Likewise, I am convinced that the revolution in artificial intelligence will enable computers and robots to do many of the tasks that white-collar workers now do. It's not surprising, therefore, that many people are worried about the fate of those whose jobs are vulnerable -- or have already been lost -- to the latest disruptive technology. What will happen to the millions of men and women who now drive trucks and taxis when the trucks and taxis can drive themselves? What will happen to the accountants and health workers when computers can do their jobs? Some analysts have estimated that, with many fewer employees needed to produce the current volume of goods and services, a large share of current employment could be made redundant.
An Osaka-based startup founded by health care product group Fujimoto Holding Co. and toymaker Wiz Co. has released an upgraded version of a stuffed robot doll designed to be a conversation partner for elderly people. The new Unazuki Kabochan, released June 17, has been programmed with a greater variety of words and phrases, totaling around 450, allowing a greater scope of response to the user's words and actions, according to PIP & WiZ Co. The previous model could handle some 400 words and phrases, but sometimes failed to reply appropriately according to context. Selling for a suggested retail price of 27,000 at department stores and shops handling nursing care devices, the new Unazuki Kabochan can also sing 13 songs, eight more than the older unit, and the need to reset after it is switched off has been eliminated, the company said. The 28-cm, 680-gram doll is made to resemble a 3-year-old boy.
Child care is a hard job, but somebody, or something, has got to do it. Japanese researchers have developed androids to meet that need, which includes happily reading that fairy tale again and again and again. The androids, which were created by a team of education and robotics specialists at a research facility in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture, are part of a larger system called RoHo Care. Short for Robotic Hoikujo (day care center), RoHo is being touted as a high-tech solution to the staffing crisis that forced the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to announce emergency measures this week. "I never thought I'd see this day, but we're now confident that RoHo could blaze a trail for child care worldwide," said team leader Makoto Hara.
"We have a profound ethical responsibility to design systems that have a positive impact on society, obey the law, and adhere to our highest ethical standards."–Oren On the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on society, I have interviewed Oren Etzioni, Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. What is the mission of the Allen Institute for AI (AI2)? Oren Etzioni: Our mission is to contribute to humanity through high-impact AI research and engineering. AI2 is the creation of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, and you are the lead.
Taking artificial intelligence a step further, a new Socially-Aware Robot Assistant (SARA) took the participants of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here by surprise by understanding their spoken words and non-verbal behaviour to build a relationship. Developed by students and professors of prestigious Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) as a research project, SARA became a key exhibit at the WEF annual meeting held in this ski resort town last week. CMU President Subra Suresh, who was here for the WEF, said the university would also take SARA to other parts of the world, which may include India, for exhibition and eventually, it may be licensed to some company or organisation for commercial use, but any decision on that will be taken by the persons concerned and professors at the university. "With technology advancing so fast, one of the opportunities for us is whether we can combine robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc to create tools that will have positive impact on society. This is how SARA has come out," Suresh told PTI in an interview here on the sidelines of the WEF meet.