Blog

Archive for the ‘robotics/AI’ category

Mar 29, 2015

Intelligent robots must uphold human rights

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, law, robotics/AI, security

Hutan Ashrafian — nature.comhttp://images.sequart.org/images/i-robot-510ea6801c50a.jpg

There is a strong possibility that in the not-too-distant future, artificial intelligences (AIs), perhaps in the form of robots, will become capable of sentient thought. Whatever form it takes, this dawning of machine consciousness is likely to have a substantial impact on human society.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and physicist Stephen Hawking have in recent months warned of the dangers of intelligent robots becoming too powerful for humans to control. The ethical conundrum of intelligent machines and how they relate to humans has long been a theme of science fiction, and has been vividly portrayed in films such as 1982’s Blade Runner and this year’s Ex Machina.Read more

Mar 29, 2015

It’s Time For Robot Pilots

Posted by in categories: automation, human trajectories, robotics/AI, security, transportation

Jason Koebler — MotherBoard

http://motherboard-images.vice.com/content-images/article/20326/1427390573566811.png?crop=1xw:0.8160465116279069xh;*,*&resize=2300:*&output-format=jpeg&output-quality=90It’s increasingly looking like the plane that crashed Monday in France, killing 150 people, went down because one of the pilots ​turned off the autopilot and intentionally crashed it into the ground. Why are we still letting humans fly passenger planes?

The short answer is, we’re not really. It’s no secret that planes are already highly automated, and, with technology that’s available today (but that isn’t installed on the Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings that crashed), it would have been possible for someone in a ground station somewhere to have wrested control of the plane from those on board and reestablished autopilot (or to have piloted the plane from the ground)Read more

Mar 27, 2015

The Robotic Double-Edged Sword

Posted by in categories: automation, disruptive technology, economics, futurism, governance, robotics/AI, space, space travel, strategy

One of the things that I’ve always liked about Star Trek, is the concept of a galaxy spanning civilization. I would expect that before we ever get to that point, we will have a civilization that spans our solar system. Having a solar system spanning civilization has many advantages. It would give us access to resources many times greater than what is found here on Earth. It also provides the opportunity for civilization to expand, and in a worst case scenario, help ensure the survival of humanity.

Millions of people living in spacious environmentally controlled cities on planetary surfaces and in rotating cylinders in free space, with industry that extends from Mercury to the comets is to me, a grand vision worthy of an ambitious civilization. But trying to make that vision a reality will be difficult. The International Space Station has the capacity to house just six people and cost approximately $100B to put in place. With a little simple division, that works out to about $17B per inhabitant! If we used that admittedly crude figure, it would cost $17 trillion to build a 1,000 person habitat in Earth orbit. Clearly, the approach we used to build the ISS will not work for building a solar system civilization!

The ISS model relies on building everything on Earth, and launching it into space. A different model championed by Dr. Philip Metzger, would develop industrial capacity in space, using resources close to home, such as from the Moon. This has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of building and maintaining systems in space. But how to develop that industrial capacity? Remember we can’t afford to launch and house thousands of workers from Earth. The answer it would seem, is with advanced robotics and advanced manufacturing.

But is even this possible? The good news is that advanced robotics and advanced manufacturing are already being rapidly developed here on Earth. The driver for this development is economics, not space. These new tools will still have to be modified to work in the harsh environment of space, and with resources that are different from what are commonly used here on Earth. While learning to adapt those technologies to the Moon and elsewhere in the solar system is not trivial, it is certainly better that having to develop them from scratch!

Continue reading “The Robotic Double-Edged Sword” »


Mar 25, 2015

The Next Generation Of Home Robots Will Be So Much More Than Vacuums

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

— TechCrunchIf Hollywood’s depiction of artificial intelligence were accurate, we would be falling in love with operating systems, sharing our homes with Stepford wives, and fending off cyborg attacks by now. While movies like Ex Machina and Her stoke the fears and desires of our imaginations, new innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence are bringing our visions of tomorrow closer to today.

You can now take a ride in a Google autonomous car, order dinner from a robot butler at a hotel in Cupertino, and buy a personal quadcopter drone for under a thousand bucks. These robots aren’t quite the cylons from Battlestar Galactica or the space bots from Interstellar, but there’s no question that we’re getting close.

