of the artefact, they developed a new, nondestructive method for isolating DNA from ancient bones and teeth. From the DNA retrieved they were able to reconstruct a precise genetic profile of the woman who used or wore the pendant, as well as of the deer from which the tooth was taken. Genetic dates obtained for the DNA from both the woman and the deer show that the pendant was made between 19,000 and 25,000 years ago. The tooth remains fully intact after analysis, providing testimony to a new era in ancient DNA research, in which it may become possible to directly identify the users of ornaments and tools produced in the deep past.


Pierced deer tooth discovered from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia that yielded ancient human DNA. Artefacts made of stone, bones or teeth provide important insights into the subsistence strategies of early humans, their behavior and culture. However, until now it has been difficult to attribute these artefacts to specific individuals, since burials and grave goods were very rare in the Palaeolithic. This has limited the possibilities of drawing conclusions about, for example, division of labor or the social roles of individuals during this period.


In order to directly link cultural objects to specific individuals and thus gain deeper insights into Paleolithic societies, an international, interdisciplinary research team, led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, has developed a novel, non-destructive method for DNA isolation from bones and teeth. Although they are generally rarer than stone tools, the scientists focused specifically on artefacts made from skeletal elements, because these are more porous and are therefore more likely to retain DNA present in skin cells, sweat and other body fluids.


A new DNA extraction method

Lead author Elena Essel working in the clean laboratory on the pierced deer tooth discovered from Denisova Cave. Before the team could work with real artefacts, they first had to ensure that the precious objects would not be damaged. “The surface structure of Paleolithic bone and tooth artefacts provides important information about their production and use. Therefore, preserving the integrity of the artefacts, including microstructures on their surface, was a top priority” says Marie Soressi, an archaeologist from the University of Leiden who supervised the work together with Matthias Meyer, a Max Planck geneticist.

The team tested the influence of various chemicals on the surface structure of archaeological bone and tooth pieces and developed a non-destructive phosphate-based method for DNA extraction. “One could say we have created a washing machine for ancient artifacts within our clean laboratory,” explains Elena Essel, the lead author of the study who developed the method. “By washing the artifacts at temperatures of up to 90°C, we are able to extract DNA from the wash waters, while keeping the artifacts intact.”

Read the full article at: www.mpg.de

‘Remarkable’ AI Tool Designs mRNA Vaccines that are More Potent and Stable

Software from Baidu Research yields jabs for COVID that have greater shelf stability and that trigger a larger antibody response in mice than conventionally designed shots. An artificial intelligence (AI) tool that optimizes the gene sequences found in mRNA vaccines could help to create jabs with greater potency and stability that could be deployed across the globe. Developed by scientists at the California division of Baidu Research, an AI company based in Beijing, the software borrows techniques from computational linguistics to design mRNA sequences with more-intricate shapes and structures than those used in current vaccines. This enables the genetic material to persist for longer than usual. The more stable the mRNA that’s delivered to a person’s cells, the more antigens are produced by the protein-making machinery in that person’s body. This, in turn, leads to a rise in protective antibodies, theoretically leaving immunized individuals better equipped to fend off infectious diseases. What’s more, the enhanced structural complexity of the mRNA offers improved protection against vaccine degradation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mRNA-based shots against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus famously had to be transported and kept at temperatures below –15°C to maintain their stability. This limited their distribution in resource-poor regions of the world that lack access to ultracold storage facilities. A more resilient product, optimized by AI, could eliminate the need for cold-chain equipment to handle such jabs. The new methodology is “remarkable”, says Dave Mauger, a computational RNA biologist who previously worked at Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a maker of mRNA vaccines. “The computational efficiency is really impressive and more sophisticated than anything that has come before.”


Research Cited published in Nature (May 2, 2023):



Read the full article at: www.nature.com

AGI: (M)ending the World – it’s either one or the other (by Alberto Romero)

Imagine this: In front of you there’s a big magical button. You happen to know that, if you press it, there’s an indeterminate but non-zero chance that you’ll solve all the world’s problems right away. Sounds great! There’s a caveat, though. At the other end of the probability distribution lies a similarly tiny but very real possibility that you will, just as instantly, kill everyone.

Do you press it?


Superintelligence: Utopia or apocalypse?

That button is, as you may have imagined, a metaphor for the hypothetical AGI or superintelligence (will use them interchangeably) we hear about everywhere nowadays. The dichotomic scenario described above is the setting that so-called “AI optimists” and “AI doomers” have submerged us in. Superintelligence will be humanity’s blessing or humanity’s curse. It’ll be a paradisiac dream or a hellish nightmare. It’ll be the panacea to solve all our problems or the doom that will end human civilization.
Public discussions on social media and traditional media about superintelligence and the broad range of futures that will open up if—or when, for some people—we manage to create an AGI have captured the conversation; everything else pales in comparison. Debates about current, actual problems that are existentially urgent to many people are relegated to obscurity because they’re not as “existentially serious as … [AIs] taking over,” as AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton stated recently.

Read the full article at: thealgorithmicbridge.substack.com

How Our Reality May Just Be a Sum of All Possible Realities

Richard Feynman’s path integral is a powerful prediction machine and a philosophy. Physicists still struggle to figure out how to use it, and what it means.


The most powerful formula in physics starts with a slender S, the symbol for a sort of sum known as an integral. Further along comes a second S, representing a quantity known as action. Together, these twin S’s form the essence of an equation that is arguably the most effective diviner of the future yet devised.


The oracular formula is known as the Feynman path integral. As far as physicists can tell, it precisely predicts the behavior of any quantum system—an electron, a light ray, or even a black hole. The path integral has racked up so many successes that many physicists believe it to be a direct window into the heart of reality.

“It’s how the world really is,” said Renate Loll, a theoretical physicist at Radboud University in the Netherlands.


But the equation, although it graces the pages of thousands of physics publications, is more of a philosophy than a rigorous recipe. It suggests that our reality is a sort of blending—a sum—of all imaginable possibilities. But it does not tell researchers exactly how to carry out the sum. So physicists have spent decades developing an arsenal of approximation schemes for constructing and computing the integral for different quantum systems. The approximations work well enough that intrepid physicists like Loll are now pursuing the ultimate path integral: one that blends all conceivable shapes of space and time and produces a universe shaped like ours as the net result. But in this quest to show that reality is indeed the sum of all possible realities, they face deep confusion about which possibilities should enter the sum.


Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

Read the full article at: www.wired.com

Solar Panels Can Now Be Printed Like Newspaper

A futuristic demonstration of emerging renewable energy material – printed solar cells, is being trialled in a public setting for the first time as it nears commercial readiness.


Creator of the organic printed solar material, Physicist Professor Paul Dastoor from the Faculty of Science said his team were excited to take their ‘science to the streets’ in what represented significant progress toward commercial availability of the material. “Globally, there’s been so few of these installations, we know very little about how they perform in a public setting. This installation is the next critical step in accelerating the development and commercialization of this technology. It presents a new scenario for us to test performance and durability against a range of new challenges,” said Professor Dastoor.


Read the full article at: www.newcastle.edu.au