As the industry grapples with how to reopen for production safely, one movie is proceeding with a lead actress who is immune to COVID-19 – because she’s a robot named Erica. Bondit Capital Media have committed to back b, a $70 million science fiction film which producers say will be the first to rely on an artificially intelligent actor. Japanese scientists who created Erica as part of their study of robotics, also taught her to act, applying the principles of method acting to artificial intelligence. b follows a scientist who discovers dangers associated with a program he created to perfect human DNA and helps the artificially intelligent woman he designed (Erica) escape.
IKEA and its external research lab SPACE10 have curated 18 different digital experiences as part of a new web-based platform called Everyday Experiments. Each uses technologies including augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning and spatial intelligence to help people think about the space in their homes in a different way. A design prototype called Point and Repair lets you gesture at a piece of worn or damaged furniture and see a variety of personalised solutions on how to upcycle it depending on the damage. This could include tutorials on how to repair it yourself or send you over to a page where you can order parts.
A new study shows that it’s possible to get an artificial neuron to communicate directly with a biological one using not just electricity, but dopamine – a chemical the brain naturally uses to change how neural circuits behave, most known for signalling reward. Because these chemicals, known as “neurotransmitters,” are how biological neurons functionally link up in the brain, the study is a dramatic demonstration that it’s possible to connect artificial components with biological brain cells into a functional circuit. “You could say it’s a first step toward a brain-machine interface, but it’s a tiny, tiny very first step.”
A five-minute role-play done with men before the birth of their first child predicted the quality of their parenting after the baby arrived. Ratings given to the fathers on their levels of “intuitive parenting” while playing with the doll predicted how well they were rated on parenting quality after their baby was born. Findings showed that dads who showed more high-quality parenting skills also tended to score higher on tests of two personality traits. One trait was being open to new experiences, which is obviously helpful for dads becoming parents for the first time. The other trait was conscientiousness, which is being careful and diligent with your responsibilities.
As more consumers seek out healthier food options, CEO Patrick Brown is convinced that the animal-based market will be obsolete within the next two decades. “From a nutritional standpoint our products match the protein quality and content of the animal products that they replace” and “ours is a clear winner from a health and nutrition standpoint.” Impossible Foods earlier that day announced that it inked a partnership with Starbucks to carry the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich at most of the international coffee chain’s U.S. locations as the craze for plant-based diets continues to grow.
Mastercard announced that it plans to acquire open-banking company Finicity for $825 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. The Finicity’s technologies will strengthen its open-banking capabilities, helping give customers more control over their financial data as they link up with third-party services that rely on banking information. “It’s through the use of next generation open banking APIs [application programming interfaces] and clear consumer approvals that this financial information can deliver streamlined loan and mortgage processes, rapid account-based payment initiation and personal financial management solutions.”
A small-scale miner in Tanzania has become an overnight millionaire after selling two rough Tanzanite stones – the biggest ever find in the country. Saniniu Laizer earned £2.4m ($3.4m) from the country’s mining ministry for the gemstones, which had a combined weight of 15kg (2.3 lb). Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments. It is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.
Using author Catherine Newman’s book “How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’ve Grown Up” as a camp manual, the family planned eight themed weeks, each one focusing on a different set of life skills. Themes include “Kitchen Confidence,” “Safety and Emergency Preparedness,” “Laundry and Cleaning,” and less physical lessons like “Anti-Racism” and “Social Skills.” The kids then have a chance to practice what they have learned daily. Shaping these life lessons through the lens of “camp” helps the whole family focus.