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) …
Kara Frederick, tech director at the Heritage Foundation, discusses the need for regulations on artificial intelligence as lawmakers and tech titans discuss the potential risks. The current infatuation with artificial intelligence is indicative of the level of competence of those who are in the headlights of a fast-moving, still unidentified, flying object. The headlines range from "Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI" (through the European Commission) to promising a world free of disease (cancer, in particular), and unlimited prosperity. No more need for lawyers (thank God!), no more need for doctors, not to say truck drivers, and Hollywood screenwriters. AI is all over, most of the time in stealth mode – and pretty successful in every form of surveillance (there are so many).
The new World Robotics report recorded 553,052 industrial robot installations in factories around the world – a growth rate of 5% in 2022, year-on-year. By region, 73% of all newly deployed robots were installed in Asia, 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas. "The world record of 500,000 units was exceeded for the second year in succession," says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. "In 2023 the industrial robot market is expected to grow by 7% to more than 590,000 units worldwide." China is by far the world s largest market.
Tokyo-based startup Tsubame Industries has developed a 4.5-meter-tall (14.8-feet), four-wheeled robot that looks like "Mobile Suit Gundam" from the wildly popular Japanese animation series, and it can be yours for $3 million. Called ARCHAX after the avian dinosaur archaeopteryx, the robot has cockpit monitors that receive images from cameras hooked up to the exterior so that the pilot can maneuver the arms and hands with joysticks from inside its torso. The 3.5-ton robot, which will be unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show later this month, has two modes: the upright "robot mode" and a "vehicle mode" in which it can travel up to 10 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour). "Japan is very good at animation, games, robots and automobiles so I thought it would be great if I could create a product that compressed all these elements into one," said Ryo Yoshida, the 25-year-old chief executive of Tsubame Industries. "I wanted to create something that says, 'This is Japan.'"
Ukraine said its air defence systems shot down 16 of about 30 drones launched by Russia on Sunday. Authorities said civilian infrastructure and grain storage warehouses were damaged in the Cherkasy region as well as the southern Mykolaiv and eastern Dnipropetrovsk regions. Russia's defence ministry said its forces' air defences in eastern Ukraine had intercepted five United States-made HIMARS shells, an air-launched JDAM bomb and 37 Ukrainian drones. Kyiv began a counteroffensive in June to retake Ukrainian land occupied by Russia since it launched its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022. Russia's defence ministry said it shot down six Ukrainian drones over Russian regions and two Ukrainian missiles over Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Japan is pushing for 50 locations with driverless services in place within three years, but fully autonomous vehicles remain nearly nonexistent in the country. So far, Fukui Prefecture is the only place with vehicles featuring level-4 capabilities -- defined when they can handle all driving tasks -- but only under specific conditions with the option for humans to take over. In the town of Eiheiji, the seven-seater golf carts are only allowed to navigate a 2 kilometer course. The limited availability of autonomous driving in Japan stands in stark contrast to the U.S. and China, where robotaxis already roam the streets in some cities. Waymo, backed by Google parent Alphabet, and General Motor's Cruise are testing driverless taxi services in San Francisco.
With Prime Big Deal Days being a little more than one week away, Amazon has kicked things off early by discounting most of its Echo smart speakers. You can get up to 69 percent off Echo devices and bundles right now, and that goes for any Amazon shopping -- not just Prime members. Of note is the Echo Dot for $23, a record low that matches its July Prime Day price, and the Echo Dot bundled with a Kasa Smart Plug Mini for just about $1 more. Considering the Echo Dot is one of our favorite smart speakers and the Kasa accessory earned a spot on our list of best smart plugs, that bundle is an affordable way to get your smart home started. As part of a big Echo speaker sale, this bundle that includes the Echo Dot and a Kasa smart plug is 67 percent off. The Echo Dot was not one of the many Amazon devices to receive an upgrade last month during Amazon's hardware event, which means you're getting the latest model of the speaker in this sale.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented, intergenerational phone-game renaissance. Wordle has become a pillar of the New York Times brand, newspapers everywhere are resurrecting their crossword backpage, and Words With Friends has essentially transformed into a dating app. These games are designed to be approachably mainstream--every English speaker alive can deduce a five-letter word with six chances--but unfortunately, I am a man of unconventional taste. If I'm going to entertain a daily dose of potpourri, I need something weirder, more challenging, and better suited for the precise category of useless knowledge that occupies my brain. That's why the sports-trivia game Immaculate Grid has become a fixture of my morning routine.
It's Paris fashion week and the streets of the city are filled with celebrities, designers, models and journalists. Among the crowds, eagle-eyed experts are taking careful notes. These are the fashion industry's trend forecasters. Their job is to get a sense of the colours, cuts, fabrics and patterns in the designers' new collections, in the hope of detecting emerging trends. Their notes will quickly be added to curated "trend forecasts", which will be sold to designers and high street retailers, who will use them to inspire new pieces and decide what to stock next season – think of the "blue sweater" speech in The Devil Wears Prada, where Meryl Streep's character scathingly explains this process to her naive assistant Andy (played by Anne Hathaway).
With its most recent update, Google Bard can now sort through your trove of Google Docs, rediscover ancient Gmail messages, and search through every video on YouTube. Before experimenting too much with the new extensions available for Google's chatbot, it's worth going over the steps you can take to protect your privacy (and the ones you can't). Google Bard launched in March of this year, one month after OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public. You're likely familiar with how chatbots are designed to mimic human conversation, but Google's latest features are designed to give Bard more practical applications and uses. But when every conversation you have with Bard is tracked, logged, and used again to train the AI, how can you trust it with your data?
The 2023 EEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2023) kicks off today at the Huntington Place in Detroit, Michigan. This year's theme, "The Next Generation of Robotics," is a call to the young and senior researchers to create a forum where the past, present, and future of robotics converge. The program of IROS 2023 is a blend of theoretical insights and practical demonstrations, designed to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. Among the highlights are the plenary and keynote talks by eminent personalities in the field of robotics. On the plenary front, Marcie O'Malley from Rice University will delve into the realm of robots that teach and learn with a human touch.