Read more

Mar 22, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Is Almost Ready for Business

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

by Brad Power — Harvard Business Review
MAR15_19_35565381
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an idea that has oscillated through many hype cycles over many years, as scientists and sci-fi visionaries have declared the imminent arrival of thinking machines. But it seems we’re now at an actual tipping point. AI, expert systems, and business intelligence have been with us for decades, but this time the reality almost matches the rhetoric, driven by the exponential growth in technology capabilities (e.g., Moore’s Law), smarter analytics engines, and the surge in data.

Most people know the Big Data story by now: the proliferation of sensors (the “Internet of Things”) is accelerating exponential growth in “structured” data. And now on top of that explosion, we can also analyze “unstructured” data, such as text and video, to pick up information on customer sentiment. Companies have been using analytics to mine insights within this newly available data to drive efficiency and effectiveness. For example, companies can now use analytics to decide which sales representatives should get which leads, what time of day to contact a customer, and whether they should e-mail them, text them, or call them.

Read more

Mar 22, 2015

Sawyer: Rethink Robotics Unveils New Robot

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Evan Ackerman and Erico Guizzo — IEEE Spectrum

“Need a hand?”

Earlier this week, we went up to Boston to see something new from Rethink Robotics. They wouldn’t tell us what (not even a hint), but we bought plane tickets anyway, because Rodney Brooks told us that it wasn’t just some slightly different version of Baxter. And it wasn’t: it’s a completely different robot, stuffing all of the adaptive, collaborative technology that makes Baxter unique into a form factor that’s smaller, faster, stronger, and more precise.

This is Sawyer.

Read more

Mar 21, 2015

The Looming Threat of Artificial Unintelligence

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Erik Sofge — Popular Science

Brace yourself. In these crucial weeks before the May release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, editors and writers are going to unleash an onslaught of think pieces about the real-life threat of artificial intelligence (AI). Whatever box office records the upcoming movie does or doesn’t break, it will offer yet another vision of AI insurgency, in the form of Ultron. Created to protect humanity from a variety of threats, the embittered, James Spader-voiced peacekeeping software decides to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and just massacre all of us. It’s the latest, but certainly not the last time that Hollywood will turn the concept of AI superintelligence into action movie fodder. And for media outlets, it provides another opportunity to apply light reporting, and deeply furrowed brows, to the greatest problem in AI, that also happens to not be a problem at all.

More likely, the AI that hurts us will be very, very dumb.
Read more

Mar 16, 2015

If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

— The New York Times

LET me hazard a guess that you think a real person has written what you’re reading. Maybe you’re right. Maybe not. Perhaps you should ask me to confirm it the way your computer does when it demands that you type those letters and numbers crammed like abstract art into that annoying little box.

Because, these days, a shocking amount of what we’re reading is created not by humans, but by computer algorithms. We probably should have suspected that the information assaulting us 24/7 couldn’t all have been created by people bent over their laptops.

Read more

Mar 15, 2015

China’s factories are building a robot nation

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By LiXuena, WangXinci ‚ZhangBoling — MarketWatch

Every day, two quality-control supervisors monitor four robots tirelessly assembling remote-control devices for home appliances at a Midea Group 000333, +1.04% factory in Foshan, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

The robots recently replaced 14 workers on the plant’s assembly line for remote controls. And soon, according to Midea’s home-air-conditioner division deputy general manager Wu Shoubao, more robots will arrive to replace the quality-control supervisors.
Read more

Mar 15, 2015

Time is running out for ethicists to tackle very real robot quandaries

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By — ExtremeTech
Robo-ethics
By its nature, the Open Roboethics Initiative is easy to dismiss — until you read anything they’ve published. As we head toward a self-driving future in which virtually all of us will spend some portion of the day with our lives in the hands of a piece of autonomous software, it ought to be clear that robot morality is anything but academic. Should your car kill the child on the street, or the one in your passenger seat? Even if we can master such calculus and make it morally simple, we will do so only in time to watch a flood of household robots enter the market and create a host of much more vexing problems. There’s nothing frivolous about it — robot ethics is the most important philosophical issue of our time.
Read more

Page 1 of 2512345678Last