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How to Survive a Robot Apocalypse: Just Close the Door

Wall Street Journal

In the meantime, if one of them goes berserk, here's a useful tactic: Shut the door behind you. One after another, robots in a government-sponsored contest were stumped by an unlocked door that blocked their path at an outdoor obstacle course. One bipedal machine managed to wrap a claw around the door handle and open it but was flummoxed by a breeze that kept blowing the door shut before it could pass through. Robots excel at many tasks, as long as they don't involve too much hand-eye coordination or common sense. Like some gifted children, they can perform impressive feats of mental arithmetic but are profoundly klutzy on the playground.


How will robots and AI change our way of life in 2030?

Robohub

At #WebSummit 2017, I was part of a panel on what the future will bring in 2030 with John Vickers from Blue Abyss, Jacques Van den Broek from Randstad and Stewart Rogers from Venture Beat. John talked about how technology will allow humans to explore amazing new places. Jacques demonstrated how humans were more complex than our most sophisticated AI and thus would be an integral part of any advances. And I focused on how the current technological changes would look amplified over a 10–12 year period. After all, 2030 isn't that far off, so we have already invented all the tech, but it isn't widespread yet and we're only guessing what changes will come about with the network effects.


tech-design-autonomous-future-cars-100-percent-augmented-reality-policing.html

#artificialintelligence

Street signage is the iconography of the automobile age. It's like highly functional pop art: silhouettes of schoolchildren, white arrows, rectangular cries of WRONG WAY and, most central of all, the ubiquitous stoplight. The traffic light might be the first part of that iconographic world to be transformed, or vanish altogether, once we are fully in the age of autonomous cars. Robots, after all, won't need signs to optimize the way they move through urban landscapes. Urban-transportation experts have been busily creating computer simulations to show how this might work.


Navya's fully self-driving taxi looks straight out of Robocop

Mashable

Navya, the French company behind the all-electric, self-driving ARMA shuttle buses on the streets in Las Vegas, Michigan, and Singapore, has a brand-new ride for cities looking to create fleets of driverless taxicabs. The company just unveiled its latest electric autonomous vehicle, the Autonum Cab, at a private company event in Paris. Navya's calling the car the "world's first taxi robot," a title that competitors with public pilot programs on the road like Waymo, Uber, and Cruise would probably be quick to dispute -- but the new cab certainly looks more like something straight out of a sci-fi movie than any of the other self-driving cars currently on the road. Proud to present the first taxi robot AUTONOM CAB with our partners @RACWA & @groupekeolis! pic.twitter.com/wCHPWZUMW6 There is a major difference between the Autonom Cab and other self-driving cars beyond just the exterior.


Video Friday: Aibo Reborn, Robot Plus HoloLens, and NREC's Formula

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. We already posted about the unveiling of Sony's new Aibo, but here's a bit of extra video from the event showing the little robotic dog in live action: In this video we show a compilation of our research for the last 4 years on autonomous navigation of bipedal robots. It is part of the DFG-founded project "Versatile and Robust Walking in Uneven Terrain" (German Research Foundation) and includes development in environment perception and modeling, motion planning and stability control.


Tesla reports biggest-ever quarterly loss, Model 3 delays

Daily Mail

Tesla racked up a $619 million loss in the third quarter, its biggest-ever, driving its shares sharply lower as the electric-car maker spends to speed up production of its more affordable Model 3 sedan. The company, led by Silicon Valley star Elon Musk, also confirmed it had missed its Model 3 production goal for the third quarter, producing only 260 vehicles compared to an earlier estimate of 1,500. Its shares fell 5.4 percent in after hours trading. The company said it had $3.53 billion in cash and cash-equivalents as of Sept. 30, compared to $3.04 billion at the end of the second quarter. Tesla said last month it delivered 26,150 vehicles in the third quarter, a 4.5 percent rise on the same period of 2016, but added that "production bottlenecks" had left the company behind its planned ramp-up for the $35,000 Model 3. On Wednesday it said it now hoped to achieve a production rate of 5,000 per month by the end of the first quarter of next year, pushed back from the end of this year.


Video Friday: Rocket RoboBee, Willow Garage, and Caltech's Cassie

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. A new RoboBee from Harvard can swim underwater, and then launch itself into the air with a microrocket and fly away. At the millimeter scale, the water's surface might as well be a brick wall.


Chinese facial recognition firm raises mammoth $410m in funding

#artificialintelligence

As governments and tech giants alike target AI advances, one facial recognition start-up has secured a huge amount of funding in China. The Dubai police force is welcoming AI into its operation with open, robotic arms. Apple is reportedly testing a new 3D facial-scanning feature that will unlock your iPhone instead of using a fingerprint. Facebook is powering ahead with its augmented reality camera trials, taking in Meitu (and its 1.bn users) in its latest project. The money it's attracting is massive, too.


To Survive the Streets, Self-Driving Cars Have to Start Thinking Like Humans

#artificialintelligence

Next time you're driving down the road or walking down the street, pause to consider how you read your surroundings. How you pay extra attention to the kid kicking a soccer ball around her front lawn and the slightly wobbly, nervous looking cyclist. How you deprioritize the woman striding toward the street, knowing she's heading for the group of friends waving to her from the sidewalk. You make these calls by drawing on a lifetime of social and cultural experience so ingrained you hardly need to think about it. But imagine you're an autonomous car trying to do the same thing, without that accumulated knowledge or the shared humanity that lets you read others' nuanced behavioral cues.


To Survive the Streets, Self-Driving Cars Must Learn to Think Like Humans

WIRED

Next time you're driving down the road or walking down the street, pause to consider how you read your surroundings. How you pay extra attention to the kid kicking a soccer ball around her front lawn and the slightly wobbly, nervous looking cyclist. How you deprioritize the woman striding toward the street, knowing she's heading for the group of friends waving to her from the sidewalk. You make these calls by drawing on a lifetime of social and cultural experience so ingrained you hardly need to think about it. But imagine you're an autonomous car trying to do the same thing, without that accumulated knowledge or the shared humanity that lets you read others' nuanced behavioral cues.