Why Rat-Brained Robots Are So Good at Navigating Unfamiliar Terrain

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

If you take a common brown rat and drop it into a lab maze or a subway tunnel, it will immediately begin to explore its surroundings, sniffing around the edges, brushing its whiskers against surfaces, peering around corners and obstacles. After a while, it will return to where it started, and from then on, it will treat the explored terrain as familiar. Roboticists have long dreamed of giving their creations similar navigation skills. To be useful in our environments, robots must be able to find their way around on their own. Some are already learning to do that in homes, offices, warehouses, hospitals, hotels, and, in the case of self-driving cars, entire cities. Despite the progress, though, these robotic platforms still struggle to operate reliably under even mildly challenging conditions.

Machine Learning from Observation to Detect Abnormal Driving Behavior in Humans

AAAI Conferences

Detection of abnormal behavior is the catalyst for many applications that seek to react to deviations from behavioral expectations. However, this is often difficult to do when direct communication with the performer is impractical. Therefore, we propose to create models of normal human performance and then compare their performance to a human's actual behavior. Any detected deviations can be then used to determine what condition(s) could possibly be influencing the deviant behavior. We build the models of human behavior through machine learning from observation; more specifically, we employ the Genetic Context Learning algorithm to create models of normal car driving behaviors of different humans with and without ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). We use a car simulator for our studies to eliminate risk to our test subjects and to other drivers. Our results show that different driving situations have varying utility in abnormal behavior detection. Learning from Observation was successful in building models to be applied to abnormal behavior detection.

Unsupervised machine learning to analyse city logistics through Twitter

arXiv.org Machine Learning

City Logistics is characterized by multiple stakeholders that often have different views of such a complex system. From a public policy perspective, identifying stakeholders, issues and trends is a daunting challenge, only partially addressed by traditional observation systems. Nowadays, social media is one of the biggest channels of public expression and is often used to communicate opinions and content related to City Logistics. The idea of this research is that analysing social media content could help in understanding the public perception of City logistics. This paper offers a methodology for collecting content from Twitter and implementing Machine Learning techniques (Unsupervised Learning and Natural Language Processing), to perform content and sentiment analysis. The proposed methodology is applied to more than 110 000 tweets containing City Logistics key-terms. Results allowed the building of an Interest Map of concepts and a Sentiment Analysis to determine if City Logistics entries are positive, negative or neutral.

Ethical Considerations for AI Researchers

AAAI Conferences

Use of artificial intelligence is growing and expanding into applications that impact people's lives. People trust their technology without really understanding it or its limitations. There is the potential for harm and we are already seeing examples of that in the world. AI researchers have an obligation to consider the impact of intelligent applications they work on. While the ethics of AI is not clear-cut, there are guidelines we can consider to minimize the harm we might introduce.

IBM delivers a piece of its brain-inspired supercomputer to Livermore national lab


IBM is about to deliver the foundation of a brain-inspired supercomputer to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the federal government's top research institutions. The delivery is one small "blade" within a server rack with 16 chips, dubbed TrueNorth, and is modeled after the way the human brain functions. Silicon Valley is awash in optimism about artificial intelligence, largely based on the progress that deep learning neural networks are making in solving big problems. Companies from Google to Nvidia are hoping they'll provide the AI smarts for self-driving cars and other tough problems. It is within this environment that IBM has been pursuing solutions in brain-inspired supercomputers.