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Archive for the ‘robotics/AI’ category

Oct 29, 2014

The Most Valiant Attempts to Program Our Five Senses Into Robots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Alexandra Ossola — MotherBoard

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Ever since humans first envisioned robots, we’ve thought about how to make the machines more like us. Robots compete against us on game shows, and rendezvous with us in the bedroom (or at least, make virtual sex feel real). But part of being human is sensing the world around us in a particular way, and doing it all at the same time.

This is much more complicated than it seems, as scientists haven’t fully unraveled how we’re able to sense what we do; it’s both our hardware and software that contain codes that are difficult to crack. Still, scientists power through, discovering how their own senses work while crafting artificial versions of them. Here are some of the most valiant attempts to get robots to taste, smell, touch, hear, and see in the most human way possible.

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Oct 9, 2014

IBM Develops a New Chip That Functions Like a Brain

Posted by in categories: engineering, hardware, robotics/AI

— New York Times

http://www.redorbit.com/media/uploads/2014/08/brain-chip-617x416.jpg

Inspired by the architecture of the brain, scientists have developed a new kind of computer chip that uses no more power than a hearing aid and may eventually excel at calculations that stump today’s supercomputers.

The chip, or processor, is named TrueNorth and was developed by researchers at IBM and detailed in an article published on Thursday in the journal Science. It tries to mimic the way brains recognize patterns, relying on densely interconnected webs of transistors similar to the brain’s neural networks.

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Sep 26, 2014

Hundreds of floating robots could soon surveil the oceans

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

by — C/Net

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Boeing and Liquid Robotics today announced a partnership to make water-borne robots that can handle a variety of surveillance jobs, ranging from hunts for submarines to the detection of drug traffickers.

Silicon Valley’s Liquid Robotics is the manufacturer of the Wave Glider SV3, a $300,000 self-powered, seafaring data center that offers customers — until now, mostly researchers and marine industry companies — tools for investigating the open seas for months at a time. SV3s have a hybrid propulsion system that can drive the robot with either solar or wave power. Boeing is the world’s second-largest defense contractor.

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Sep 25, 2014

‘Person of Interest’ Season 4 Will Tackle Big Questions About Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Sep 20, 2014

Empire Robotics shows its hands … and they’re fingerless

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

— BetaBoston

Via Empire Robotics

The candidate for best robotic hand looks like a beanbag and claims to grip anything.

A Boston builder of robot hands, Empire Robotics, is showing its first commercial grippers today: the enchanting and entirely fingerless VersaBall. Interestingly, this first demonstration is in partnership with Universal Robots, who happens to be local bot maker Rethink Robotics’ competitor.

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Sep 19, 2014

Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Angela Chen — The Chronicle of Higher Education

One Step Ahead of the Robots 2

When the world ends, it may not be by fire or ice or an evil robot overlord. Our demise may come at the hands of a superintelligence that just wants more paper clips.

So says Nick Bostrom, a philosopher who founded and directs the Future of Humanity Institute, in the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He created the “paper-clip maximizer” thought experiment to expose flaws in how we conceive of superintelligence. We anthropomorphize such machines as particularly clever math nerds, says Bostrom, whose book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies was released in Britain in July and arrived stateside this month. Spurred by science fiction and pop culture, we assume that the main superintelligence-gone-wrong scenario features a hostile organization programming software to conquer the world. But those assumptions fundamentally misunderstand the nature of superintelligence: The dangers come not necessarily from evil motives, says Bostrom, but from a powerful, wholly nonhuman agent that lacks common sense.

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Sep 18, 2014

It’s Time to Take Artificial Intelligence Seriously

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Christopher Mims — Wall Street Journal

The age of intelligent machines has arrived—only they don’t look at all like we expected. Forget what you’ve seen in movies; this is no HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and it’s certainly not Scarlett Johansson’s disembodied voice in “Her.” It’s more akin to what happens when insects, or even fungi, do when they “think.” (What, you didn’t know that slime molds can solve mazes?)

Artificial intelligence has lately been transformed from an academic curiosity to something that has measurable impact on our lives. Google Inc. used it to increase the accuracy of voice recognition in Android by 25%. The Associated Press is printing business stories written by it. Facebook Inc. is toying with it as a way to improve the relevance of the posts it shows you.

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Sep 17, 2014

Artificial Intelligence: How Algorithms Make Systems Smart

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Stephen F. DeAngelis, Enterra Solutions — Wired

algorithmia-ft

“Algorithm” is a word that one hears used much more frequently than in the past. One of the reasons is that scientists have learned that computers can learn on their own if given a few simple instructions. That’s really all that algorithms are mathematical instructions. Wikipedia states that an algorithm “is a step-by-step procedure for calculations.

Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” Whether you are aware of it or not, algorithms are becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives. Some pundits see danger in this trend. For example, Leo Hickman (@LeoHickman) writes, “The NSA revelations highlight the role sophisticated algorithms play in sifting through masses of data. But more surprising is their widespread use in our everyday lives. So should we be more wary of their power?” [“How algorithms rule the world,” The Guardian, 1 July 2013] It’s a bit hyperbolic to declare that algorithms rule the world; but, I agree that their use is becoming more widespread. That’s because computers are playing increasingly important roles in so many aspects of our lives. I like the HowStuffWorks explanation:

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Sep 16, 2014

We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By John Frank Weaver — Slate

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Not that long ago, Google announced something unheard of in the auto industry—at least in the part of the auto industry that makes moving cars. A car without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. To Google, this was the next step in self-driving cars. Why bother with a steering wheel if the driver isn’t driving? Some observers questioned whether this feature in the proposed the test vehicle violated the autonomous vehicle statute in California (where the vehicle would be tested), which required that the driver take control of the self-driving vehicle in case the autonomous system malfunctions. Google claimed that it installed an on/off button, which satisfied the California law.

California recently weighed in: Google, you’re wrong. The state has released regulations requiring that a test driver be able to take “active physical control” of the car, meaning with a steering wheel and brakes.

Sep 15, 2014

Robots Aren’t Out to Get You. You Should Be Terrified of Them Anyway.

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By — Slate

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n the recent discussion over the risks of developing superintelligent machines—that is, machines with general intelligence greater than that of humans—two narratives have emerged. One side argues that if a machine ever achieved advanced intelligence, it would automatically know and care about human values and wouldn’t pose a threat to us. The opposing side argues that artificial intelligence would “want” to wipe humans out, either out of revenge or an intrinsic desire for survival.

As it turns out, both of these views are wrong. We have little reason to believe a superintelligence will necessarily share human values, and no reason to believe it would place intrinsic value on its own survival either. These arguments make the mistake of anthropomorphising artificial intelligence, projecting human emotions onto an entity that is fundamentally alien. 

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