China's 19-year-old Go player Ke Jie reacts during the second match against Google's artificial intelligence programme AlphaGo in Wuzhen, eastern China's Zhejiang province on May 25, 2017. Artificial intelligence is firmly embedded throughout the economy. Financial services firms use it to provide investment advice to customers, automakers are using it in vehicle autopilot systems, technology companies are using it to create virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, and retailers are using artificial intelligence (AI) together with customers' prior sales histories, to predict potential purchases in the future, to name but a few examples. The potential of AI to boost economic growth has been discussed in numerous forums, including by Accenture, the Council on Foreign Relations, the McKinsey Global Institute, the World Economic Forum, and President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, among others. The most dramatic advances in AI are coming from a data-intensive technique known as machine learning.
In recent years, a growing number of researchers have explored the use of robotic arms or dexterous hands to solve a variety of everyday tasks. While many of them have successfully tackled simple tasks, such as grasping or basic manipulation, complex tasks that involve multiple steps and precise/strategic movements have so far proved harder to address. A team of researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tencent AI Lab has recently developed a deep learning-based approach to solve a Rubik's Cube using a multi-fingered dexterous hand. Their approach, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, allows a dexterous hand to solve more advanced in-hand manipulation tasks, such as the renowned Rubik's Cube puzzle. A Rubik's Cube is a plastic cube covered in multi-colored squares that can be shifted into different positions.
Amazon has argued that the voice of Alexa, the artificial intelligence assistant used in its range of Echo speakers, has First Amendment rights. The company is fighting an order to hand over recordings from an Amazon Echo used by James Andrew Bates, who is on trial for allegedly murdering his friend Victor Collins in Arkansas in November 2015. Amazon has filed a 90-page document, which is available to read on Forbes, contesting the warrant demanding the audio covering the 48-hour period from 21-22 November 2015. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.
Humans can manipulate Rubik's cubes with relative ease, but robots have historically had a tougher go of it. That's not to suggest there aren't exceptions to the rule -- an MIT invention recently solved a cube in a record-breaking 0.38 seconds -- but they typically involve purpose-built motors and controls. Encouragingly, a group of researchers at Tencent and the Chinese University of Hong Kong say they've designed a Rubik's cube manipulator that uses multi-fingered hands. "Dexterous in-hand manipulation is a key building block for robots to achieve human-level dexterity, and accomplish everyday tasks which involve rich contact," wrote the researchers. "Despite concerted progress, reliable multi-fingered dexterous hand manipulation has remained an open challenge, due to its complex contact patterns, high dimensional action space, and fragile mechanical structure."
The Pentagon is set to award a $10bn "war cloud" contract to a technology company next month, with both Amazon and Microsoft competing for the chance to build a military-grade AI computing system. The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (Jedi) plan faces a number of obstacles before the US defence department makes its decision next month, not least from within the companies' own work forces. Microsoft employees published an open letter on Medium last year, pleading the tech giant to not bid on the Jedi contract. "Many Microsoft employees don't believe that what we build should be used for waging war," they wrote. We'll tell you what's true.