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Artificial intelligence made this robot dog a very good boy

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Meet ANYmal--a four-legged robot whose name is pronounced "animal." The 73-pound dog-like machine is a Swiss-made contraption that, thanks to artificial intelligence, can run faster, operate with more efficiency, and reset itself after a spill more successfully than it could before its AI training. The robot, featured in a new study in the journal Science Robotics, learned not just with AI, but also through computer simulation on a desktop, a much faster approach than teaching a robotic new tricks in the real, physical world. In fact, simulation is roughly 1,000-times faster than the real world, according to the study. This isn't the only arena for which simulation is important: In the world of self-driving cars, time in simulation is a crucial way that companies test and refine the software that operates the vehicles.


5G, Robot Delivery Dogs and a Google Ad Blitz: What CMOs Found at CES

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Marketing has become "much more of a technology function," according to International Business Machines Corp. CMO Michelle Peluso. "The intersection of marketing and tech is so critical right now that there's a strong, great reason to be [at CES], to be exploring and thinking about what's coming." Marketing technology accounted for nearly a third of marketing expenses in 2018, according to a Gartner survey of more than 600 marketers in North America and the U.K., up from 22% the year earlier. Anticipation and hype around the ever-closer arrival of 5G wireless service dominated CES this year. The high speed of data transmission via 5G will be transformational across everything from phones to cars to augmented reality, Adobe Systems Inc.


Minigo: An Open-Source Python Implementation Inspired By DeepMind's AlphaGo

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If you've been fascinated with DeepMind's AlphaGo program, there's good news for you. A few Go enthusiasts have replicated the results of the AlphaGo Zero paper, using a few resources provided by Google. The developers are keen to stress that this project is in no way associated with the official AlphaGo program by DeepMind. It's an independent effort that is inspired by AlphaGo, just not affiliated to it. According to the developers, Minigo "is a pure Python implementation of a neural-network based Go AI, using TensorFlow".


Why AI robot toys could be good for kids

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A new generation of robot toys with personalities powered by artificial intelligence could give kids more than just a holiday plaything, according to a University of Alberta researcher. Unlike previous electronic pets like the Furby and Tamagotchi that sparked holiday crazes in the late '90s, some of the robotic drones and droids on store shelves this season are packing genuine AI technology, said Anna Koop, director of applied machine learning at the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. "They're doing face recognition, they respond to voice commands with reasonable consistency, and they have sophisticated processors," she said. An object of particular curiosity for Koop is Cozmo and its more advanced cousin, Vector. Developed by Anki, a company founded by three graduates of Carnegie Mellon's robotics PhD program, the little tank-like robots are so full of personality that even Koop has to take an educated guess at just how intelligent their artificial intelligence is.


PepsiCo is launching robots to bring snacks on colleges

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Today, PepsiCo announced that it will be rolling out a fleet of snack-carrying robots on the University of the Pacific's campus in California. The robots -- or "snackbots" -- carry snacks and beverages from the company's Hello Goodness portfolio, which includes choices like Smartfood Delight popcorn, Baked Lays, Pure Leaf Tea, and Starbucks Cold Brew drinks. Students can place their orders on the iOS app and have them delivered to select locations around the 175-acre campus between 9AM and 5PM. The snackbots are nearly identical to the other delivery machines we've seen before. They can travel 20 miles on a single charge, and they have headlights and a camera.


Could robots do better than our current leaders?

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Third, making more extensive use of data and machines in sensitive decision-making also creates additional security risks such as data leaks, cyber-attacks or computational errors, the dangerous implications of which for global stability may outweigh the benefits of replacing hot-headed and ill-tempered humans. While human interaction can produce disastrous outcomes, it might also be more capable of quickly resolving disputes when needed, as evidenced by historical examples ranging from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the recent Trump-Kim Summit.


After Win in China, AlphaGo's Designers Explore New AI

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After winning its three-game match against Chinese grandmaster Ke Jie, the world's top Go player, AlphaGo is retiring. Demis Hassabis, the CEO and founder of DeepMind, the Google artificial intelligence lab that built this historic machine, tells WIRED he will now move the machine's designers to other projects. "This is some of the top people in the company," Hassabis says. "The idea is to really explore what we can do in other domains." Considering the world-shaking success of AlphaGo, that is a very powerful idea.


AI-mounted communicative robot pet goes on sale in Japan

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KAZINFORM - The Tokyo-based tech venture Groove X on Tuesday unveiled an artificial-intelligence equipped robot pet that can sense people's emotions and communicate with them, Kyodo News reports. The doll-like robot named "LOVOT" will be shipped in the autumn of 2019 as a set of two with a price tag of 598,000 yen ($5,300) plus a monthly service fee expected to be around 20,000 yen. A single LOVOT will be available in 2020 and will cost 349,000 yen plus a monthly fee of around 10,000 yen. The big-eyed robot, featuring a bevy of sensors, recognizes its owners' facial expressions and obeys commands, Groove X said. Weighing 3 kilograms and standing 43 centimeters tall, the mechanical pet has an internal camera and learns the layout of its household so it can move around without crashing into furniture.


Why AI robot toys could be good for kids

#artificialintelligence

A new generation of robot toys with personalities powered by artificial intelligence could give kids more than just a holiday plaything, according to a University of Alberta researcher. Unlike previous electronic pets like the Furby and Tamagotchi that sparked holiday crazes in the late '90s, some of the robotic drones and droids on store shelves this season are packing genuine AI technology, said Anna Koop, director of applied machine learning at the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. "They're doing face recognition, they respond to voice commands with reasonable consistency, and they have sophisticated processors," she said. An object of particular curiosity for Koop is Cozmo and its more advanced cousin, Vector. Developed by Anki, a company founded by three graduates of Carnegie Mellon's robotics Ph.D. program, the little tank-like robots are so full of personality that even Koop has to take an educated guess at just how intelligent their artificial intelligence is.


Bayesian Optimization in AlphaGo

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

During the development of AlphaGo, its many hyper-parameters were tuned with Bayesian optimization multiple times. This automatic tuning process resulted in substantial improvements in playing strength. For example, prior to the match with Lee Sedol, we tuned the latest AlphaGo agent and this improved its win-rate from 50% to 66.5% in self-play games. This tuned version was deployed in the final match. Of course, since we tuned AlphaGo many times during its development cycle, the compounded contribution was even higher than this percentage. It is our hope that this brief case study will be of interest to Go fans, and also provide Bayesian optimization practitioners with some insights and inspiration.