The Machines Are Coming in AI News

The Machines Are Coming
19 April 2015, 4:00 am

Low-wage jobs are no longer the only ones at risk..

Source: NYT > Artificial Intelligence

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Started April 20, 2015, 10:50:30 PM


Will motion sickness really be a barrier to self-driving cars? in Robotics News

Will motion sickness really be a barrier to self-driving cars?
14 April 2015, 4:28 pm

car_sick_passengerEarlier this week I was sent some advance research from the U of Michigan about car sickness rates for car passengers. I found the research of interest, but wish it had covered some questions I think are more important, such as how carsickness is changed by potentially new types of car seating, such as face to face or along the side.

To my surprise, there was a huge rush of press coverage of the study, which concluded that 6 to 12% of car passengers get a bit queasy, especially when looking down in order to read or work. While it was worthwhile to work up those numbers, the overall revelation was in the “Duh” category for me, I guess because it happens to me on some roads and I presumed it was fairly common.

Oddly, most of the press was of the “this is going to be a barrier to self-driving cars” sort, while my reaction was, “wow, that happens to fewer people than I thought!”

Having always known this, I am interested in the statistics, but to me the much more interesting question is, “what can be done about it?”

For those who don’t like to face backwards, the fact that so many are not bothered is a good sign — just switch seats.

Some activities are clearly better than others. While staring down at your phone or computer in your lap is bad during turns and bumps, it may be that staring up at a screen watching a video, with your peripheral vision very connected to the environment, is a choice that reduces the stress.

I also am interested in studying if there can be clues to help people reduce sickness. For example, the car will know of upcoming turns, and probably even upcoming bumps. It could issue tones to give you subtle clues as to what’s coming, and when it might be time to pause and look up. It might even be the case that audio clues could substitute for visual clues in our plastic brains.

Another interesting thing to test would be having your tablet or phone deliberately tilt its display to give you the illusion you are looking at the fixed world when you look at it, or to have a little “window” that shows you a real world level so your eyes and inner ears can find something to agree on.

More advanced would be a passenger pod on hydraulic struts able to tilt with several degrees of freedom to counter the turns and bumps, and make them always be such that the forces go up and down, never side to side. With proper banking and tilting, you could go through a roundabout (often quite disconcerting when staring down) but only feel yourself get lighter and heavier.

This post originally appeared on Robocars.comIf you liked this article, you may also be interested in:

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Source: Robohub

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Started April 20, 2015, 10:50:26 PM


DARPA creating software that updates itself (adapts) in General AI Discussion


It seems very promising but what got me thinking was, how would this software differ from a conscious creature? It may overtime become 'self-aware' as some would say, since 'adaptation' is just the beginning of a biological (evolutionary) journey.

This also fits with my model of intelligence (not yet sure what I am calling it), which means that if I upload the algorithm to any machine (regardless if it is a calculator, phone or humanoid robot) should (theoretically) infuse it with 'intelligence' and eventually allow it to evolve into something more... This also includes computers, in which case my idea crosses with DARPA's project.

I also would like to note that I consider such 'machines' to be 'living' creatures - a new type of organism (inorganic). If in doubt, think about the value of your body without the 'software' or 'intelligence' you posses... Who's a robot now?

2 Comments | Started April 18, 2015, 12:29:30 PM


Friday Funny in General Chat

Share your jokes here to bring joy to the world  :)

692 Comments | Started February 13, 2009, 01:42:59 PM


Henrietta - Ou Te Alofa Ia Oe (Samoa) in Video


1 Comment | Started April 20, 2015, 07:22:56 PM

ranch vermin

anyone want to have a chat or a stab at NLP with me? in AI Programming

Ok, so ive got a memory system, where a state of the sensors is a serial code,  and its completely illiterate, so im having a stab at trying to get to understand something simple autonomously.  But whatever you want to talk about can be completely irrelevant to this, I realize people dont necessarily understand my ideas for sure, simple detached idioms is definitely allowed in this post. :)

- so when you go about doing language ai,  just remember how anal programming is, and thats how a computer reads things.  which is the complete opposite of language, which is so freeform a computer has no chance at parsing it successfully.

