Presentation

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Recent Developments

mrs_41_11_832-842-November16.indd2nd August 2017: https://www.nature.com/news/crispr-fixes-disease-gene-in-viable-human-embryos-1.22382

CRISPR is a recently innovated technology that enables bioengineers to selectively alter DNA in gene. For the first time, it was used on human embryotic cells. Does this signal a new era, one where the human genome is manmade, where mankind holds its life in its own hands?

googles-deepmind-ai-just-taught-itself-to-walkJuly 10th 2017: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/10/google-deepmind-ai-learns-creative-parkour/

Google is one of the many big corporations currently in the race towards artificial intelligence. Its DeepMind computers did something noteworthy recently when they taught themselves how to walk (virtually), with no prior teaching. They were simply provided 3D models that could bend specific ways and incentivized to get from point A to point B. This data is amusing because while the model is a funny portrait of our mortal design, this early digital intelligence will surely contribute to simulations of reality.

Art, Tech, and Life

In my Art History class today on Digital Art in Europe, we were asked to start a blog on a topic that fascinated us. There is something intrinsically enigmatic about the power of thought, or the ability to think. One breakthrough at a time, we’re reaching a point where our technological prowess grants us an almost godly understanding of things that were previously beyond our reach. Much the same way bacteria multiply from one to two, from two to four, four to eight, humanity’s computing power has been growing exponentially (thanks to Moore’s Law) such that we’re a few short years from building artificial intelligence, creating our own sentient life, toying with the idea of being a Creator. Our technological development offers us a new look into the varying disarrays of life, to the point where we have decrypted our own code, our genes. Through the 80s our understanding of DNA burgeoned up to where we can now publish the human genome as a book, albeit a book as long as 15 Brittanica Encyclopaedias written in a combination of just four alphabets that we aren’t quite close to being able to read – yet. As we keep on this upwards curve of development and understanding, we will soon reach a point where computers are powerful enough to simulate real life. Programs that run simulations, maybe even virtual or augmented reality, will probably soon be commonplace. In my own lifetime, I’ve seen a shift from when mobile phones were somewhat of a rarity, video games operated in 8-bit, and Google didn’t have all the answers to where 80% of the world has technology in their pockets that would have incited a war a hundred years ago and all of humanity’s knowledge is abstractly stored everywhere and nowhere on the internet. Years ago we got men to the moon with less than 8gb of data, and now that barely seems sufficient for all the photos from a wedding. Who knows where we’ll be a few years from now when our digital prowess multiplies by the second? Maybe, we’ll even be gods.