Robot Competencies, Content Credentials, and Roundup #28
While robots revolutionize, content gets more context, AI comes for newscasters’ jobs, electrowetting and liquid trees enter bacterias' memory, and a new type of magnetism pulls it all together.
It’s been busy, which means the Roundup is the most robust yet.
Before the Roundup, we see how sci-fi’s dreams of intelligent robots have been revolutionized.
After the Roundup, we gain comfort in knowing that content and context are coming together soon.
There is much to reflect on and click on, so let’s get into it.
One Big Thing
Eureka: Revolutionizing Robot Prowess
Teaching robots to navigate physical environments is hard—very, very hard.
In a groundbreaking development in robotics, a team of researchers at NVIDIA has created an AI agent called Eureka that can train robots to perform intricate tasks.
Eureka uses GPT‑4 to generate code that outlines specific goals for simulated robots, setting them on a path of trial-and-error learning. As the robot undertakes its assigned task, Eureka continuously gathers feedback and refines the code, fostering a virtuous cycle of enhanced code and accelerated learning that would be exceptionally challenging for humans to program.
In fact, NVIDIA’s trials have demonstrated that Eureka surpasses the work of humans in over 80% of the tasks examined thus far.
The incrediblerecently explained why this is A Very Big Deal: “Eureka and AI agents like it, though, have the potential to spark an explosion in robot competence.”
Eureka shows how AI will revolutionize the field of robotics, empowering robots to tackle complex tasks with unprecedented proficiency and efficiency. Eureka’s ability to autonomously accelerate robot learning marks a pivotal step towards a future where robots seamlessly integrate into our daily lives, augmenting human capabilities, and propelling innovation across diverse industries.
There is more of The New New below. And there are more free issues coming. Get the next issue in your inbox by subscribing here:
AI’ing the World
Graphcast, Google’s new weather AI that promises 10-day predictions that are better, faster, and more energy-efficient than our current weather apps
Non-human Newsreaders, aka AI newscasters, anchoring 24/7 broadcasts around the world
3D-GPT, aka text-to-worlds, generating 3D worlds from simple text commands
Decorate Your Background, Microsoft’s new AI-powered tool that removes clutter and adds decor to your Teams’ background
Dopamine Decorating, designing for what makes you feel good—not what may look good to someone else
Envy Offices, mixing Instagrammable aesthetics with productivity-meets-vacation vibes, all to lure workers back to offices
Barkitecture, growing the hot “animal-first architecture” trend
Pattern-changing Dress (or really any surface), powered by Adobe Primrose’s “reflective light-diffuser modules for non-emissive flexible display systems”
Dancing Delicacies, aka “computational food,” using “electrowetting” technology, has us watching food play with itself
Ultrasonic Kitchen Knives, vibrating at a frequency of 40,000 to 50,000 times per second to cut food faster
Lickable Televisions, aka Taste the TV, aka Netlicks, part of an effort to develop new “tele‑taste” products
CosMc, McDonald’s new sci-fi restaurant concept—its menu includes a churro latte
Liquid Trees, improving air quality in cities with an urban photo-bioreactor
Lithium-free Batteries, lower cost, more sustainable, and do not use lithium, nickel, graphite, or cobalt
Detumbler, tackling space debris with a device that prevents dead satellites from tumbling around
Discovering Today’s Unknowns
Bacterial Memory, these single-celled organisms with no brain or nervous system may still form memories that they can pass on to future generations
Kinetic Magnetism, a new type of magnetism
Extracorporeal Pulsatile Circulatory Control (EPCC), allows the brain to work independently without relying on a body—it opens new avenues for studying pure brain activity, detached from the body’s influences
Green Glowing Monkeys, with two sets of DNA, we have the world’s first live-born “chimeric” monkey
The Halo, a wearable for inducing lucid dreaming, is unleashing a “new frontier of exploration” and understanding the nature of consciousness
What To Watch For
This new open-source tool reveals how content was made, how it was edited, and if AI was involved anywhere along the way.
Deepfakes. Voice cloning. Synthetic media. It’s an artificial world out there today—and this new technology will fuel our personal fact-checker future.
Content Credentials, a new open-source tool from Adobe and collaborators, answers the biggest questions of today: “Where did this image come from? How was it made? Is it AI-generated? When was it created or edited?”
It does this by attaching metadata to content, such as who created it, when it was created, and whether it was made using artificial intelligence (AI). This information is stored in a tamper-evident set of metadata called a Content Credential.
For brands and businesses of all types, their future is a race toward digital trust.
News organizations will safeguard their credibility by providing irrefutable evidence of their reporting. Marketing agencies will build trust with their clients by demonstrating the authenticity of their campaigns. Social media platforms will combat misinformation and disinformation by empowering users to verify the sources of the content they see.
This new tool will fuel the movement of transparency and authenticity in digital content.
Soon, we will all enjoy content and context together.
A shopping discovery I’ve been raving about lately.
This is for the deal hunters out there.
In the last issue, I dropped my favorite travel gear recommendations, which were quite popular. So, I’m adding another recommendation to this issue.
I’ve rewritten the blurb below four times. Each version reads like some Influencer’s paid promotion. It is not. It is a real share of something I want more people to know about. Alas, this is the most human and authentic I can make this sound.
A few months ago, I wanted to purchase a piece of home electronics. The device I really wanted—a high-end Sony Soundbar—was premium-priced beyond rational reasoning.
After a random Google search, I discovered Greentoe, a “name your price” site that works with unnamed retailers to get discounts.
The site’s design is unrefined, but after some “Is Greentoe legit?” searches, I tried it and scored an incredible deal—one of those “too good to be true” deals: 50% off the lowest price anywhere online. Plus—and this is key—the soundbar was shipped from a legitimate retailer with a full manufacturer warranty!
I’ve since made other bids and love the incredible deals and excellent service. Greentoe is now my go-to place to purchase electronics, appliances, or other large ticket items.
I just really love what Greentoe has pulled together. So, forgiving my weird Influencer-imposter vibes, give Greentoe a try to see why.
X Marked the Spot
Let’s throw it back to December 2022 and Issue 20. It was then that it became clear that Elon would take Twitter into his original X.com vision—and that others were racing him with their own visions of grandeur.
This issue dug deep into two big topics:
What do Elon’s Twitter and Satya’s Microsoft have in common? They are both looking to bring the China-based WeChat “Super App” model to the world.
Two forces are colliding, and they will transform the future of office space design.
… and then kept the intrigue moving with a roundup that covered France’s forecasts, Argentina’s tourism, Lego ducks, and DNA advances. Throughout the issue, tricky questions emerged.
The New New brings together the important and the irreverent across emerging experiences, culture-driven experiments, and scoops of perception.
Okay, off to make space for the robots.