* so these serial codes, are actually language, so it has language, even before its literate at all.

but!!! the words it sees, it cant involve them in its motor. (especially if its just dragging a mouse around in a limited clostrophobic environment, like a web bot does.)
  again-> its hard to associate the word for 'button'  with looking at a button.  same issue.

* its not just looking at shapes,  its actually symbolic of some part of its behaviour somewhere i guess.

* it treats it like pure programming, and then you have a missing links problem, where we automatically fill it with our bullshit, and the computer hasnt got bullshit yet.

* also, it has problems with contradictions, because its just pure programming to it.  (and theres a great many errors in our writings,

so anyone want to add or reject what i said or anything,  just anything language based even GA's,  Ivan had some cool ideas a while back due to some symbolic logic GA, and thats perfectly fine.  anything will do.

16 Comments | Started April 17, 2015, 06:09:58 PM


2014 was another record year for robotics in Robotics News

2014 was another record year for robotics
13 April 2015, 7:51 pm


2014 was another record year for robotics. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimates that about 225,000 robots sold in 2014, 27% more than 2013’s best-year-ever record.

China_2014_more_than_56000_new_robotsAll regions did well but China and South Korea reached new peak levels. In total, about 140,000 units were sold in the region, by far the highest volume ever recorded.

China was the biggest destination of industrial robots in 2014. About 56,000 units were sold, 54% more than in 2013. Chinese robot suppliers delivered 16,000 units and international robot suppliers about 40,000 units.

China still imports three out of every four industrial robots and even those robots produced in-country often rely on imported parts and software. Nevertheless, the growth of robots provided by Chinese suppliers is notable.

China-Korea-2015-sales_400_268South Korea was the second largest destination with about 39,000 units (attributable to considerable investment in the auto industry).

The IFR released this information at a press conference last month at Automate in Chicago. In addition to the exciting news of setting a new record for 2014 is the prospect for even higher figures for many years to come, particularly as smaller and more collaborative robots enter the SME marketplace. This optimism was evident all over the Automate show floor as almost every booth either had or made reference to collaborative robotics.

cobots-open-new-markets-for-robots_400_277At a previous IFR press conference a BMW robot executive said that, should their experiments using co-bots on the factory floor prove successful (and he thought they would), BMW could add a very large quantity of robots. When pushed for a number, he said that presently BMW had 7,500 robots at work but he could easily see adding another 15,000 co-bots.


Source: Robohub

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Started April 20, 2015, 04:50:30 PM


Researchers use artificial tail to study how we adapt to brain-machine interfaces in Robotics News

Researchers use artificial tail to study how we adapt to brain-machine interfaces
13 April 2015, 4:32 pm


Researchers from the Keio Institue of Pure and Applied Sciences (KiPAS) are working to reveal the mechanism by which newly acquired knowledge and information is transmitted and evolves among organisms with intelligence. This research is being done through pseudo-augmentation of body structures using a brain-machine interface, to investigate the process by which groups of individuals adapt to novel bodies and environments, using methods from the natural sciences.

Junichi Ushiba and Giulia Cisotto explain their work:

“Originally, I was very interested in the fact that we ourselves evolved from monkeys. The form of a body changes gradually through the process of evolution – for example, having a tail or not having a tail – and species that survive are using that specially evolved body effectively. Thinking about what this implies, even if a body changes, unless the brain that controls the body has the ability to adapt to the change, then naturally, an organism can’t utilize the adaptation effectively like the rest of its body. So, I think that one important keyword Concept in evolution is that the brain itself actually has the ability to adapt flexibly to external objects even more than we think it does. That’s precisely why I think there may be a process where a part of the body that has suddenly changed is incorporated, as if it was a part of the organism’s body, and the organism adapts and evolves accordingly. I wondered if this kind of process couldn’t actually be verified using methods from the natural sciences, and that was the motivation for this research.”

The method used in this research is to observe, in the laboratory, a group of about ten people who have an artificial tail, which can drive a brain-machine interface, attached to their body. Participants learn how to move the artificial tail, and attempt to use it skillfully, like their own body, through trial and error. They also share the ways in which they’ve learned to use the brain-machine interface with other people.

