Monday, March 31, 2014

How Close Is Artificial Intelligence? (Audio Interview)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Computers Teaching Other Computers

Researchers had agents -- virtual robots -- act like true student and teacher pairs: student agents struggled to learn Pac-Man and a version of the StarCraft video game. The researchers were able to show that the student agent learned the games and, in fact, surpassed the teacher. Credit: Image courtesy of Washington State University

Knowledge Transfer Between Computers: Computers Teach Each Other Pac-Man -- Science Daily

Researchers in Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have developed a method to allow a computer to give advice and teach skills to another computer in a way that mimics how a real teacher and student might interact.

The paper by Matthew E. Taylor, WSU's Allred Distinguished Professor in Artificial Intelligence, was published online in the journal Connection Science.

Read more ....

My Comment: Pac-Man today .... who knows what tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A New XPrize For Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage

TED XPrize

Can A Robot Give A TED Talk? TED Hopes So -- Popular Science

A new XPrize for artificial intelligence takes center stage

Today, Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson, the heads of the XPrize Foundation and the TED series of conferences respectively, announced a new XPrize, in the field of artificial intelligence. The winner will be the first to develop an AI system capable of independently delivering "a compelling TED talk with no human involvement."

Previously announced XPrizes have involved challenges such as cleaning up oil spills or landing a lunar rover.

Read more ....

My Comment: This could be a fascinating talk.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Google Rejects The Pentagon's Money For Robot Development

Google Rejects Military Funding In Robotics -- Defense Tech

Google doesn’t want the U.S. military’s money.

Even though the Internet search giant owns two companies that have contracts with the Pentagon, Google is choosing to forego military funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in at least one robotic competition.

Google bought the robotics firm Schaft that had developed a bipedal robot that won DARPA’s Robotics Challenge. The competition asked companies to develop a robot that could perform disaster response tasks to include navigating debris, climbing ladders and turning off a valve.

Read more ....

My Comment: Too bad .... without this cooperation U.S. troops will probably not be able to benefit from this cooperation.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The U.S. Navy Robots Are Set To Be Deployed

Robots Join The Navy To Fight Fires At Sea -- FOX News

The Navy’s new humanoid robots can detect fires on a ship, withstand extreme heat up to 500 degrees, and fight the fire shoulder to shoulder with human firefighters.

Designed to fight shipboard fires at sea, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, known as SAFFiR, is a human-sized robot. Under direction and funding from the Office of Naval Research, Naval Research Laboratory researchers have been working with university researchers to develop the tech.

SAFFiR is meant to move autonomously throughout a ship, learn its layout and patrol for structural problems. The robot will be able to interact with the sailors onboard, and take on many of their dangerous firefighting tasks.

Read more ....

Update: Navy’s robot will interact with sailors, fight fires aboard ship -- Defense Systems

My Comment: This is a trend that I expect to continue.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Mechanical FISH that Perfectly Mimics The Movement Of Marine Creatures

The Robot Set To Make A Splash! Mechanical FISH Perfectly Mimics The Movement Of Marine Creatures -- Daily Mail

* Robotic fish made of rubber changes direction in a fraction of a second
* Movements are controlled by carbon dioxide from a built-in canister
* Once released, gas passes through a channel, causing the tail to bend
* The fish performs up to 30 manoeuvres before the carbon dioxide runs out
* Its inventor hopes to use it to learn more about the behaviour of fish

Forget clunking, giant humanoid robots, an inventor in the U.S has created a soft machine that is not only waterproof, it perfectly mimics the rapid, elegant movement of a fish.

Andrew Marchese, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), created the soft exterior robot to learn more about how fish behave.

MIT said the robotic fish is ‘the first self-contained autonomous soft robot capable of rapid body motion’ and will be featured in their new Soft Robotics journal.

Read more ....

My Comment: Impressive video.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Giant Robot Crab Walks

Giant Robot Crab Walks, Is Probably Coming Right For You -- Popular Science

Next stop: ocean floor.

