Might a ‘memory’ of Covid-19 be passed down to future generations?

2020/21 will be years to remember, but could such memory go well beyond archived blog posts, and celluloid story-telling? Could ‘memory’ of the past twelve-months be directly inherited by future generations via DNA?

Prior to the pandemic, an experiment by a team of researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the USA, showed that mice trained to avoid a particular smell passed their aversion on to their ‘grandchildren’. In other words, the experience of the mice prior to conceiving was essentially encoded into their DNA and made subsequent generations of mice extremely sensitive to the same smell. Or to put it another way, experience can be inherited.

Professor Marcus Pembury from UCL, in the UK, commented that the US study on mice was “highly relevant to phobias, anxiety, and PTSD disorders” and said that the study provided solid evidence that a type of memory could be passed on to future generations.

One implication here is that the current levels of anxiety related to Covid-19, especially among younger people, could linger far longer than most people might imagine.

Freaky

Using AI to make dead relatives come to life. Video gravestones next? I guess this is just the start of various applications of Deep Fakes, some fun, some sinister and some dangerous. Deep Revenge Porn is probably next – totally fake videos of people having sex (makes that bit of tape across your laptop camera somewhat redundant). Thanks to Matt D as always!

Article link.

T-Shirt of the Month

OMG, more merch! I made this myself to lift the mood a little. If you want one, feel free to steal it straight off my back (just copy it). If you live in London, there’s a lovely man called Jim at the Lewes Print Centre (lewesprint.com) that will make you one for almost no money or my son has done a different version, along with zoom mugs at teespring

As Fat Larry’s Band once said: “Oh Zoom you chased away the day.”

Using AI to Predict Future AI

To much of this and your head explodes…

Having an interesting conversation yesterday about whether you could use AI to predict future developments in AI. The answer is almost certainty yes. We’ve already got self-writing software, 3D printers that print 3D printers and we are on the cusp of automated scientific discovery. One rather wonders where this would leave humans?