Saturday, January 31, 2009

Robots To Clean Your Kitchen And Play A Game Of Hockey?

Assistant professor Alexander Stoytchev (right) and graduate student Jivko Sinapov are working to develop software so a robot can learn to use tools. One example of such learning is maneuvering a hockey stick around a puck. (Credit: Photo by Bob Elbert)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2009) — Alexander Stoytchev and his three graduate students recently presented one of their robot's long and shiny arms to a visitor.

Here, they said, swing it around. And so the visitor tentatively gave the robot's left arm a few twists and twirls. The metal arm was heavy, but still moved easily at its shoulder, elbow and wrist joints.

Then the graduate students hit some keyboard commands and the robot replayed those exact arm movements.

It was all incredibly quick, smooth and precise.

Stoytchev, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, says it won't be long before robot technology is something we'll all see and experience.

"We'll have personal robots very soon," Stoytchev said. "We're waiting for the first killer app. Hopefully, we can contribute to that."

Read more ....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Do Humanlike Machines Deserve Human Rights?

Elmo Live (Image from Gadget Review)

From Wired:

During the 20 months that Fisher-Price spent developing the innards and software of its latest animatronic Elmo, engineers gave the project the code name Elmo Live. And sure enough, they made him more animate than ever: He moves his mouth in time with the stories he tells, shivers when he gets scared, and has a fit when he sneezes.

When they were finally able to test the doll on children, they were struck by how immediately the kids blocked out all other stimuli in the room and began interacting with Elmo. "It was as if Elmo were part of their family," says Gina Sirard, Fisher-Price VP of marketing. "To a child, he really is alive."

Read more

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One AI Machine Is Equal To Ten Microsofts -- A Commentary

Computers More Intelligent Than
Human Beings -- The Examiner

Computers that are more intelligent than human beings may seem like science fiction, and have been featured by sci-fi writers, but there is an undercurrent of reality that has the attention of savvy business people.

It is worth noting what Bill Gates said at an artificial intelligence conference. “If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn, that is worth 10 Microsofts,” he commented.

Just one Microsoft made Gates the wealthiest person in the United States. It would take a super-intelligent computer indeed to grasp the potential in 10 Microsofts.

Read more ....

Cluedo AI Means Smarter Robots

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense
A remotely controlled Panther armored mine-clearing vehicle leads a column of armored vehicles down a road near McGovern Base, in Bosnia-Herzegovina on May 16, 1996.

From Tech Radar:

Game-playing AIs could lead to better mine-sensing robots.

It's not Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the lead pipe, but scientists at Duke University with a brand new AI mathematical model.

Researchers have come up with a new strategy for winning at Cluedo that they believe could lead to better artificial intelligence systems, such as mine-cleaning robots in urban areas.

At the simplest level, both activities are governed by the same principles, according to the Duke University scientists. A player, or robot, must move through an unknown space searching for clues.

"The key to success, both for the Cluedo player and the robots, is to not only take in the new information it discovers, but to use this new information to help guide its next move," said Chenghui Cai of the University's computer and electrical engineering department.

Read more ....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Future Watch: A.I. Comes Of Age

Photo: The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Robot (Stair)

From Computer World:

After decades of limited application, artificial intelligence is everywhere. And it really works this time.

January 26, 2009 (Computerworld) "Stair, please fetch the stapler from the lab," says the man seated at a conference room table. The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Robot, standing nearby, replies in a nasal monotone, "I will get the stapler for you."

Stair pivots and wheels into the adjacent lab, avoiding a number of obstacles on the way. Its stereoscopic camera eyes swivel back and forth, taking in the contents of the room. It seems to think for a moment, then approaches a table for a closer look at an oblong metallic object. Its articulated arm reaches out, swivels here and there, and then gently picks up the stapler with long, rubber-clad fingers. It heads back to the conference room.

Read more ....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How A Future AI May Contain Information And Memories

(Click The Above Image To Enlarge)
A neuron receives and processes information through a network of branches called dendrites. Once it processes the signal, the brain cell relays it along an axon to a terminal linking to another cell's dendrites. When millions of brain cells communicate with each other at once, cognition occurs. Credit: L. Kibiuk for Society for Neuroscience

Single Brain Cell Can Hold a Memory -- Live Science

Memory has long been described as a function of brain cells getting together and forming connections. A new study finds single cells can remember things.

Individual nerve cells (called neurons) in the front part of the brain can hold traces of memories by themselves for up to a minute, perhaps longer.

The fleeting memories, which the researchers found in mice brains, are held in the most highly evolved part of the brain in a manner akin to the nonpermanent working memory of a computer.

"It's more like RAM [random access memory] on a computer than memory stored on a disk," said Don Cooper, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "The memory on the disk is more permanent and you can go back and access the same information repeatedly. RAM memory is rewritable temporary storage that allows multitasking."

Read more ....

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Insight Into How Bees See Could Improve Artificial Intelligence Systems

Faces can dramatically change appearance when seen from different viewpoints, since the relationship between elements like nose and eyes change depending upon viewing angle. Bees solve this difficult visual problem by averaging previously learnt views. (Credit: Monash University)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2009) — New research from Monash University bee researcher Adrian Dyer could lead to improved artificial intelligence systems and computer programs for facial recognition.

Dr Dyer is one of Australia's leading bee experts and his latest research shows that honeybees can learn to recognise human faces even when seen from different viewpoints.

Dr Dyer said the research could be applied in the areas of new technology, particularly the development of imaging systems.

"What we have shown is that the bee brain, which contains less than 1 million neurons, is actually very good at learning to master complex tasks. Computer and imaging technology programmers who are working on solving complex visual recognition tasks using minimal hardware resources will find this research useful," Dr Dyer said.

Read more ....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Is The Blog About

The name ZeiraCorp comes from the fictional cybernetics company depicted in the television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I am a fan of the show, but I have also been following the development of Artificial Intelligent platforms for the past 30 years. I have been involved in the computer sciences since 1980, as well as developing numerous web projects since 1996.

This blog is a summation of all the information that I read and catalog pertaining to this subject.