“In the beginning the person doesn’t know how to use the tail, but with some sort of training it’s possible for the person to modulate his or her brain activity in a way to control the tail.

The second step will be to study, using the same technology, some sort of heredity, so some sort of transfer of these new acquired skills to other people. So in the second step we will have more than one person in the same room and the first person, who has already acquired the skill to correctly move the tail, by moving around the room and talking with the other people, can transfer these acquired skills to the other people. So that in a certain period of time, all the other people gradually acquire the same skills, probably in another way, but with this technology we can monitor how each person, individually, can acquire the new skill.”

In physical training methods for sports, dance, and music, and in traditional arts and crafts, there are a variety of long-established approaches and styles, so universal principles for passing on such techniques have not been established. By contrast, the results of this research will provide scientific principles regarding control laws, learning processes, and ways of transmitting knowledge to other people. So, this research could contribute to scientific advances in industrial and cultural activities.

“Unless there are mechanisms that enable information that’s been correctly acquired by the mind to be transmitted to other people reliably, cultural activities that get sustained for hundreds of years, or go on to evolve further, couldn’t exist. Through this kind of research using tails, what I really want to understand is the process by which intangible information is created in the mind and transmitted to other people, so we can reveal some aspects of how culture and civilization took shape, using methods from the natural sciences.”


Source: Robohub

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Started April 20, 2015, 10:51:07 AM


Amazon Prime Air gets an updated FAA exemption in Robotics News

Amazon Prime Air gets an updated FAA exemption
13 April 2015, 3:56 pm


In a 9-page legal letter, with 28 itemized conditions and limitations, the FAA issued an exemption to Amazon to enable Prime Air to test in US airspace.

The FAA letter, dated April 8th, was filled with pages of legalese, but still limits testing to VLOS (visual line of sight) instead of autonomous flight, and flight controlled by a human operator. Amazon’s drones can not fly faster than 100 miles per hour, fly higher than 400 feet above ground level, and can not weigh more than 55 pounds, according to the letter.

[In February, the FAA provided a very limiting exemption stating that operators would need to see the drone with “unaided vision,” and the drones couldn’t fly over people. As a result of this frustrating situation, Amazon leaked a story of their testing in more accomodating airspace in Canada.]

Interestingly, three insurance giants – AIG, State Farm and USAA – also received FAA exemptions to use drones to observe, catalogue and manage damage caused by natural disasters.

“The potential use of UAS provides us one more innovative tool to help State Farm customers recover from the unexpected as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Wensley Herbert, a Vice President of Claims at State Farm, in a statement announcing the new regulatory permission.

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in:

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Source: Robohub

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1 Comment | Started April 20, 2015, 04:50:33 AM


The Drone Center’s Weekly Roundup: 4/13/15 in Robotics News

The Drone Center’s Weekly Roundup:  4/13/15
13 April 2015, 3:32 pm

photo: DroneCastDroneCast, an advertising company, uses drones to fly banners over events and businesses. Credit: DroneCast As the FAA grants more and more exemptions for the commercial use of drones, the immediate future of the domestic drone industry is beginning to take shape. We combed through the FAA’s drone exemptions to find out exactly which companies are now allowed to use drones, and what they will be using them for.

Drones are becoming increasingly common in armed conflicts, and human rights researchers are working hard to determine the effects of drone strikes on civilians. We take a closer look at the meticulous, painstaking, and difficult process of investigating drone strikes.


A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan reportedly killed four people. The strike is believed to have targeted a house in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan. It is the seventh strike in Pakistan this year. (Reuters)

The Federal Aviation Administration approved 59 petitions from companies and individuals that wish to use drones commercially. The agency also amended the requirements for obtaining an exemption from the nationwide ban on commercial drones. Instead of a private pilots license, the FAA now only requires a sport pilots license. The latest round of new approvals almost doubles the total number of companies that are allowed fly drones commercially. (FAA Press Release)

Meanwhile, Amazon received approval from the FAA to test its delivery drone concept in the United States. The online retail giant had received an approval in March for an older drone prototype that it is no longer using. The approval comes one week after Amazon criticized the FAA’s rulemaking process in a U.S. Senate hearing. (Reuters)

The Islamabad High Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Jonathan Bank, the former CIA station chief in Islamabad, and John A. Rizzo, a former CIA lawyer. The warrant comes after a contempt of court petition in a case that sought to have criminal charges brought against the two men for their involvement in directing U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. (New York Times)

The San Jose Neighborhoods Commission in California has endorsed a push by local law enforcement to test police drones for twelve months. “We’re a city that wants to do whatever it can to protect our officers,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement to CBS in support of the measure. The proposed project will now be considered by the San Jose City Council.

