by the Editorial Team
5 Noteworthy AI and Deep Tech Articles: week of August 14, 2022
Three times a quantum computer has tackled a problem out of reach of an ordinary computer. The first was by Google in 2019, and the second was by a team of Chinese researchers in 2020. Radical Ventures portfolio company Xanadu has achieved the third published earlier this summer in Nature with its computer called Borealis. “If we ran [the problem] on the most powerful supercomputer out there, it would take 9,000 years. For Borealis, it takes less than a second, which is quite incredible,” notes Christian Weedbrook, CEO of Xanadu, in the article. Startups in the sector are booming, with 23 quantum businesses based in Canada, according to McKinsey & Co.
2) New algorithm aces university math course questions (MIT News)
A team of researchers from MIT, Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Waterloo has used a neural network to solve university-level math problems in seconds at a human level. The work could be used to streamline content generation for courses. The system could also be used as an automated tutor that shows students the steps involved in solving undergraduate math problems opening avenues for personalized learning. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this month.
A US federal circuit court has ruled that AI systems cannot patent inventions. This is the latest setback in a series of legal battles by computer scientist Stephen Thaler to copyright and patent the output of various AI software tools he has created. The Patent Act clearly states that only human beings can hold patents, says judge Leonard P. Stark. The ruling upholds the status quo for AI patent law in the US, and follows similar decisions from other international courts. Thaler plans to appeal the circuit court’s ruling.
4) Think your street needs a redesign? Ask an AI (Bloomberg)
The Internet is full of bizarre images generated by AI. But how can these text prompt image generators be useful? Urban planners are using the technology to reimagine roadways to be more friendly to pedestrians and bikes. “Council members and urban planners from all over the country seem to be very inspired by the images,” noted Zach Katz, an urban planner who started generating re-imagined city views and posting them on a Twitter account. The account now has a significant backlog of requests as others look to bring their visions to life and inspire local decision-makers to make improvements.
5) Just for fun: Man who threw away £150m in bitcoin hopes AI and robot dogs will get it back (The Guardian)
A computer scientist accidentally discarded a hard drive containing 8,000 bitcoins in 2013 during an office clearout. He believes it is sitting in a dump in Newport, South Wales and has hatched a £10 million scheme to find it with a team of experts. His proposal uses AI to operate a mechanical arm and filter the garbage before being picked by hand at a pop-up facility near the landfill site. If successful, he plans to use the money to help the community and invest in a number of city projects.