🧠Neuralink’s ‘Telepathy’ in Action!

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Today we will discuss-

  • ♟️Neuralink patient plays online chess using brain chip

  • ⛈️ Google's AI improves global flood forecasting

  • 📒Hong Kong SMEs eager to adopt AI, report finds

  • ⚙️9 amazing AI tools you might not have heard of

All this and more - Let's dive in!

👩‍🍳What’s cooking in the newsroom?

🤯News - On Wednesday, Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain chip startup, live-streamed its first patient, Noland Arbaugh, a quadriplegic, playing computer games solely with his mind through the Neuralink device. The footage shows Arbaugh controlling the computer's cursor using only his thoughts to play games such as chess and Civilization VI.

Musk reposted the video with the message: "Livestream of @Neuralink demonstrating "Telepathy" - controlling a computer and playing video games just by thinking."

🧠Quick recap on how it works - Neuralink's chip is implanted in a region of the brain that controls movement intention. After implantation, it serves as both a recorder and transmitter, sending data wirelessly to an app which interprets the patient's thoughts into digital movements on a device.

🤠A case in point - Arbaugh, who was paralyzed below the shoulder due to a diving accident eight years ago, received the implant on January 28, 2024. During the live stream on Musk's social media platform X, Arbaugh described the surgery to implant the chip in his brain as "very simple." He added that he was discharged from the hospital the next day and has experienced no cognitive impairments.

Discussing the Civilization VI game, Arbaugh revealed that he had given up playing after his accident. He expressed gratitude, saying, "You all (Neuralink) gave me the ability to do that again."

Describing the experience, he likened it to using the force on a cursor, explaining that he could make it move simply by focusing on a spot on the screen. Arbaugh expressed his amazement, remarking, "I can't even describe how cool it is that I get to do this."

🤔But is it a perfect solution? Although Arbaugh didn't elaborate much, he mentioned that the new technology isn't flawless, indicating that some aspects still need improvement. Nonetheless, he stressed that it's an ongoing process and highlighted that the benefits he's experienced are undeniable.

Google's AI can successfully predict floods 7 days before they hit

🌊News - Google has announced that it has successfully applied AI technology to predict riverine floods, with some forecasts made up to seven days in advance. 

These forecasts are available through Google Search, Google Maps, and Android notifications. Users can also access them via the company's Flood Hub web application, launched in 2022. 

🤨Why is this important? Historically, predicting floods has been challenging due to the limited availability of streamflow gauges in numerous river systems. Now, with floods occurring more frequently worldwide, this advancement represents a significant step forward in improving disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts.

🤷‍♂️But what's so great about it? By using machine learning models trained on comprehensive datasets, including historical events, river level measurements, elevation data, and terrain readings, Google was able to create localized maps and conducted hundreds of thousands of simulations per location. This approach enabled the models to accurately predict upcoming floods.

  • The models successfully forecasted floods up to seven days in advance in certain situations, and they've also improved nowcasts (instantaneous weather forecasts) to be accurate up to five days in advance.

  • Moreover, this technology has significantly improved forecasting accuracy in regions that were previously underrepresented, such as certain parts of Africa and Asia.

  • Further proof of how substantial the impact is lies in the fact that Google can now deliver accurate flood forecasts for 80 countries, affecting a combined population of 460 million individuals.

Report: Hong Kong SMEs keen on adopting AI, robotics despite cost and skills gap

🍵News - According to a survey by HSBC, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Hong Kong are increasingly adopting AI technology to streamline their operations, taking advantage of the accessibility of affordable or even free tools, which allow them to save both time and money.

🥸The key findings of the report include -

  • Machine learning and robotic hardware ranked as the top two emerging technologies that SMEs are considering for investment, with around 60% of respondents citing each one.

  • The survey revealed that 26% of respondents believe using AI technology can reduce costs. 

  • Additionally, around a quarter mentioned enhanced cybersecurity, increased competitive advantage, and improved customer experience as potential benefits of adopting AI technology.

  • However, despite SMEs' enthusiasm for adopting AI technology, many also highlighted barriers, with 31% identifying the cost of investment and the need to enhance employees' skills as significant challenges.

  • Moreover, the survey also found that SMEs' understanding of AI technology falls short in some areas, as 88% of surveyed businesses anticipate opportunities from generative AI, yet only 35% report familiarity with it.

🙆🏻‍♀️What else is happening?

📓AI book recommendation

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer - The story is a futuristic retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. The protagonist, Linh Cinder, is a skilled mechanic who lives in the Eastern Commonwealth, a society that discriminates against people with cyborg enhancements. Cinder's life takes an unexpected turn when she meets Prince Kai, leading readers through a narrative woven with sci-fi elements such as cyborgs, androids, and a lunar colony ruled by a manipulative queen, creating a perfect fusion of fantasy and futuristic technology.

  • Daemon by Daniel Suarez - It is a science fiction thriller novel that begins with the death of a legendary game designer, Matthew Sobol, who sets in motion a computer program, or "daemon," upon his demise. This daemon is designed to execute a series of tasks that have significant real-world consequences, leading to a gripping and suspenseful narrative.

  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers - The story revolves around Lovelace, an AI entity, and Pepper, a human who grew up on a spaceship. The narrative explores themes of identity, friendship, and what it means to be truly alive. The novel has been praised for its character-driven storytelling and thoughtful exploration of ethical and existential questions.

👩🏼‍🚒Discover mind-blowing AI tools

  1. Glarity - An open-source ChatGPT Summary extension for YouTube, Google, Twitter, and any webpage ($12.49/month)

  2. Ocoya - Helps people create and schedule content faster on social media ($15/month)

  3.  WisdomAI - Allows users to upload content to create a conversational chat powered by GPT-4 ($7/month)

  4. RizzGPT - Offers a unique chat-based game that focuses on connecting with AI characters (Free)

  5. Listnr - Allows users to create realistic voiceovers from text with over 1000+ voices ($19/month) 

  6. FineCam - Helps users look superb in remote meetings ($59.99 one-time payment)

  7. Shortwave - Email platform designed to reduce stress and increase productivity (Free, $7/month) 

  8. Langotalk - Helps people learn Spanish, English, French, German, Dutch, or Italian 6x faster by chatting with an AI ($149.99 lifetime access) 

  9. PrankGPT - A tool for prank calls—users input a phone number, select a voice, and AI generates a conversation based on user-provided prompts (Free)

📻AI-based songs

  • Hallo Spaceboy is a song by David Bowie who was a master of experimentation and style shifts. Bowie used a computer program called Verbasizer to help him write the lyrics. While the song still bears all the hallmarks of a Bowie classic, with its cosmic imagery and romantic themes, knowing that it was, to some extent, written with the help of AI gives it an added layer of intrigue.

  • Reflection - It was a song composed by Brian Eno. It is his 26th studio album and is a single piece of ambient music that was originally released as a 54-minute track. Eno, later, published an AI version of the album that changes the music depending on the time of day.

  • Break Free - The maker of the song was Taryn Southern. She was the first pop star to compose and produce an album entirely through an AI. She used a combination of tools including IBM’s Watson Beat, Amper, AIVA, and Google Magenta to create the song.

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