Hopefully Something

Free Will. Oh boy... in AI News

I thought this was cool. I like this kind of stuff.

I also have my own “out there” theory about free will:
The universe doesn’t support infinite sig-figs. So, there must be a fundamental sliver of uncertainty within even the smallest simplest bit of matter. In complex structures, the effects of these uncertainties could propagate and multiply. This is why complex structures such as ourselves are able to exhibit so much uncertainty. Within uncertainty there is room for freedom. This is how the concept of free will could have a physical basis.

What do you think about free will?

43 Comments | Started March 22, 2019, 10:58:04 pm


Tim Berners-Lee named FT “Boldness in Business” Person of the Year in Robotics News

Tim Berners-Lee named FT “Boldness in Business” Person of the Year
18 March 2019, 2:25 pm

The week that his invention of the World Wide Web turned 30, MIT professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been named the Financial Times’ Person of the Year in their special “Boldness in Business” issue.

Berners-Lee was honored for his new startup inrupt, which emerged out of work at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developing the open-data platform Solid.

Solid aims to give users ownership over their data by building decentralized social applications.

"Right now we really have the worst of all worlds, in which people not only cannot control their data, but also can’t really use it, because it’s spread across a number of different silo-ed websites,” says Berners-Lee. “Our goal is to ‘re-decentralize the web’ and develop a web architecture that gives users more control over the information they provide to applications.”

Solid has produced some 50,000 so-called personal online data stores (PODs) that are being experimented on by thousands of developers across more than 25 countries. His company is also collaborating with partners like UK’s National Health Service to explore growing the scale of Solid, and intends to launch a user product by the end of the year.

In the FT article, Berners-Lee acknowledges the challenges of breaking through with a new paradigm in a climate where companies have vested interests in maintaining their data ecosystem. But he retains a healthy optimism that recent concerns about data privacy have created more momentum for a project like this.

“It is rocket science. It is tricky. Things can blow up on you,” Berners-Lee told FT. “But we know how to fire rockets into the sky. We should be able to build constructive social networks.”

Besides his responsibilities at CSAIL, Berners-Lee is director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which develops web standards, specifications, and tool, as well as director of the World Wide Web Foundation, which does advocacy related to “a free and open web for everyone.”

He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT as well as a recipient of the A.C.M. Turing Award, often described as “the Nobel Prize of computing,” for inventing the web and developing the protocols that spurred its global use.

“Tim’s contributions to computer science have fundamentally transformed the world, and his more recent work with inrupt is poised to do the same,” says CSAIL Director Daniela Rus. “All of us at the lab — and MIT more broadly — are so very proud of him and excited to see how his efforts will continue to impact the way that people use and share data.”

Source: MIT News - CSAIL - Robotics - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) - Robots - Artificial intelligence

Reprinted with permission of MIT News : MIT News homepage

Use the link at the top of the story to get to the original article.

Started Today at 12:00:21 pm


XKCD Comic : New Robot in XKCD Comic

New Robot
25 March 2019, 4:00 am

Source: xkcd.com

Started Today at 12:00:20 pm


The Minds of Men - All of the creators and pioneers of computing science! ... in AI in Film and Literature.


The conspiracy behind computer science .... Neural networks....

Actually a very long video but really its worth it.... from Donald Hebb..... to mcculloch and pitts.... What has been the driving force behind Publicly available science and technology? (not the hidden)........

Quite Eye opening documentary!

2 Comments | Started March 25, 2019, 07:13:29 pm


A.I. News - and one man's opinion in AI News

From the tried and trusty Star, where else...
Is Elon a spokesman for Google? One might think.

Anyhow, would you get the implant to become more intelligent or are you satisfied with just being, well, sort of normal?


2 Comments | Started March 25, 2019, 12:13:54 pm


W3C Chatbot/Assistant Standards in AI News

I received this from a friend who asked if I would be kind enough to share it with our community here.

Please feel free to likewise share it with those that you know might benefit from it.

Thank you!

The World Wide Web Consortium has begun the process of developing
a universal standard for conversational agents.



1 Comment | Started March 06, 2019, 03:13:51 am


Ethics, computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT in Robotics News

Ethics, computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT
18 March 2019, 2:24 pm

The MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will reorient the Institute to bring the power of computing and artificial intelligence to all fields at MIT; allow the future of computing and AI to be shaped by all MIT disciplines; and advance research and education in ethics and public policy to help ensure that new technologies benefit the greater good.

