There has been a sense that as the capabilities of artificial intelligence has expanded at a rapid pace in the past few years that we need to step back and think of the philosophical and ethical side of AI. This is especially so when we have such a patchy understanding of how seemingly straightforward goals might be carried out by an AI. For instance, requesting that an AI eradicate cancer could prompt it to kill all humans, thus achieving its ultimate goal but probably not in the way we'd desire. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology believe that robots can learn sufficient ethics, even if it's not hardwired into them by using an approach they're calling Quixote. The approach, which was documented in a recent paper, uses value alignment, with the robots trained using stories to understand right from wrong.
Congealing is a flexible nonparametric data-driven framework for the joint alignment of data. It has been successfully applied to the joint alignment of binary images of digits, binary images of object silhouettes, grayscale MRI images, color images of cars and faces, and 3D brain volumes. This research enhances congealing to practically and effectively apply it to curve data. We develop a parameterized set of nonlinear transformations that allow us to apply congealing to this type of data. We present positive results on aligning synthetic and real curve data sets and conclude with a discussion on extending this work to simultaneous alignment and clustering.
A major change is coming, over unknown timescales but across every segment of society, and the people playing a part in that transition have a huge responsibility and opportunity to shape it for the best. What will trigger this change? Recently, some of the top minds in AI and related fields got together to discuss how we can ensure AI remains beneficial throughout this transition, and the result was the Asilomar AI Principles document. The intent of these 23 principles is to offer a framework to help artificial intelligence benefit as many people as possible. But, as AI expert Toby Walsh said of the Principles, "Of course, it's just a start.
The worst thing that can happen in Settlers of Catan isn't ending up with settlements that don't yield any resources, it's when someone accidentally bumps the board sending roads and cities flying in all directions. So maybe playing Catan is yet another thing we should leave to the robots? Students from the Computer Science and Mathematics departments of the OTH Regensburg Technical University of Applied Sciences in Germany are working on programming a KUKA industrial robotic arm to play Settlers of Catan. Using cameras above an LCD game board that displays virtual versions of the game's iconic hexagonal pieces, the robot is able to play and interact with human opponents, presumably putting up a good fight. But it's also able to precisely place the game's settlement, city, and road pieces, without the risk of knocking anything out of alignment in the process.
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them,"Joseph Brodsky, a Russian and American poet, once said. Books let the reader experience new, different worlds, unexpected events, wild adventures. But foremost, they open the access to the minds of others, minds of characters and minds of narrators. Common sense tells us that reading fiction should train people in understanding what others think and feel.