Issue #57 H Weekly

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This week, self-driving Tesla had a fatal crash. Other than that – a lot about robots, can AI create an art, cloning animals and more! Ray Kurzweil and people like him believe the Singularity is just behind the corner and promise the new perfect world. They are very optimistic about the future. But sometimes you should listen to the other side to better understand the problem or vision.


When AI rules the world: what SF novels tell us about our future overlords

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It's only March and already we've seen a computer beat a Go grandmaster and a self-driving car crash into a bus. The world is waking up to the ways in which a combination of "deep learning" artificial intelligence and robotics will take over most jobs. But if we don't want our robot servants to rise up and kill us in our beds, maybe we should delete the video of us beating their grandparents with hockey sticks. Thanks to science fiction, we know that the first thing AI will do is take over the defence grid and nuke us all. In Harlan Ellison's 1967 story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream – one of the most brutal depictions of an AI-dominated world – an AI called AM, constructed to fight a nuclear war, kills off most of the human race, keeping five people as playthings.


Deep Learning AI for NASA Powers Earth Robots

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Massimiliano "Max" Versace traces the birth date of his startup to when NASA came knocking in 2010. The U.S. space agency had caught wind of his military-funded Boston University research on making software for a brain-inspired microprocessor through an IEEE Spectrum article, and wanted to see if Versace and his colleagues could help develop a software controller for robotic rovers that could autonomously explore Mars. NASA's vision proved no easy challenge. Mars rovers have limited computing, communications, and power resources. NASA engineers wanted artificial intelligence that could rely solely on images from a low-end camera to navigate different environments.


Movidius breakthrough puts artificial intelligence on a USB stick

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Irish chip maker Movidius has created the world's first deep learning USB stick that can add artificial intelligence (AI) to future products from self-driving cars to robots, and drones that will learn to think for themselves. Entitled the Fathom Neural Compute Stick, the device will sell for less than 100 and will allow powerful neural networks to be moved out of the cloud and deployed on new products like robots and drones. It is the latest breakthrough for the Dublin company, which has been winning major multi-million dollar deals with Google and drone maker DJI. 'With Fathom, every robot, big and small, can now have state-of-the-art vision capabilities' – DR YANN LECUN, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY "Any organisation can now add deep learning or machine intelligence to devices using the USB stick and create products that will be accessible to broader markets," Movidius co-founder David Moloney told Siliconrepublic.com. "We've already seen how the auto industry has been outflanked by Tesla and this is also starting to affect other industries.


Humans are still quicker than robots at learning to drive

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Self-driving cars may be threatening to take the jobs of millions of human drivers, but there are still some areas where mankind has the upper hand. An artificial intelligence algorithm designed to teach an autonomous car to drive managed to do so using just 72 hours of driving data. While that may be impressive for a robot, it is still twice the amount of time it takes the average human to learn to drive. Computer giant Nvidia developed a convolutional neural network (CNN) to learn how to steer a car in any weather condition, using only the data taken from cameras and a car's steering wheel. Nvidia's project, called Dave, first began in 2015 in an effort to bypass the need to program specific features--such as lane markings and guardrails--into self-driving software.