Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Evolution Of Robots In Movies and TV

From Gizmodo: Science fiction movies and TV shows don’t really count unless they have iconic robot characters. That’s a completely true statement, by the way. Nobody cares how good a story is unless they can pretend living in a reality where sentient robots, awesome droids, and fun little machine pals exists. We want to live in the future where Roombas go on adventures with us! Artist Scott Park illustrated all our favorite robots from movies and TV shows—think R2-D2 and HAL 9000 and Optimus Prime and Johnny Five—to show the evolution of these synthetic characters.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Google Chairman: Artificial Intelligence Can Help Solve World's ‘Hard Problems’

Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet Inc. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Bloomberg: Google Chairman Thinks AI Can Help Solve World's ‘Hard Problems’

* AI could help with population growth, education, Schmidt says
* Field getting crowded with Facebook, Microsoft also investing

Google’s chairman thinks artificial intelligence will let scientists solve some of the world’s "hard problems," like population growth, climate change, human development, and education.

Rapid development in the field of AI means the technology can help scientists understand the links between cause and effect by sifting through vast quantities of information, said Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., the holding company that owns Google.

“AI will play this role to navigate through this and help us.”

It can also aid companies in designing new, personalized systems. In the future, Schmidt would like to see “Eric and Not-Eric,” he said at a conference in New York, where “Eric” is the flesh-and-blood Schmidt and“not-Eric is this digital thing that helps me.”

Read more ....

Editor: We are far away from what he is envisioning.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Today's AI Platforms Are Now As Smart As A 3-Year Old

Jag Bhalla, Big Think: Artificial Intelligence Isn't Nearly 'as Smart as 3-Year Olds.'

Why should AI scare us? Let’s compare natural vs. artificial intelligence, using Edge’s 2015 big question: What to think about machines that think?

1. Despite the AI fuss, “deep learning ... is conceptually shallow,” explains Seth Lloyd. “Deep” here means more interconnected "neural network" layers, not profound learning.

2. Alison Gopnik feels machines aren’t nearly “as smart as 3-year-olds.” While AI sometimes outwits Garry Kasparov, it needs millions of pictures (labeled by humans) to learn to recognize cats. Infants need a handful (amazing pattern detectors, + see what babies know, but scientists often ignore).

Read more ....

Editor: Not as smart as 3-year olds right now .... tomorrow .... who knows.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Quest To Build An Artificial Brain Gets A Big Financial Boost

Denver Post/Washington Post: Microsoft co-founder launches $500M quest to build an artificial brain

Building a machine that reasons well enough to pass a high school science test will be more complex than engineering the first Windows OS.

SEATTLE — Paul Allen has been waiting for the emergence of intelligent machines for a very long time.

As a young boy, Allen spent much of his time in the library reading science fiction novels in which robots manage our homes, perform surgery and fly around saving lives like superheroes. In his imagination, these beings would live among us, serving as our advisers, companions and friends.

Now 62 and worth an estimated $17.7 billion, the Microsoft co-founder is using his wealth to back two separate philanthropic research efforts at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence that he hopes will hasten that future.

Read more ....

Editor: I am slightly late on this news item. AI has always been a fascination of Microsoft founder Bill Gates .... and now we know that his partner (Paul Allen) shares the same interest.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Elon Musk Artificial Intelligence Quotes

Tech Emergence: (All) Elon Musk Artificial Intelligence Quotes – A Catalogue of His Statements

Over the last two years there has been a general “up-tick” in media attention around the risks of artificial general intelligence, and it seems safe to say that though Bill Gates, Stephan Hawking, and many others have publicly articulated their fears, no one has moved the media needle more than Elon Musk.

When I set out to gather perspectives from businesspersons on AI risk, I aimed to sift through the “whiz-bang” re-blogged articles about Musk’s statements and figure out what the man actually said about the matter… and as it turns out, that was rather difficult. Due to the possibly sensational and novel claims (combined with Musk’s growing celebrity attention), most of the articles about “what Musk said” are in fact not about “what Musk said,” but about what some reporter said about what a reporter said about what Musk said.

Read more ....

Editor: Yup .... all of his comments and concerns are here.

Prediction: Robots Will Outnumber Humans By 2040

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Business Insider: A programmer turned sci-fi author has predicted that robots could outnumber humans as early as 2040

There will be as many robots as there are humans within the next 24 to 39 years, according to a blog post published yesterday by a writer who is penning a new science fiction novel.

Logan Streondj, a software programmer and author, wanted to figure out when the population of robots will reach that of humans for his book titled “A home for robots or-else artilect war.”

Streondj used a variety of sources to determine the date. First, he turned to statistics website World Counts, which states there are roughly 350 thousand humans born every day, the equivalent of 130 million a year. The growth rate is around 1%.

Read more ....

