Humanity at a Crossroads--Artificial Intelligence is one of the most intriguing topics today, filled with various arguments and views on whether it's a blessing or a threat to humanity. We might be at the crossroads, but what if AI itself is already crossing the line? If we look at "I, Robot," a sci-fi film that takes place in Chicago circa 2035, highly intelligent robots powered by artificial intelligence fill public service positions and have taken over all the menial jobs, including garbage collection, cooking, and even dog walking throughout the world. The movie came out in 2004 starring Will Smith as Detective Del Spooner who eventually discovers a conspiracy in which AI-powered robots may enslave and hurt the human race. Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, also once stated: "Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization.
At Instagram, we have the world's largest deployment of the Django web framework, which is written entirely in Python. We began using Python early on because of its simplicity, but we've had to do many hacks over the years to keep it simple as we've scaled. Last year we tried dismissing the Python garbage collection (GC) mechanism (which reclaims memory by collecting and freeing unused data), and gained 10% more capacity. However, as our engineering team and number of features have continued to grow, so has memory usage. Eventually, we started losing the gains we had achieved by disabling GC.
Much of that is unused paint, insecticides, bleach, cleaning products and other dangerous fluids. Because many processing facilities can't quickly identify the chemicals in this household waste, the items are often simply lumped together and incinerated – which is expensive. Now two entrepreneurs have exploited standard product barcodes to help identify exactly what people have discarded and thus what chemicals they contain. This allows certain articles to be diverted for recycling. Their start-up, Smarter Sorting, has installed a barcode scanning system at four waste disposal sites in the US used by the public – in Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Portland, Oregon; and Mesa County, Colorado.
China plans to establish a village on the moon with Europe's help by 2036. Now, in a step towards that goal, the nation has created a'Lunar Palace' on Earth to simulate living in isolated conditions on the moon. Four students from the astronautics research university Beihang yesterday entered the 160-square-metre (1,720-square-foot) cabin, dubbed the'Yuegong-1'. Groups of volunteers will live in a sealed lab simulating a lunar-like environment as Beijing prepares for its long-term goal of putting humans on the moon by 2036. Two groups of four volunteers from Beijing's astronautics research university will live in a simulated space cabin, measuring 160 square metres (1,720 square foot), over the next year.
A small robot is roving around a massive U.S. nuclear waste site to gather critical samples of potential air and water contamination after an emergency was declared Tuesday. The machine was deployed after a tunnel that stores rail cars filled with radioactive waste partially collapsed at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. The mishap raised fears of a radiation leak at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, though officials said there was no actual indication of a release of plutonium radiation as of 2:20 p.m. PDT. The air- and soil-sampling robot is monitoring for any changes on the scene. This robot is being used at Hanford right now to sample contamination in the air and on the ground.
The Knowledge-based approach allowed the system to be implemented as three separate modules: inference engine, knowledge base, and user interface. Initially required to run under MS-DOS on a PC AT equivalent with 640K of RAM, a second release to run under Windows 3.1 reused the inference engine and knowledge base, requiring only a revised user interface. Enhancements made to the inference engine and the knowledge base were immediately available to both environments.
IN 2004, IN THE MAZE-LIKE aisles of Stanford's computer science department, I spoke to a man who resembled Santa Claus. This bearded man was John McCarthy, who coined the term Artificial Intelligence in the 1950s and was one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence, along with Marvin Minsky. McCarthy spearheaded the effort for some time, including creating the language Lisp for the purpose of AI, among other innovations like time-sharing for computers, garbage collection, and lambda calculus. I was a graduate student studying natural language processing, and AI wasn't as cool as it is today. Neither was natural language processing.
Software as a service platform Jodone's latest design makes sorting recyclables from trash faster, more efficient and ultimately, more profitable. Made for use with industry standard robots from multiple suppliers, the interface turns the acts of recognizing and categorizing recyclables into a game. As waste travels along a conveyer belt, workers swipe a touch screen to classify items as recyclable. The instructions are sent wirelessly to robotic arms that then pick and sort the appropriate pieces. In the laboratory, the collaborative process achieved a recycling rate eight times higher than humans alone and with a 95 percent accuracy rate.
Béjar, Ramón (Universitat de Lleida) | Fernández, César (Universitat de Lleida) | Mateu, Carles (Universitat de Lleida) | Manyà, Felip (IIIA-CSIC) | Sole-Mauri, Francina (RosRoca Envirotec) | Vidal, David (RosRoca Envirotec)
One of the most challenging problems on modern urban planning and one of the goals to be solved for smart city design is that of urban waste disposal. Given urban population growth, and that the amount of waste generated by each of us citizens is also growing, the total amount of waste to be collected and treated is growing dramatically (EPA 2011), becoming one sensitive issue for local governments. A modern technique for waste collection that is steadily being adopted is automated vacuum waste collection. This technology uses air suction on a closed network of underground pipes to move waste from the collection points to the processing station, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as inconveniences to citizens (odors, noise, . . . ) and allowing better waste reuse and recycling. This technique is open to optimize energy consumption because moving huge amounts of waste by air impulsion requires a lot of electric power. The described problem challenge here is, precisely, that of organizing and scheduling waste collection to minimize the amount of energy per ton of collected waste in such a system via the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques. This kind of problems are an inviting opportunity to showcase the possibilities that AI for Computational Sustainability offers.