Minnesota firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources are concerned that drones could inhibit efforts to fight wildfires. (CBS Local)

Commentary, Analysis and Art

Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic released a new report that calls on all nations to quickly pass a ban on the development, production, and use of “killer robots.”

Stephen W. Preston, the lead lawyer at the Department of Defense, gave a speech at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law on the legal basis for the Obama administration’s use of force in the Middle East.

New York University School of Law students and alumni are circulating a petition urging the school administration to cancel a speech by Harold Koh due to his public support of the targeted killing program. (Newsweek)

Meanwhile, at Opinio Juris, Kevin Jon Heller argues that the NYU petitioners are doing themselves “a grave disservice.”

The April issue of OE Watch by the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth contains a number of essays that consider military drone use.

Michael Perry, the global PR manager for popular drone manufacturer DJI, told the International Business Times that delivery drones are unlikely to become a reality anytime soon.

At Forbes, Greg McNeal reports on a new policy directive from the FAA that restricts federal officers from ordering citizens to take down drone videos from the Internet.

Also at Forbes, Greg McNeal considers whether humans can feel empathy for robots.

In a webinar, Brendan Schulman and Matthew Bieschke analyze the FAA’s proposed rules for small drones. (YouTube)

At Motherboard, Jason Koebler considers how live-streaming drones offer new opportunities for citizen journalism.

At Just Security, Jameel Jaffer describes the “unreal” level of official secrecy surrounding the targeted killing program.

At the Nation, Grégoire Chamayou argues that the American targeted killing program has turned “wars into manhunts and humans into prey.” For our review of Chamayou’s A Theory of the Drone, click here.

At France24, Sophie Pilgrim writes that the UN’s drone unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo could be a model for future peacekeeping operations.

At IHS Jane’s 360, David C. Isby writes that Russia lacks weapons for shooting down drones.

At the Wall Street Journal, Leslie Scism and Jack Nicas report on the different insurance companies that have received permission from the FAA to fly drones.

In an essay at Bloomberg Business, Brad Wieners considers the role that drones are playing in saving migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

Know Your Drone

The U.S. Army has unveiled a program to expedite the acquisition of unmanned ground vehicles. Under existing acquisition schedules, robots are often obsolete by the time they hit the battlefield. (Army.mil)

Drone manufacturer DJI has unveiled the Phantom III, the latest edition of its popular consumer quadcopter. (Popular Mechanics)

Meanwhile, drone maker 3D Robotics is gearing up to unveil its own latest consumer quadcopter. (The Verge)

Defense contractor Thales has proposed an armed variant of the Watchkeeper military drone for the Polish Armed Forces. (Flight Global)

In Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force is said to be phasing in its Gorgon Stare Increment II system, a highly capable wide-area surveillance system. (Foxtrot Alpha)

Members of Congress are urging the Pentagon to develop an armed combat drone capable of staying aloft for days at a time in contested airspace. (Washington Post)

A new government-funded competition in New Zealand is offering a $50,000 prize for drone technologies for the film industry. (NBR)

In light of Amazon’s exemption to test its delivery drone system, Wired looks back at the Model 7, the first helicopter to ever be awarded a commercial license by the FAA.

