1 – Top VC Says Gene Editing Is Riskier Than Artificial Intelligence

Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla, the founder of Khosla Ventures, is more concerned about the threat of human manipulation of genes over potential haywire AI. Khosla made the comment in a Quora response, after he was asked about previous comments made be Tesla’s Elon Musk. Khosla stated that both are tools that need to be managed, with the potential to bring both benefits and destruction. He noted the development of CRISPR, a technique now being used to edit animal and human genes. Chinese researchers are already using the method to alter genes in human babies. His concern relates to unregulated use, and the creation of more intelligent “designer humans” that are output a faster rate than those yielded by nature.

(Read the full article on Fortune)

2 – Artificial Intelligence Ethics a New Focus at Cambridge University

The U.K.’s Cambridge University has created a new center to study the ethical implications of advancing AI. There have been growing concerns over the potential ramifications of rapidly developing AI on the future humanity, and Cambridge is one of the prime intellectual hotspots of study and debate. The center was awarded a $15 million grant, to be allocated over 10 years, by the Leverhulme Trust. The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence will be directed by Professor Huw Price, the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy. The centre will work in tandem with the university’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, with additional collaborations at Oxford Martin School (U.K.) and the University of California (Berkeley).

(Read the full article on The University of Cambridge)

3 – Japan Seeks Tech Revival With Artificial Intelligence

Preferred Networks, Inc., the Tokyo-based artificial intelligence company, is entering the deep learning race along with other big names like Google’s Alphabet Inc., Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. The company, co-founded in 2014 by Daisuke Okanohara and Toru Nishikawa, is aiming to become a primary player in the development of deep-learning applications. Japan has recently lost some traction in the technology industry, particularly in the software arena, though there is growing room for competition. The market research firm Tractica forecasts $10.4 billion in annual software revenue for 2024, and increase of $109 million from 2015.

(Read the full article on The Wall Street Journal)

4 – Artificial Intelligence Called In to Tackle LHC Data Deluge
Particle physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland have sought the aide of AI experts in analyzing what they say will be an overwhelming amount of data within a decade’s time. Both physicists and AI researchers met at Cern mid-November to discuss how AI could help lead the way in new discoveries. This is not the first time that particle physicists have looked to AI. The Higgs boson, discovered in 2012, was found with the support of machine learning, which uses algorithms to identify patterns in large amounts of data. Scientists agree that future AI algorithms will need to improve on the ability to collect data.

(Read the full article on Scientific American)

5 – Artificial intelligence startup Osaro raises $3.3M
San Francisco-based AI startup Osaro announced this week that it has raised $3.3 million in new venture funds. Osara specializes in using “human mentors” to teach machines how to make autonomous decisions and achieve goals, blending deep learning and reinforcement learning. High-profile investors include Peter Thiel, Adam Weissman, Sean Parker, AME Cloud Ventures, among others. One of Osaro’s distinguishing factors is its proprietary and patent-pending software. Osara’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Itamar Arel, states the company’s strong interest in robotics, among other areas.

(Read the full article on VentureBeat)