"I was determined to do it precisely because I was told it was impossible." So says Yasuo Kuniyoshi, professor at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, in a quiet tone. However, the sharp glint in his eye betrays his grand ambition of developing a truly clever artificial intelligence to benefit humankind. Existing AI (Top) Self-driving cars most likely will one day be able to take people to their destination by recognizing simple instructions like, "Take me to the University of Tokyo." Because existing AI does not think the same way humans do, it cannot adapt to situations that are not in its playbook.
This is a story about the future. Not the unhappy future, the one where climate change turns the planet into a cinder or we all die in a global nuclear war. This is the happy version. It's the one where computers keep getting smarter and smarter, and clever engineers keep building better and better robots. Plus they're computers: They never get tired, they're never ill-tempered, they never make mistakes, and they have instant access to all of human knowledge. Global warming is a problem of the past because computers have figured out how to generate limitless amounts of green energy and intelligent robots have tirelessly built the infrastructure to deliver it to our homes. No one needs to work anymore. Robots can do everything humans can do, and they do it uncomplainingly, 24 hours a day. Some things remain scarce--beachfront property in Malibu, original Rembrandts--but thanks to super-efficient use of natural resources and massive recycling, scarcity of ordinary consumer goods is a thing of the past. Our days are spent however we please, perhaps in study, perhaps playing video games. Maybe you think I'm pulling your leg here.
With his research into artificial intelligence, he sees potential to make a significant difference in the defence and emergency management sectors. His expertise in this area also forms the basis for his teaching in both the Master of Information Technology and the Master of Computer Science at RMIT University. We spoke to him to find out more about his passion for this increasingly relevant area of IT. I'm an Associate Professor in Artificial Intelligence within the School of Science and my work is focused on conducting research in a range of topics in artificial intelligence (AI). I also teach programming and specialist AI courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs; supervise a number of projects in smart systems product development; and I'm the program coordinator for the Bachelor of Computer Science.
AI is a fascinating, complex and occasionally scary technology, with the power to change the world. Dr Nicola Millard gives her thoughts on its evolution. Is artificial intelligence going to take over the world? This is the question that is being debated around the planet at the moment. Talk is rife of mass unemployment, existential threats and whether this technology is safe (especially in the context of self-driving cars and drones).
At the two-day RoboBusiness Conference, about 2,000 people were serenaded with lullabies and Disney tunes, including "Let It Go" from the hit film "Frozen," by a human-like robot designed to comfort senior citizens and autistic children. And next to a man-size robot that can drive a motorcycle 190 mph around a race track, a half-dozen ant-size robots quickly scurried about a miniature factory floor. "In five years, could you imagine what this conference is going to look like?" "There are going to be 8-foot robots walking all around us, talking to us, some of them maybe being smarter than us." The 12th annual conference, which wrapped up Thursday, illustrated how the focus of robotics is shifting from industrial uses to consumer products. That's especially true at a time when drones, self-driving cars and police robots that carry bombs are making news.