To support ongoing planning for the new college, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean Melissa Nobles invited faculty from all five MIT schools to offer perspectives on the societal and ethical dimensions of emerging technologies. This series presents the resulting commentaries — practical, inspiring, concerned, and clear-eyed views from an optimistic community deeply engaged with issues that are among the most consequential of our time.

The commentaries represent diverse branches of knowledge, but they sound some common themes, including: the vision of an MIT culture in which all of us are equipped and encouraged to discern the impact and ethical implications of our endeavors.


Ethics, Computing, and AI  

Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and professor of political science

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"These commentaries, representing faculty from all five MIT schools, implore us to be collaborative, foresighted, and courageous as we shape a new college — and to proceed with judicious humility. Rightly so. We are embarking on an endeavor that will influence nearly every aspect of the human future." Read more >>


The Tools of Moral Philosophy

Caspar Hare, professor of philosophy

Kieran Setiya, professor of philosophy

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"We face ethical questions every day. Philosophy does not provide easy answers for these questions, nor even fail-safe techniques for resolving them. What it does provide is a disciplined way to think about ethical questions, to identify hidden moral assumptions, and to establish principles by which our actions may be guided and judged. Framing a discussion of the risks of advanced technology entirely in terms of ethics suggests that the problems raised are ones that can and should be solved by individual action. In fact, many of the challenges presented by computer science will prove difficult to address without systemic change.”

Action: Moral philosophers can serve both as teachers in the new College and as advisers/consultants on project teams. Read more >>


A New Kind of Education

Susan Silbey, chair of the MIT faculty

Celebration for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

28 February 2018

"The college of computing will be dedicated to educating a different kind of technologist. We hope to integrate computing with just about every other subject at MIT so that students leave here with the knowledge and resources to be wiser, more ethically and technologically competent citizens and professionals." Read more >>

Part I: A Human Endeavor

Computing is embedded in cultural, economic, and political realities.

Computing is Deeply Human

Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology

Heather Paxson, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Anthropology

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"Computing is a human practice that entails judgment and is embedded in politics. Computing is not an external force that has an impact on society; instead, society — institutional structures that organize systems of social norms — is built right into making, programming, and using computers."

Action: The computational is political; MIT can make that recognition one of the pillars of computing and AI research. Read more >>

When Computer Programs Become Unpredictable

John Guttag, Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

School of Engineering

“We should look forward to the many good things machine-learning will bring to society. But we should also insist that technologists study the risks and clearly explain them. And society as whole should take responsibility for understanding the risks and for making human-centric choices about how best to use this ever-evolving technology.”

Action: Develop platforms that enable a wide spectrum of society to engage with the societal and ethical issues of new technology. Read more >>

Safeguarding Humanity in the Age of AI

Bernhardt Trout, Raymond F. Baddour Professor of Chemical Engineering

School of Engineering

"There seem to be two possibilities for how AI will turn out. In the first, AI will do what it is on track to do: slowly take over every human discipline. The second possibility is that we take the existential threat of AI with the utmost seriousness and completely change our approach. This means redirecting our thinking from a blind belief in efficiency to a considered understanding of what is most important about human life." Read more >>

Action: Develop a curriculum that encourages us to reflect deeply on fundamental questions: What is justice? How ought I to live?


Shaping ethical technology is a collective responsibility.

The Common Ground of Stories

Mary Fuller, professor of literature, and head of the MIT Literature section

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science

“Stories are things in themselves, and they are also things to think with. Stories allow us to model interpretive, affective, ethical choices; they also become common ground. Reading about Milton’s angelic intelligences or William Gibson’s “bright lattices of logic” won’t tell us what we should do with the future, but reading such stories at MIT may offer a conceptual meeting place to think together across the diversity of what and how we know."

Action: Create residencies for global storytellers in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Read more >>

Who's Calling the Shots with AI?

Leigh Hafrey, senior lecturer of leadership and ethics

MIT Sloan School of Management

"'Efficiency' is a perennial business value and a constant factor in corporate design, strategy, and execution. But in a world where the exercise of social control by larger entities is real, developments in artificial intelligence have yet to yield the ethics by which we might manage their effects. The integrity of our vision for the future depends on our learning from the past and celebrating the fact that people, not artifacts and institutions, set our rules of engagement."

