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Best Tech Stories around the web #284

Ai-Da, robot, artiste, intelligence artificielle

This week: Blind patient partially recovers sight thanks to optogenetic therapy, researchers discover human brains can easily adapt to controlling a robotic “third thumb” , Charlie Bit My Finger meme sells for $760,999 as an NFT, and check out artist/robot Ai-Da's painting exhibition from May 25 to August 29 , 2021.

INNOVATION

Optogenetic methods restore partial vision in a blind patient by globenewswire.com

Clinical trial results announced today show for the first time that optogenetic methods can partially restore vision in a blind human patient. The achievement marks a milestone towards developing mutation-independent therapies for inherited photoreceptor diseases. It was reported in Nature Medicine by an international research team led by José-Alain Sahel and Botond Roska including members from the Institut de la Vision and Hôpital National des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, the University of Pittsburgh, the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), StreetLab, and GenSight Biologics (Euronext: SIGHT). Read more

DESIGN

Research finds human brains can easily adapt to controlling a robotic “third thumb” by mymodernmet.com

Many humans know that our two opposable thumbs are one of the things that distinguish our species from many others within the animal kingdom. If two thumbs are useful, what about a third? A team of researchers at University College London has recently published the results of experimenting with a robotic third thumb in the journal Science Robotics. Read more

UNUSUAL

Charlie Bit My Finger video to be taken off YouTube after selling for £500,000 by bbc.com

As one of the original viral videos, the Charlie Bit My Finger clip is a little piece of internet history. But now the much-loved clip of baby Charlie gnawing on his brother Harry's finger will be taken off YouTube after it was sold for $760,999 (£538,000). The Davies-Carr family auctioned the clip as an NFT, a non-fungible token. Read more

EVENT

Ai-Da: Portrait of the Robot exhibition, from May 25 to August 29, 2021

Discover the story of Ai-Da, the world’s first convincing humanoid robot capable of creating artworks. As humans increasingly merge with technology, the self-titled robotic artist leads us to ask whether artworks produced by machines can indeed be called ‘art’. Register for free