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Archive for the ‘automation’ category

Mar 28, 2017

AutoX Has Built a Self-Driving Car That Navigates with a Bunch of $50 Webcams — By Rachel Metz | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: automation, transportation

“Now, Xiao said, he imagines a future where kids don’t have to depend on their parents to drive them around, for instance, and can instead summon a self-driving ride.”

Read more (video in post is from 2016; access 2017 video via link)

Mar 9, 2017

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours — By Hugh Son | Bloomberg

Posted by in categories: automation, finance, innovation, robotics/AI, software

“At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours.”

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Aug 19, 2016

How Your Next Car Could Help Make Itself Obsolete — By Tom Simonite | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: automation, mapping, robotics/AI, transportation

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“Driving cars on the road might be the best way to create maps for tomorrow’s autonomous ones.”

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Jul 8, 2016

Rolls Royce plans to deploy fully autonomous cargo ships by 2020 — By Matthew Griffin | Global Futurist Magazine

Posted by in categories: automation, transportation

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“Ten years ago the very idea that you could manage your life through a small glass screen, was considered almost impossible. Now few of us would want to be without one. Two years ago talk of intelligent ships was considered by many as a futuristic fantasy. Today, the prospect of a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade is a reality.”

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Apr 3, 2016

Tesla Unveils Model 3 | Tesla Motors

Posted by in categories: automation, business, Elon Musk, energy, innovation, robotics/AI, science, sustainability, transportation

Mar 31, 2016

An Update on fast Transit Routing with Transfer Patterns | Google Research Blog

Posted by in categories: automation, big data, business, complex systems, computing, economics, engineering, environmental, transportation

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“What is the best way to get from A to B by public transit? Google Maps is answering such queries for over 20,000 cities and towns in over 70 countries around the world, including large metro areas like New York, São Paulo or Moscow, and some complete countries, such as Japan or Great Britain.”

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Oct 28, 2015

Humanity on a Budget, or the Value-Added of Being ‘Human’

Posted by in categories: automation, economics, futurism, governance, human trajectories, law, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, theory, transhumanism

This piece is dedicated to Stefan Stern, who picked up on – and ran with – a remark I made at this year’s Brain Bar Budapest, concerning the need for a ‘value-added’ account of being ‘human’ in a world in which there are many drivers towards replacing human labour with ever smarter technologies.

In what follows, I assume that ‘human’ can no longer be taken for granted as something that adds value to being-in-the-world. The value needs to be earned, it can’t be just inherited. For example, according to animal rights activists, ‘value-added’ claims to brand ‘humanity’ amount to an unjustified privileging of the human life-form, whereas artificial intelligence enthusiasts argue that computers will soon exceed humans at the (‘rational’) tasks that we have historically invoked to create distance from animals. I shall be more concerned with the latter threat, as it comes from a more recognizable form of ‘economistic’ logic.

Economics makes an interesting but subtle distinction between ‘price’ and ‘cost’. Price is what you pay upfront through mutual agreement to the person selling you something. In contrast, cost consists in the resources that you forfeit by virtue of possessing the thing. Of course, the cost of something includes its price, but typically much more – and much of it experienced only once you’ve come into possession. Thus, we say ‘hidden cost’ but not ‘hidden price’. The difference between price and cost is perhaps most vivid when considering large life-defining purchases, such as a house or a car. In these cases, any hidden costs are presumably offset by ‘benefits’, the things that you originally wanted — or at least approve after the fact — that follow from possession.

Now, think about the difference between saying, ‘Humanity comes at a price’ and ‘Humanity comes at a cost’. The first phrase suggests what you need to pay your master to acquire freedom, while the second suggests what you need to suffer as you exercise your freedom. The first position has you standing outside the category of ‘human’ but wishing to get in – say, as a prospective resident of a gated community. The second position already identifies you as ‘human’ but perhaps without having fully realized what you had bargained for. The philosophical movement of Existentialism was launched in the mid-20th century by playing with the irony implied in the idea of ‘human emancipation’ – the ease with which the Hell we wish to leave (and hence pay the price) morphs into the Hell we agree to enter (and hence suffer the cost). Thus, our humanity reduces to the leap out of the frying pan of slavery and into the fire of freedom.

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Oct 23, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Is A Big Part Of Your Life, Just Don’t Buy The Hollywood Hype

Posted by in categories: automation, business, disruptive technology, economics, robotics/AI

Ask just about anyone on the street to describe artificial intelligence and odds are, they’ll describe something resembling the futuristic science fiction robot they’ve seen in movies and television shows. However, according to Mathematician, Linguist and Artificial Intelligence Researcher Dr. András Kornai, artificial intelligence is a reality right now, and its impact can be seen every day.

“I’d say 35 percent of the total commerce taking place on Wall Street (right now) is driven by algorithms and it’s no longer driven by humans,” Kornai said. “This is not science fiction. (Artificial intelligence) is with us today.”

What we’ve seen so far in the application of algorithm-based artificial intelligence in the financial sector is just the tip of the iceberg, Kornai said. In fact, you don’t even have to own stock to be affected by it.

“I have designed algorithms that will (determine) your creditworthiness, meaning your creditworthiness is now determined by an algorithm,” he said. “We have substituted human-decision making capabilities in favor of better algorithms to pursue this, and we have given up a huge area of human competence, and money is just one aspect of it.”

Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence Is A Big Part Of Your Life, Just Don’t Buy The Hollywood Hype” »

Oct 20, 2015

Drone ‘Angst’ extends beyond backyard spying

Posted by in categories: automation, counterterrorism, defense, disruptive technology, drones, ethics, military, privacy, surveillance

http://aviationweek.com/defense/drone-angst-extends-beyond-backyard-spying

Oct 13, 2015

Does The Potential of Automation Outweigh The Perils?

Posted by in categories: automation, disruptive technology, driverless cars, economics, military

These days, it’s not hard to find someone predicting that robots will take over the world and that automation could one day render human workers obsolete. The real debate is over whether or not the benefits do or do not outweigh the risks. Automation Expert and Author Dr. Daniel Berleant is one person who is more often on the side of automation.

There are many industries that are poised to be affected by the oncoming automation boom (in fact, it’s a challenge to think of one arena that will not in some minimal way be affected). “The government is actually putting quite a bit of money into robotic research for what they call ‘cooperative robotics,’” Berleant said. “Currently, you can’t work near a typical industrial robot without putting yourself in danger. As the research goes forward, the idea is (to develop) robots that become able to work with people rather than putting them in danger.”

While many view industrial robotic development as a menace to humanity, Berleant tends to focus on the areas where automation can be a benefit to society. “The civilized world is getting older and there are going to be more old people,” he said. “The thing I see happening in the next 10 or 20 years is robotic assistance to the elderly. They’re going to need help, and we can help them live vigorous lives and robotics can be a part of that.”

Berleant also believes that food production, particularly in agriculture, could benefit tremendously from automation. And that, he says, could have a positive effect on humanity on a global scale. “I think, as soon as we get robots that can take care of plants and produce food autonomously, that will really be a liberating moment for the human race,” Berleant said. “Ten years might be a little soon (for that to happen), maybe 20 years. There’s not much more than food that you need to survive and that might be a liberating moment for many poor countries.”

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