Action: Adopt a full-on stakeholder view of business in society and the individual in business. Read more >>

In Praise of Wetware

Caroline A. Jones, professor of art history

School of Architecture and Planning

“As we enshrine computation as the core of smartness, we would be well advised to think of the complexity of our ‘wet’ cognition, which entails a much more distributed notion of intelligence that goes well beyond the sacred cranium and may not even be bounded by our own skin.”

Action: Before claiming that it is "intelligence" we've produced in machines or modeled in computation, we should better understand the adaptive, responsive human wetware — and its dependence on a larger living ecosystem. Read more >>

Blind Spots

David Kaiser, Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science, and professor of physics

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Department of Physics

“MIT has a powerful opportunity to lead in the development of new technologies while also leading careful, deliberate, broad-ranging, and ongoing community discussions about the “whys” and 'what ifs,' not just the 'hows.' No group of researchers, flushed with the excitement of learning and building something new, can overcome the limitations of blind spots and momentum alone."

Action: Create ongoing forums for brainstorming and debate; we will benefit from engaging as many stakeholders as possible. Read more >>

Assessing the Impact of AI on Society

Lisa Parks, professor of comparative media studies

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

“Three fundamental societal challenges have emerged from the use of AI, particularly for data collection and machine learning. The first challenge centers on this question: Who has the power to know about how AI tools work, and who does not? A second challenge involves learning how AI tools intersect with international relations and the dynamics of globalization. Beyond questions of knowledge, power, and globalization, it is important to consider the relationship between AI and social justice."

Action: Conduct a political, economic, and materialist analysis of the relationship of AI technology to global trade, governance, natural environments, and culture. Read more >>

Clues and Caution for AI from the History of Biomedicine

Robin Wolfe Scheffler, Leo Marx Career Development Professor in the History and Culture of Science and Technology

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"The use of AI in the biomedical fields today deepens longstanding questions raised by the past intractability of biology and medicine to computation, and by the flawed assumptions that were adopted in attempting to make them so. The history of these efforts underlines two major points: 'Quantification is a process of judgment and evaluation, not simple measurement' and 'Prediction is not destiny.'"

Action: First, understand the nature of the problems we want to solve — which include issues not solvable by technical innovation alone. Let that knowledge guide new AI and technology projects. Read more >>

The Environment for Ethical Action

T.L. Taylor, professor of comparative media studies

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"We can cultivate our students as ethical thinkers but if they aren’t working in (or studying in) structures that support advocacy, interventions, and pushing back on proposed processes, they will be stymied. Ethical considerations must include a sociological model that focuses on processes, policies, and structures and not simply individual actors."

Action: Place a commitment to social justice at the heart of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Read more >>

Biological Intelligence and AI

Matthew A. Wilson, Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience

School of Science and the Picower Institute

"An understanding of biological intelligence is relevant to the development of AI, and the effort to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI) magnifies its significance. AGIs will be expected to conform to standards of behavior...Should we hold AIs to the same standards as the average human? Or will we expect AIs to perform at the level of an ideal human?"

Action: Conduct research on how innate morality arises in human intelligence, as an important step toward incorporating such a capacity into artificial intelligences. Read more >>

Machine Anxiety

Bernardo Zacka, assistant professor of political science

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"To someone who studies bureaucracy, the anxieties surrounding AI have an eerily familiar ring. So too does the excitement. For much of the 20th century, bureaucracies were thought to be intelligent machines. As we examine the ethical and political implications of AI, there are at least two insights to draw from bureaucracy's history: That it is worth studying our anxieties whether or not they are realistic; and that in doing so we should not write off human agency."

Action: When societies undergo deep transformations, envisioning a future that is both hopeful and inclusive is a task that requires moral imagination, empathy, and solidarity. We can study the success of societies that have faced such challenges well. Read more >>

Part III: A Structure for Collaboration

Thinking together is powerful.

Bilinguals and Blending

Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

School of Engineering

"When we study society today, we can no longer separate humanities — the study of what’s human — from computing. So, while there’s discussion under way about building bridges between computing and the humanities, arts, and social sciences, what the College of Computing needs is blending, not bridging. MIT’s guideline should be President Reif’s goal to 'educate the bilinguals of the future' —experts in many fields who are also skilled in modern computing."

Action: Develop approaches for joint research and joint teaching. Read more >>

A Dream of Computing

Fox Harrell, professor of digital media and artificial intelligence

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

"There are numerous perspectives on what computing is: some people focus on theoretical underpinnings, others on implementation, others still on social or environmental impacts. These perspectives are unified by shared characteristics, including some less commonly noted: computing can involve great beauty and creativity."