Drones at Work

Churchill Downs banned visitors from using drones and selfie sticks at the upcoming Kentucky Derby. (Sports Illustrated)

David Kiarie, the head of Nairobi-based Zoom Advocacy Organization, believes that drones can be used to help advance infrastructure and development projects in unmapped areas. (Fast Company)

Patrick Meier is using drones to measure the damage from Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. (National Geographic)

Students at the University of Oregon are using drones to measure atmospheric temperatures. (KTVZ)

DroneCast, an advertising company, uses drones to fly banners over events and businesses. (Market Watch)

Ammar Mirjan, an architect at Gramazio Kohler Research, is exploring ways of using drones for construction. (Motherboard)

Mythbusters host Jamie Hyneman tried—unsuccessfully—to use a drone to prune a tree. (Digg)

At the Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands, a chimpanzee used a stick to bring down a drone. (PetaPixel)

The Weekly Drone Roundup is a newsletter from the Center for the Study of the Drone. It covers news, commentary, analysis and technology from the drone world. You can subscribe to the Roundup here.

Source: Robohub

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Started April 19, 2015, 10:50:50 PM

Assistant in Assistants

Your Assistant uses natural language technology to answer questions, find information, launch apps, and connect you with various web services. Besides doing whatever you like, it can look whatever you like. Use avatar builder to choose any appearance for your Assistant.

Apr 20, 2015, 19:05:10 pm
Marketers Tricked SXSW Tinder Users With A Chatbot

Marketers Tricked SXSW Tinder Users With A Chatbot in Articles

A company promoting the movie Ex Machina created a fake account, Ava, with a photo of the star of the movie. Ava is an AI in the film and presumably she wants to get down.

Apr 11, 2015, 10:19:14 am

Robohub in Robotics

Robohub is a non-profit online communication platform that brings together experts in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from across the globe. Our mission at Robohub is to connect the robotics community to the rest of the world. Content-area specialists curate all incoming articles to make sure that reporting is truthful, fair and balanced, and in-house editors ensure that all content meets the highest editorial standards for language and clarity. Embedded comments, and an active presence on Google+, Facebook and Twitter further help to promote discussion and debate.

Apr 10, 2015, 06:55:19 am
Computers in Comic Books

Computers in Comic Books in Articles

Computers in comics generally fall into one of two categories: independently intelligent (bad) and not (good). This division is natural for the highly charged emotional simplicity of comic books. As long as computers are simple tools to be used, their essentially neutral nature as slaves is considered beneficial. Artificial intelligence-real intelligence-is accompanied by ruthless logic or devious emotions and usually by an urge to supplant the creator. A computer capable of thinking many times faster than man would naturally be frustrated by the apparent stupidity of humans, and we would be no better than apes to such a machine.

Mar 20, 2015, 06:55:33 am
Bot libre Directory

Bot libre Directory in Directories

Bot directory supports linking external bots, not just bots created on the site.

Mar 15, 2015, 09:04:59 am
Bot libre Forums

Bot libre Forums in Forums

Wide range of boards here at Bot libre.

Mar 15, 2015, 09:03:19 am

Julie in Chatbots - English

Julie is a conversational chatbot that uses 3D video and expresses many different emotions, actions, and poses. You can ask Julie to perform actions, like "sleep", "wake up", "scream", or "kiss". Julie was developed to show case BOT libre's new avatar support. She is a chatbot designed for smalltalk and chit chat.

Mar 12, 2015, 11:22:23 am
My Psychiatrist is a Robot !

My Psychiatrist is a Robot ! in Articles

I have been experimenting with the development of a therapy bot in collaboration with computer scientist and three-time Loebner Prize winner Dr. Richard Wallace. The Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence is an award for the most human-like computer.

Mar 02, 2015, 16:00:33 pm
How To Create Your Own Customised Chatbot For Beginners - Chatbots 101

How To Create Your Own Customised Chatbot For Beginners - Chatbots 101 in Articles

With the recent increase in the popularity of chatbots (due, in large part, to the recent 2011 Chatterbox Challenge), I’ve seen a lot of requests in various places, asking about how someone could create their own chatbot, with many of these questions coming from individuals who have no prior experience or knowledge.

Mar 02, 2015, 15:55:20 pm
CG Emily, Image Metrics, and the Uncanny Valley

CG Emily, Image Metrics, and the Uncanny Valley in Video

Leah D'Emilio drops by Santa Monica-based Image Metrics, a motion-capture company on the cutting edge of rendering realistic faces, used on feature films ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix") and video games ("Grand Theft Auto 4"). Leah dons on the headcam used in performance based facial animation and discusses the Uncanny Valley.

Jan 20, 2009, 11:19:34 am