Editor: There will be about 8 billion humans by 2040 .... I doubt that there will be 8 billion robots. But .... I have to admit that the math that was used in making this projection does make sense.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The First International Beauty Contest That Will Be Judged By Robots

Tech Crunch: The First International Beauty Contest Judged By Robots

Robots are starting to appear everywhere: driving cars, cooking dinners and even as robotic pets.

But people don’t usually give machine intelligence much credence when it comes to judging beauty. That may change with the launch of the world’s first international beauty contest judged exclusively by a robot jury.

The contest, which requires participants to take selfies via a special app and submit them to the contest website, is touting new sophisticated facial recognition algorithms that allow machines to judge beauty in new and improved ways.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: It is just not the same.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Wants To Build An Artificially Intelligent Butler

The Independent: Mark Zuckerberg to build robot butler to look after his child as part of 2016 New Year's resolution

The system will be able to control his lights and music as well as helping him run his company

Mark Zuckerberg intends to build a robot to look after his house and keep tabs on his newborn daughter.

The Facebook founder and CEO’s resolution for 2016 is to build an artificially intelligent system that will be able to control his house, watch over his child and help him to run Facebook.

Mr Zuckerberg has in the past taken on “personal challenges” that have included reading two books per month, learning Mandarin and meeting a new person each day. But now he has undertaken perhaps his most ambitious plan — an artificially intelligent robot that seems to be able to run his whole house.

Read more ....

More News On Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Wants To Build An Artificially Intelligent Butler

Mark Zuckerberg unveils 2016 plans for artificially intelligent butler -- Reuters
Mark Zuckerberg plans to make his own AI butler - like Jarvis in Iron Man -- The Guardian
Mark Zuckerberg’s 2016 Challenge: Code an Artificial Intelligence Assistant -- WSJ
Facebook founder Zuckerberg wants to build artificially intelligent butler -- FOX News/SKY News
Mark Zuckerberg's 2016 goal: Code his own personal assistant -- CNN
Mark Zuckerberg wants to develop his own A.I. butler -- CBS
Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Make an A.I. Butler Like the One in Iron Man -- Slate
Why Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s challenge to himself just might work -- Jena McGregor, Washington Post

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Robot That Looks And Acts Human

Prof Nadia Thalmann (left) posing beside Nadine, a life-like social robot capable of autonomously expressing emotions and gestures. Credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University

Science Daily: Prof Nadia Thalmann (left) posing beside Nadine, a life-like social robot capable of autonomously expressing emotions and gestures.

Say hello to Nadine, a "receptionist" at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). She is friendly, and will greet you back. Next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation with her.

She looks almost like a human being, with soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She smiles when greeting you, looks at you in the eye when talking, and can also shake hands with you. And she is a humanoid.

Unlike conventional robots, Nadine has her own personality, mood and emotions. She can be happy or sad, depending on the conversation. She also has a good memory, and can recognise the people she has met, and remembers what the person had said before.

Read more ....

Editor: This is the first generation .... one can only imagine what "she" will look like 10 years from now.

Friday, January 1, 2016

U.S. Marine Corps Cancels Robotic Dog/Mule Project

Washington Times: Marines shelve Google’s $42M robot ‘AlphaDogs’ because they are too noisy

Marines will not be using robotic mules called “AlphaDogs” any time soon because the machines were deemed too noisy to be useful in a combat situation.

Boston Dynamics, the robotics company owned by Google’s parent Alphabet, has been working with DARPA, the Pentagon’s research division, to build the robots designed to carry supplies for troops.

The AlphaDog robots, also called the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), were designed to carry up to 400 pounds and provide much-needed relief for soldiers, reported.

Read more ....

ZC Editor: I concur .... it was too noisy.

More News On The U.S. Marine Corps Cancels Robotic Dog/Mule Project

Marine Corps Shelves Futuristic Robo-Mule Due to Noise Concerns --
U.S. Marine Corps rules out robotic dog, mule -- UPI
Robot Mule Put Out to Pasture by Marine Corps -- NBC
Noisy Robotic Mule Sidelined by Marines -- VOA
Hee-Haw! DARPA’s noisy robotic ‘pack mule’ mothballed over fears it could spill the beans -- RT
The Marines Are Shelving Their Robot Dogs -- Inverse
The US Marines won’t be using Google’s robot dogs because they fail a pretty basic test -- Quartz
US military says robotic pack mules are too noisy to use -- Verge
US Marine Corps doesn’t want Google’s ‘Alpha Dog’ LS3 robots because they’re too loud -- Digital Trends
AlphaDog Robot Sidelined by the Marines Because It’s Way Too Noisy -- Epoch Times
Marines’ LS3 robotic mule is too loud for real-world combat -- Ars Technica
U.S. Military Puts Down Its Robot Mule for Being Too Loud -- Popular Mechanics