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H+ Weekly - Issue #400
OpenAI announces ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT hits 100M users; how Illumina won gene sequencing; Baidu to launch ChatGPT-like bot; driverless buses in Scotland; and more!
The newsletter hit the 400th issue. I still remember writing the first issue in the basement cafe at Google Campus in London over seven and a half years ago. Since then, I sent a newsletter every Friday, week by week, year by year, and only missed once.
It is an interesting project. It is the longest-running project I am involved in. Hitting such a milestone is a cause for celebration and also for reflection and speculating on what's next. I'm planning to do some changes over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
I want to thank you for being part of this journey. Thank you for subscribing and reading this newsletter.
Now let's check what happened this week!
More than a human
Has first person to live to be 150 been born?
According to David Sinclair and Jae-Hyun Yang, yes. In this interview, they share the recent research that points to epigenome as a source of ageing and their hopes to solve the problem of ageing and ageing-related diseases.
Roboticists Want to Give You a Third Arm
What could you do with an extra arm? Or four? And can our brains control more body parts? These are the questions researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Freiburg are working to answer. The initial results are positive and show that we can use unused bandwidth in neural signals to control extra arms.
Introducing ChatGPT Plus
OpenAI introduces ChatGPT Plus. For $20/month, you will get "general access to ChatGPT, even during peak times; faster response times; priority access to new features and improvements". At the moment, the service is available only in the US with the global rollout coming soon.
ChatGPT reaches 100 million users two months after launch
ChatGPT has reached 100 million users just two months after launching, according to analysts. By comparison, it took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users and Instagram more than two years.
China's Baidu to launch ChatGPT-style bot in March
Reuters reports that Baidu is planning to launch its own ChatGPT-like bot in March. Their anonymous source says the bot will first be released as a standalone app and then be integrated into Baidu search engines and services - a path very similar to what OpenAI and Microsoft are following.
Google created an AI that can generate music from text descriptions, but won’t release it
MusicLM is a new AI from Google that can create music from text. Just like with DALL-E or Midjourney, you describe what you want the track to sound like and the AI generates it (some examples can be found here). But Google won't release it citing possible copyright issues.
▶️ Stretch at DHL | Automated Trailer Unloading (4:47)
Almost a year ago, Boston Dynamics released Stretch - their robot designed to move packages in a warehouse. This video shows how Stretch is being used on-site by DHL to unload a container full of packages.
Driverless Buses Take To The Road In Scotland
Stagecoach is launching the first driverless bus service in the UK. The buses will be travelling between Fife and Edinburgh Park in Scotland and it will be a true scheduled bus service, not just a one-off experiment. The bus will still have a human driver on board to comply with UK laws but the driver will not have to pay attention or keep their hands on the wheel at all times.
Mass-market military drones have changed the way wars are fought
Recent conflicts have shown the potential drones have on the battlefield, from expensive platforms like Reaper to cheap DJI you get from your local electronics shop. This article analyses the impact drones have made, how they are used for attack and for scouting, and how they are changing the way wars are fought.
A fairy-like robot flies by the power of wind and light
This tiny fairy-like robot is one of the most beautiful robots I've seen. Researchers hope that their robot could find a use in agriculture where it can help with pollination.
▶️ How Illumina Won DNA Sequencing (23:58)
Illumina might be one of those companies you've never heard of. In this video, Asianometry tells the story of Illumina and how it became the gene-sequencing giant we know today.
Gene editing company hopes to bring dodo ‘back to life’
Colossal Biosciences, a gene editing company that plans to bring back the woolly mammoth and thylacine, announced their newest project - to bring back dodos to life. The plan is to start with a pigeon, the dodo's closest living relative, and use genetic engineering to gradually turn the pigeon into a dodo.
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