If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. We thank RAM and the authors for giving us permission to reproduce it here. Algorithms with learning abilities collect personal data that are then used without users' consent and even without their knowledge; autonomous weapons are under discussion in the United Nations; robots stimulating emotions are deployed with vulnerable people; research projects are funded to develop humanoid robots; and artificial intelligence-based systems are used to evaluate people. One can consider these examples of AI and autonomous systems (AS) as great achievements or claim that they are endangering human freedom and dignity. We need to make sure that these technologies are aligned to humans in terms of our moral values and ethical principles to fully benefit from the potential of them.
On the stage next to Krafcik stood a self-driving hybrid minivan from Fiat Chrysler equipped with his company's technology. A short-range lidar covers areas beside the minivan that would otherwise have been in the shadow of the rooftop sensor. Exactly how much of Waymo's self-driving prowess comes from such hardware--rather than improved software and road mapping--isn't clear. What is clear is that Waymo wants to supply the entire auto industry with packages that can be fitted to just about any vehicle.
Whether or not it's a realistic or practical or good idea, urban commercial drone delivery is grinding remorselessly toward a thing that is going to happen. It will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward. This is what continues to bug me about how Amazon presents Prime Air: "Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated'sense and avoid' technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more." Near-term, I have serious doubts about Amazon's "sophisticated sense and avoid technology" and "high degree of automation."
A lightweight flying platform with a robotic arm combines the strengths of two rapidly developing, parallel industries. Considering how rapidly both lightweight robotic arms and drones are maturing, there are reasons to suspect 10.6 billion is a conservative estimate, especially as the concept of a dexterous drone gains popularity and more companies decide to pursue this technology. NASA's Assistive Free-Flyer (AFF) is a lightweight flying robotic arm that maneuvers, manipulates, and perches in microgravity for ISS applications like maintenance, human assistance, and remote operation of scientific experiments. But there's nothing inherent to the AFF that requires space or microgravity to develop new versatile manipulating platforms.