The Crabster CR200 is a 1,400-pound behemoth of a 'bot soon being sent to the ocean floor—for both scientific and commercial use. Up until now, we've mostly seen it in action through still photos and animations, but here it is, menacingly lumbering into video.

Read more ....

My Comment: That's one big giant robot crab.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Is This The Most Terrifying Robot Ever?

This Gyrating Animatronic Doll Will Haunt Your Dreams -- io9

The thing dancing in this video is not a person. It's a humanoid installation piece, featuring facial recognition technology that allows it to focus on and follow you with its gaze. And yes, it is freaky as all hell.

On display March 6 – April 19 at David Zwirner Art Gallery in NYC, the unnamed doll is the work of artist Jordan Wolfson, who created the figure in collaboration with creature effects studio Spectral Motion.

There's not a lot about this thing that isn't creepy. There's the metal pole running through its sternum. Its voice (which is actually Wolfson's). The sooty grime smeared across its buttocks, thighs, knees and chest. The version of "Blurred Lines" playing in the background that sounds like it's being performed through a vat of molasses. The gaze that locks onto you and doesn't let go. That mask.

Then, of course, there are the fingers.

Read more ....

Update: Is this the most terrifying robot ever? Animatronic dancer stares at you as 'she' gyrates to Blurred Lines -- Daily Mail

My Comment: Yup .... freaky as hell.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet The Robots That Are Defending America's Nuclear Material Stockpiles

These incredible carts work as security staff for the Nevada Nuclear Stockpile Site. One control centre can operate 16 vehicles at once

Caddy Not Included: The Unmanned Robotic Golf Cart That Can Detect Intruders And Is Tasked With Defending American Nuclear Materials Stockpile -- Daily Mail

* Incredible machines patrol the site in the same way as security staff
* Detect intruders from 600 feet by looking for signs such as an ajar door
* Up to 16 vehicles can be operated by one control centre
* Thanks to the caddies the site expects to make $7million in savings

Humans, normally charged with watching over America's nuclear stockpiles, could soon be out of a job after an unmanned robotic golf cart has been created which can do the same thing - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The stockpile, stored at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), is being watched over by a fleet of these incredible machines.

Known as a Mobile Detection, Assessment and Response System (MADR) the diesel-powered carts are fitted with three types of sensors.

Read more ....

My Comment: It will only be a matter of time before these platforms are armed and readu to go.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Russia To Embrace Robot Senties To Protect Its Strategic Missile Facilities

Russian Military to Deploy Security Bots at Missile Bases. © RIA Novosti. Sergei Pyatakov

Russian Military To Deploy Security Bots At Missile Bases -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is planning to deploy mobile security robots in 2014 to protect its strategic missile facilities, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

“In March, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces [RVSN] began testing mobile robotic systems being developed to protect key RVSN installations,” spokesman Maj. Dmitry Andreyev said.

Andreyev said the security bots will be deployed at five ballistic missile launch sites around Russia as part of an upgrade to the existing automated security systems.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am curious to know if the U.S. has such a set-up also.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Robots Will Be Smarter Than Us All By 2029

Photo: Google has spent billions of its £57bn fortune quietly buying up the world’s top robotics companies including Boston Dynamics, the company behind this robot

Robots Will Be Smarter Than Us All By 2029, Warns AI Expert Ray Kurzweil -- The Independent

World’s leading futurologist predicts computers will soon be able to flirt, learn from experience and even make jokes

By 2029, computers will be able to understand our language, learn from experience and outsmart even the most intelligent humans, according to Google’s director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.

One of the world’s leading futurologists and artificial intelligence (AI) developers, 66-year-old Kurzweil has previous form in making accurate predictions about the way technology is heading.

In 1990 he said a computer would be capable of beating a chess champion by 1998 – a feat managed by IBM’s Deep Blue, against Garry Kasparov, in 1997.

Read more ....

Update: Computer robots will outsmart humans within 15 years, Google director claims (and a giant laboratory for artificial intelligence is already planned) -- Daily Mail

My Comment: This is an optimistic prediction .... but I will admit that Kurzweil has a better track record than I do.