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ICRA 2020 launches with plenary panel 'COVID-19: How Roboticists Can Help'

Robohub

ICRA is the largest robotics meeting in the world and is the flagship conference of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. It is thus our honor and pleasure to welcome you to this edition, although the current exceptional circumstances did not allow us to organize it in Paris as planned with the glimpse and splendor that our wonderful robotics community deserves. Now, for sure, Virtual ICRA 2020, the first online ICRA, will be one of the most memorable ICRA editions ever! Our first Plenary is a hot topic panel on COVID-19 Pandemic & Robotics, moderated by Ken Goldberg and chaired by Wolfram Burgard. Join us for the virtual conference taking place May 31 to August 31 with sessions available both live and on demand.


A Tale Of Two Lines: Changes In Customer Support With The Growth In Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is spreading in many areas. I recently described changes in customer service management. In a similar vein, customer support is changing. Some people claim it means customer support personnel will disappear while others say AI will enhance what the customer service people do. To both, I say "yes."


How Will AI Make Businesses More Advanced in 2020?

#artificialintelligence

Analytics Insight predicts that the global AI market is expected to reach US$53.2 billion in 2020 and will further grow on to reach US$152.9 billion in 2023. Beyond that, businesses are bound to become even more innovative with rising AI trends this year. According to a report, AI will help with the repetitive and labor extensive tasks that people carry mostly on their machines. The extensive form filling work, generating reports, and diagrams all can be done more quickly. According to Forbes, approximately 23% of businesses have implemented Artificial intelligence into processing and product services, and more than 60 businesses are still in process. However, this number will increase by 80-90% until 2022.


Is AI Overhyped?

#artificialintelligence

AI is becoming increasingly embedded in many of the things we interact with and use on a daily basis. AI is becoming increasingly more advanced over time, with some remarkable capabilities emerging over the past few years. There are many real-world, practical examples organizations and governments are using AI for their day-to-day activities. So, AI is a real thing, right? Well, on the other hand there's still substantial hype when it comes to AI.


Artificial Intelligence and Space Mining: the Gateway to Infinite Riches

#artificialintelligence

What do Ted Cruz, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Goldman Sachs all have in common? They predict that the world's first trillionaire will make their innumerable fortune in space. While Cruz is not precisely sure how this will come to be, Tyson and Goldman Sachs believe that the gateway to this immense wealth is through mining asteroids. The reason why space mining is so sought after is due to what is happening here on Earth. Based on known terrestrial reserves and estimates of the growing consumption in countries, essential elements needed for modern industry and food production (such as lead, phosphorus and gold) could be exhausted within the next 60 years.


Academics call on nations to work together on A.I. and ensure it benefits all of humanity

#artificialintelligence

A research group made up of academics from across the globe have published a paper arguing that "cross-cultural cooperation" on AI ethics and governance is vital if the technology is to "bring about benefit worldwide." The experts -- from Cambridge University's Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Peking University's Center for Philosophy and the Future of Humanity, and the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence -- specifically want to see cooperation across different domains, disciplines, and cultures, as well as different nations. "Such cooperation will enable advances to be shared across different parts of the world, and will ensure that no part of society is neglected or disproportionately negatively impacted by AI," wrote researcher Jess Whittlestone in a blog post this week that summarizes the paper. "Without such cooperation, competitive pressures between countries may also lead to underinvestment in safe, ethical, and socially beneficial AI development, increasing the global risks from AI." AI is poised to change the world in the coming decades as machines become increasingly competent at a range of tasks, from driving cars to discovering new drugs. But some are concerned that AI could end up being a dangerous technology if it is developed in isolated silos across different labs in different countries. In the near term, there's a genuine risk that AI could be used in warfare to power autonomous weapons, and in the long term, some have speculated that "superintelligent" machines could decide humans are no longer necessary and wipe them out altogether.


Team shrinks bug-inspired micro-bot to the size of a PENNY

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A Harvard team is pushing the limits on its project to build diminutive and capable robots inspired by insect biology. In the latest advancement on a project dubbed the Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR), researchers say they've managed to shrink their cockroach-inspired creation down to the size of a penny. Despite its size (2.25 centimeters) the bot, aptly called HAMR-JR, can still perform most of the feats of its larger predecessor, researchers say. The micro bot (pictured) is the size of a penny and weighs just 0.3 grams. Despite it's size it still has a full range of movement and locomotion Those feats include traveling at speeds of about 14 body lengths per second, which according to researchers makes the bot not only of the smallest bots of its kind but also one of the fastest.


Use these first principles to succeed with robotic process automation In 2020

ZDNet

Let's just say that one measure of the hype that surrounds any emerging technology is the amount of new (and largely superfluous) jargon that it generates. The market for robotic process automation (RPA) has been in hyper-growth for a while now. RPA and its extension into intelligent automation (IA) is an important market because it forms the tip of the spear for broader enterprise automation. We've previously estimated that IA technologies will release $134 billion in labor value by 2022. Meanwhile, the hype surrounding them is incessant, with vendors and pundits racing each other to create new words to describe capabilities.


Scientists led by AI scholar Yoshua Bengio urge privacy, opt-in approach for COVID-19 contact tracing

ZDNet

Scientific reports continue to emphasize the importance of testing the population for COVID-19on a regular basis. But surveillance in broad terms raises numerous concerns about privacy. This TechRepublic Premium ebook compiles the latest on cancelled conferences, cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, and the impact this pandemic is having on the tech industry. Those issues are front and center with contact tracing, the practice of trying to document the interactions between people infected with COVID-19, and those with whom they've been in touch. For anyone to scrutinize how another person moves through life, including their social interactions, strikes many as an invasion of privacy, especially when that scrutiny comes from a central authority.


Harvard shrank its insect-inspired microrobot to the size of a penny

Engadget

Harvard researchers have made the tiny Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR) even tinier. The next-gen, cockroach-inspired robot is about the size of a penny, and it can run at speeds of 13.9 body lengths per second. That makes it one of the smallest and fastest microrobots to date. The team also believes it's the most dexterous robot of its size. Dubbed HAMR-JR, the robot is a half-scale version of its predecessor, which researchers taught to swim and walk underwater.