Action: "We must reimagine our shared dreams for computing technologies as ones where their potential social and cultural impacts are considered intrinsic to the engineering practices of inventing them." Read more >>

A Network of Practitioners

Nick Montfort, professor of media studies

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"Computing is not a single discipline or even a set of disciplines; it is a practice. The new college presents an opportunity for many practitioners of computing at MIT."

Action: Build a robust network with many relevant types of connections, not all of them through a single core. Read more >>

Two Commentaries

Susan Silbey, chair of the MIT Faculty; Goldberg Professor of Humanities, professor of sociology and anthropology; and professor of behavioral and policy sciences

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and MIT Sloan School of Management

How Not To Teach Ethics: "Rather than thinking about ethics as a series of anecdotal instances of problematic choice-making, we might think about ethics as participation in a moral culture, and then ask how that culture supports or challenges ethical behavior."

Forming the College:  "The Stephen A. Schwarzman College is envisioned to be the nexus connecting those who advance computer science, those who use computational tools in specific subject fields, and those who analyze and write about digital worlds." Read more >>

Ethical AI by Design

Abby Everett Jaques, postdoc in philosophy

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

"We are teaching an ethical protocol, a step-by-step process that students can use for their own projects. In this age of self-driving cars and machine learning, the questions feel new, but in many ways they’re not. Philosophy offers powerful tools to help us answer them." Read more >>

Series prepared by MIT SHASS Communications

Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Series Editors: Emily Hiestand, Kathryn O'Neill

Source: MIT News - CSAIL - Robotics - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) - Robots - Artificial intelligence

Reprinted with permission of MIT News : MIT News homepage

Use the link at the top of the story to get to the original article.

Started March 25, 2019, 12:00:40 pm


Chatterbot Collection Update in Announcements

Been doing some work on this, catering more to mobile again, but keeping it good on desktop too.

A lot of clutter removed, I was thinking of removing that Disqus comment thing too as nobody really uses it.


3 Comments | Started March 23, 2019, 11:24:26 pm


Rubik's Cube solves itself in Video

Very clever design.


6 Comments | Started March 23, 2019, 09:31:14 pm


Petoi Nybble, the first product of OpenCat in Robotics News

A pretty ingenious feline design.


Started March 24, 2019, 04:44:10 pm
Metal Gear Solid - Metal Gear REX

Metal Gear Solid - Metal Gear REX in Robots in Movies

Metal Gear is the name for a series of mecha in the Metal Gear game series. Metal Gear REX is a Metal Gear model that appears in the game Metal Gear Solid designed by Yoji Shinkawa. Unlike previous Metal Gears, its legs are heavily armoured and reinforced.

Metal Gear REX has near-impenetrable compound armour, a pair of 30 mm Gatling guns, anti-tank missiles, and a free-electron laser, to protect itself from conventional forces. Its primary weapon, however, is a magnetic railgun capable of delivering an untraceable nuclear warhead anywhere in the world, without the propellant trail or launch flare that gives away the launch position of a traditional ballistic missile. 

Mar 25, 2019, 15:02:58 pm
Half-Life 2 - Dog

Half-Life 2 - Dog in Robots in Games

Dog is a hulking robot belonging to Alyx Vance, built by her father Eli to provide both companionship and to protect her. Alyx subsequently upgraded the robot into its current form. Despite its name, Dog is anthropomorphic in appearance. Dog provides support to Freeman during training with the Gravity Gun, and makes appearances several times after.

Mar 25, 2019, 14:39:38 pm
Portal 2 - Want You Gone

Portal 2 - Want You Gone in Robots in Games

Jonathan Coulton's song "Still Alive", which is sung by GLaDOS (voiced by Ellen McLain) over Portal's end credits, was considered a large part of Portal's success; in designing Portal 2, Valve desired to incorporate more music into the game, including further involvement from Coulton.

Coulton wrote the lyrics and composed the song over the course of several days, with John Flansburgh assisting on electronic drums, and traveled to Valve's headquarters in January 2011 to record it with McLain. Ultimately the game's finale, where GLaDOS effectively "breaks up" with Chell, was set by the last quarter of 2010, and Coulton played the game as it had been developed to that point to generate ideas.

