Robots in the work place can perform hazardous or even 'impossible' tasks; e.g., toxic waste clean-up, desert and space exploration, and more. AI researchers are also interested in the intelligent processing involved in moving about and manipulating objects in the real world.
Around the world, an industry has emerged around automating food service through robotics, raising questions about job security and mass unemployment while also prompting praise for streamlining and innovation. In the epicenter of Silicon Valley, where innovation is exalted beyond all else, this industry has played out in various forms, from cafes, burger shops and pizza delivery to odd vending machines. Man cannot survive on bread alone, the saying goes, but in the Bay Area, a woman could conceivably sustain herself on a varied menu of foodstuffs that had not passed the hand of man in preparation at all that day. And that woman is me. I began my day with a coffee at CafeX, where I met Francisco, the dancing and spinning robotic arm.
It's not like academic researchers have the time or money to command a fleet of self-driving mapping vehicles, which is why Argoverse is so important to that community. A self-driving car is only as good as its maps. Automakers around the world have made efforts to create high-definition maps of as many roads as possible as they ramp up AV development, so that their cars can have the best idea possible of the surrounding world. But while most groups don't seem too keen on the idea of giving those maps away, Ford's Argo AI is taking a different approach. Argo AI announced on Wednesday that it has created a public repository for its self-driving-car development data, including high-definition maps.
Artificial intelligence is great at identifying objects in images, but it's still pretty easy to mess it up. Add a few choice strokes or layer in some static noise invisible to the human eye, and you can throw off an image recognition system, sometimes to deadly effect. Adding stickers to a stop sign can make a self-driving car believe the sign is posting a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit, for example, while adding them to a road can make a Tesla swerve into the oncoming traffic lane. You win some, you lose some.)
An engineer working for Japanese carmaker Nissan has built a robot to help farmers reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides on their rice crops. The compact robot, called Aigamo, is designed to mimic the natural use of ducks that paddle around in flooded paddy fields. Ducks have been used as natural weed repellents for centuries to tear them up and feed on insects, with their manure even acting as an additional fertiliser. As it glides through the water, two mechanisms on the bottom muddy the water to prevent weeds from getting enough sunlight to grow. The technique was used in the late 20th century with live ducks, called'aigamo,' which would paddle the water with the same results and eat any insects they found along the way.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced that one of the company's most powerful engines will be produced at a rate of about one per every 12 hours by the end of the year in his quest to get a person on Mars. The massive production ramp-up was foreshadowed by a series of tweets posted early Monday morning, which began with a bold photo: an orange-tinted orb, with bold font reading, 'OCCUPY MARS.' But that orb was in fact a picture of an orange-tinted'blood-moon', not of Mars. As Twitter followers rushed to point out the blunder, Musk eventually segued into more substantive - if speculative - news, shedding light on a huge leap in the company's production output. In a recent tweet, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made bold predictions about the production of the company's Raptor engines which could one day take the first human to the moon.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks Monday with the Saudi king and crown prince about countering the military threat from Iran by building a broad, global coalition that includes Asian and European countries. Pompeo is likely to face a tough sell in Europe and Asia, particularly from those nations still committed to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump repudiated last year. With tensions running high in the region after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone on June 20 and Trump said he aborted a retaliatory strike, Iran's naval commander warned that his forces won't hesitate to down more U.S. drones that violate its airspace. The U.S. has been building up its military presence in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. announced additional sanctions Monday on Iran aimed at pressuring the Iranian leadership into talks.
An estimated 7 million drones will be flying in the skies by 2020; Claudia Cowan reports on the new technology being developed to keep airports safe. But some people either don't care or use drones to intentionally disrupt airport operations. Last December, drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport forced a three-day shutdown, and canceled flights left thousands of stranded passengers scrambling. No one has been arrested in the case, and this past April, investigators said it could have been an inside job. In recent months, suspected or confirmed drone activity has grounded flights in Dubai, New Zealand, Israel, and at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
In my last article, How to Use AI to Control Your Smart Home, I discussed the changes coming to residential automation with the introduction of AI and processing performed in the cloud. This is bringing advances to smart homes that were the dreams of science fiction only a few years ago. However, with great power comes great responsibility and there is a dark side to the power of AI in a home; privacy. Anyone watching the news is aware of the near-daily headline of privacy fiascos by major technology corporations. Unfortunately, some of these are the same corporations that are delivering a number of the most advanced AI products for smart homes.
Throughout A.I.'s 60-year history, skeptics have attempted to single out tasks that they think machines will never be able to achieve. Such tasks have ranged from playing a game of chess to generating pieces of music to driving a car. In almost every instant, they have been proved wrong -- sometimes profoundly so. But as amazing as A.I. is here in 2018, there are still things that it is most assuredly not able to do. While some are more frivolous than others, they all showcase some part of machine intelligence that's currently lacking.
We're all familiar with today's commentary about how AI and robotics will change the work landscape. According to many, in just a few years' time we all will be passengers in driverless cars, and our packages will be delivered to our doorsteps by drones -- and we'll be elbowing robots out of the way to scrape together a living. My guess is that while many jobs will change, and some elements may be automated, they won't disappear. Technology -- whether AI, machine learning or robotics -- will help us be more efficient. Technology will take over certain menial and minor tasks and allow us to concentrate on what only we as humans can do best: innovate.