Tech on the Way: Retro-Inspired Keyboards, GPT-5, and AI-Enabled Brain Implants
Emerging Tech Roundup — August 4
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: 8BitDo Introduces NES-Themed Mechanical Keyboard, Gen Z Investing App Reaches 1 Million Downloads, Psychologists Compare GPT-3 Reasoning Skills with College Students, ESA Tests Antimicrobial Materials for Spacesuit Inner Linings, YouTube Tests AI-Generated Video Summaries, OpenAI Files Trademark for GPT-5, and AI-Enabled Brain Implant Helps Patient Regain Feeling and Movement.
8BitDo’s NES-Themed Mechanical Keyboard Comes with Truly Large A and B ‘Super Buttons’
(Tech Crunch, July 31)
8BitDo, known for their reimagined retro gaming controllers, has stepped into the mechanical keyboard market with a unique offering designed to captivate nostalgia enthusiasts. The wireless mechanical keyboard caters to NES and Famicom 8-bit console fans, featuring a custom PCB and style that is designed primarily for the Japanese market. The 87-key layout includes additional features like two dials for wireless mode selection and volume control, making it an enticing option for fans of classic gaming.
Bloom Wants to Teach Gen Z How to Build Wealth
(Tech Crunch, July 31)
Zero-commission, stock investing app Bloom has achieved 1 million downloads since its launch in February 2022. The startup aims to educate new investors aged 13 and older, providing them with a brokerage account and interactive lessons on investing, stocks, and finance. The app has raised $4.4 million in seed funding from investors and is working to introduce new offerings such as retirement accounts and freemium-type modules.
GPT-3 Can Reason About as Well as a College Student, Psychologists Report
(Tech Xplore, July 31)
Psychologists conducted research revealing that OpenAI’s language model GPT-3 performs at a level comparable to college undergraduates. However, the inner workings of GPT-3 remain a mystery due to OpenAI’s proprietary protection. While GPT-3 demonstrated the ability to perform analogical reasoning similar to humans, it struggled with tasks involving physical problem-solving using tools, often suggesting nonsensical solutions.
ESA Tests Antimicrobial Materials for Spacesuit Inner Linings That Do Not Require Washing
(Interesting Engineering, July 31)
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working to keep lunar spacesuits clean for extended periods during lunar settlement through a project called Planetary Exploration Textiles (PExTex). With limited water resources on the Moon, regular washing of spacesuits is impractical. The ESA is employing Biocidal Advanced Coating Technology for Reducing Microbial Activity (BACTeRMA), which utilizes secondary metabolites with antibiotic qualities to protect the spacesuit’s interior from harmful bacteria and environmental factors.
YouTube Tests AI-Generated Video Summaries
(Engadget, August 1)
YouTube is experimenting with AI-generated video summaries that will be displayed on search and watch pages, aiming to offer a quick overview of clips to help viewers decide whether they are worth watching. The test will be limited to a selection of English-language videos and will only be visible to certain viewers. This test is part of Google’s broader efforts in generative AI, following previous experiments with AI-produced video chapters that began nearly three years ago.
Microsoft-Backed OpenAI Files Trademark for ChatGPT Powered by GPT-5
(Windows Latest, August 1)
Microsoft-backed OpenAI, known for developing language model systems like GPT-4, DALL·E, and Whisper, has filed a US trademark application for a potential new large language model called “GPT-5”. The application suggests that GPT-5 will be a downloadable computer software for using the language model, similar to previous generations. OpenAI has not shared details on the model’s features or a specific release timeline.
AI-Enabled Brain Implant Helps Patient Regain Feeling and Movement
(Engadget, August 2)
Researchers have developed AI brain implant technology that could potentially revolutionize the lives of people living with paralysis. By electronically linking the brain, body, and spinal cord, they successfully restored lasting movement and sensation in a paralyzed individual. The thought-driven therapy aims to rebuild neural connections, provide sensory feedback, and promote recovery — with the ultimate goal of granting people with paralysis the ability to live more independent lives.