Mar 25, 2019, 01:18:32 am
Portal - Still Alive

Portal - Still Alive in Robots in Games

"Still Alive" is a song featured in the closing credits of the 2007 video game Portal. It was composed and arranged by Jonathan Coulton and was performed by Ellen McLain, while portraying the Portal character GLaDOS. The song plays during the end credits in-song in the form of a computer console, and plays after GLaDOS is defeated by Chell, the game's protagonist and player character, with the lyrics revealing that GLaDOS is, in fact, "still alive" and not angry with anything.

Mar 25, 2019, 00:53:32 am
Portal Series - GLaDOS

Portal Series - GLaDOS in Robots in Games

GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is an artificially intelligent computer system from the video game series Portal. GLaDOS was originally intended to be present solely in the first area of Portal; she was well received by other designers and her role was expanded as a result.

Universally praised for her contributions to the caliber of Portal's narrative, GLaDOS received multiple awards for being the best new game character in 2007 from GameSpy, GamePro, and X-Play. While the game was initially designed with other characters, they were later removed, leaving GLaDOS as the only character players encounter.

Mar 25, 2019, 00:36:26 am
Mass Effect - Legion

Mass Effect - Legion in Robots in Games

Legion is the name given to the synthetic intelligence Geth Platform 2A93, a geth terminal eleven times more powerful than standard mobile platforms, designed to operate outside of Geth space and interact diplomatically with organic lifeforms. Casey Lynch, again from IGN, believed Legion to have one of gaming's best "first encounters" with a character, thanking his musical theme and its "rousing crescendo".

GamesRadar's Jordan Baughman cited Legion as an example of BioWare's "Kickass Robot" character archetype, following on from Knights of the Old Republic's HK-47 and Dragon Age's Shale. Steven Hopper of IGN listed the character as the fifth-best Mass Effect teammate, looking forward to seeing how he would develop in the then-upcoming Mass Effect 3 and calling his recruitment "an awesome twist".

Mar 25, 2019, 00:20:37 am
Portal 2 - Wheatley

Portal 2 - Wheatley in Robots in Games

Wheatley is a fictional artificial intelligence from the Portal franchise first introduced in the 2011 video game Portal 2. Initially serving as a comedic foil to the player-character Chell during the first half of Portal 2, Wheatley becomes the main antagonist of the second half as he takes GLaDOS' place and wreaks havoc on the facility before Chell and GLaDOS stop him.

In the Portal narrative, Wheatley is one of several spherical "personality cores" developed to restrain GLaDOS, the main artificial intelligence that operates the Aperture Science facility, from becoming rampant, though Wheatley is later revealed to have been built to act as an intelligence dampener towards GLaDOS.

He is voiced by British comedian Stephen Merchant, and created in part by Portal 2's designer Erik Wolpaw.

Mar 24, 2019, 23:31:02 pm
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence in Books

"This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it" - Stephen Hawking.

AI is the future - but what will that future look like? Will superhuman intelligence be our slave, or become our god?

Taking us to the heart of the latest thinking about AI, Max Tegmark, the MIT professor whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial, separates myths from reality, utopias from dystopias, to explore the next phase of our existence.

How can we grow our prosperity through automation, without leaving people lacking income or purpose? How can we ensure that future AI systems do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether?

"This is a rich and visionary book and everyone should read it" - The Times

Mar 24, 2019, 22:56:51 pm
The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity in Books

The Fourth Age not only discusses what the rise of A.I. will mean for us, it also forces readers to challenge their preconceptions. And it manages to do all this in a way that is both entertaining and engaging.” —The New York Times

As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, The Fourth Age offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species.

In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history: 

- 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to language.

- 10,000 years ago, we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare.

- 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and writing, which lead to the nation state.

We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how—rather than what—we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.

By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?”, Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they’ll transform humanity.

Mar 24, 2019, 22:46:09 pm

Replicas in Robots in Movies

Replicas is a 2018 American science fiction thriller film directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, and written by Chad St. John, from a story by Stephen Hamel. The film tells the story of a neuroscientist who violates the law and bioethics to bring his family members back to life after they die in a car accident. It stars Keanu ReevesAlice Eve, and Thomas Middleditch.

The protagonists attempt to transfer a human mind into an android.

Mar 24, 2019, 22:31:26 pm
Wildcards in AIML

Wildcards in AIML in AIML / Pandorabots

Steve Worswick Blog Entry (Mitsuku creator).

In this blog, I’ll discuss the various wildcards in AIML . This will give you a solid introduction to using them in your own code.

Mar 23, 2019, 14:23:06 pm