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Robots: AI-Alerts


Reinforcement learning competition pushes the boundaries of embodied AI

#artificialintelligence

This highlights the complexity of human vision and agency. The next time you go to a supermarket, consider how easily you can find your way through aisles, tell the difference between different products, reach for and pick up different items, place them in your basket or cart, and choose your path in an efficient way. And you're doing all this without access to segmentation and depth maps and by reading items from a crumpled handwritten note in your pocket. Above: Experiments show hybrid AI models that combine reinforcement learning with symbolic planners are better suited to solving the ThreeDWorld Transport Challenge. The TDW-Transport Challenge is in the process of accepting submissions.


Gartner says low-code, RPA, and AI driving growth in 'hyperautomation'

#artificialintelligence

Research firm Gartner estimates the market for hyperautomation-enabling technologies will reach $596 billion in 2022, up nearly 24% from the $481.6 billion in 2020. Gartner is expecting significant growth for technology that enables organizations to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many processes as possible and says it will become a "condition of survival" for enterprises. Hyperautomation-enabling technologies include robotic process automation (RPA), low-code application platforms (LCAP), AI, and virtual assistants. As organizations look for ways to automate the digitization and structuring of data and content, technologies that automate content ingestion, such as signature verification tools, optical character recognition, document ingestion, conversational AI, and natural language technology (NLT), will be in high demand. For example, these tools could be used to automate the process of digitizing and sorting paper records.


New York Returns Its Police 'Robodog' After a Public Outcry

WIRED

The New York Police Department said Thursday it will stop using the "Digidog," a four-legged robot occasionally deployed for recon in dangerous situations. NYPD officials confirmed in a statement it had terminated its contract and will return the dog to vendor Boston Dynamics. Last December, the agency leased the Digidog, nicknamed Spot, for $94,000. John Miller, the police department's deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told The New York Times that the contract was "a casualty of politics, bad information, and cheap sound bites." Miller bemoaned the role of bad press in the backlash, but in many ways the NYPD's own actions were a blueprint for how not to introduce new tech.


Killer farm robot dispatches weeds with electric bolts

The Guardian

In a sunny field in Hampshire, a killer robot is on the prowl. Once its artificial intelligence engine has locked on to its target, a black electrode descends and delivers an 8,000-volt blast. A crackle, a puff of smoke, and the target is dead – a weed, boiled alive from the inside. It is part of a fourth agricultural revolution, its makers say, bringing automation and big data into farming to produce more while harming the environment less. Pressure to cut pesticide use and increasing resistance to the chemicals meant killing weeds was the top priority for the farmers advising the robot company.


Self-driving cars to be allowed on UK roads this year

BBC News

"Technologies such as Automated Lane Keeping Systems will pave the way for higher levels of automation in future – and these advances will unleash Britain's potential to be a world leader in the development and use of these technologies, creating essential jobs while ensuring our roads remain among the safest on the planet."


Tesla CEO Elon Musk blasts reports blaming Autopilot for deadly Model S crash as 'completely false'

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tesla executives defended the automaker's semi-self-driving system on Monday after it came under scrutiny following a deadly crash involving a Tesla Model S in Texas this month. CEO Elon Musk rejected suggestions that the company's Autopilot was to blame. "This is completely false," he said, adding that journalists who suggested Autopilot was at fault "should be ashamed of themselves." After the crash, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told multiple outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports, that investigators were 99.9% sure that no one was behind the wheel when the vehicle crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the crash.


Tesla's Autopilot can 'easily' be used to drive without anyone behind wheel, Consumer Reports warns

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tesla's Autopilot system can "easily" be used to drive the automaker's vehicles without anyone behind the wheel, Consumer Reports said in a new demonstration. The magazine conducted the study on a test track after a widely publicized Tesla Model S crash in Texas on Saturday when two people were killed in a wreck that sparked an hours-long blaze. Local authorities said it appeared no one was in the driver's seat. The National Transportation Safety Board and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have opened investigations into the incident. Tesla's Autopilot system enables automatic steering, accelerating and braking on roads with lanes, but it does not work in all situations.


Europe proposes strict regulation of artificial intelligence.

#artificialintelligence

The European Union on Wednesday unveiled strict regulations to govern the use of artificial intelligence, a first-of-its-kind policy that outlines how companies and governments can use a technology seen as one of the most significant, but ethically fraught, scientific breakthroughs in recent memory. Presented at a news briefing in Brussels, the draft rules would set limits around the use of artificial intelligence in a range of activities, from self-driving cars to hiring decisions, school enrollment selections and the scoring of exams. It would also cover the use of artificial intelligence by law enforcement and court systems -- areas considered "high risk" because they could threaten people's safety or fundamental rights. Some uses would be banned altogether, including live facial recognition in public spaces, though there would be some exemptions for national security and other purposes. The rules have far-reaching implications for major technology companies including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft that have poured resources into developing artificial intelligence, but also scores of other companies that use the technology in health care, insurance and finance.


A Fatal Crash Renews Concerns Over Tesla's 'Autopilot' Claim

WIRED

Tesla offers a $10,000 feature called Full Self-Driving Capability. It includes futuristic goodies like the ability to summon the car via app in a parking lot, and it can detect and react to traffic lights and stop signs. FSD, as Tesla enthusiasts call it, includes Autopilot, a feature that "automatically" drives on highways, changing lanes, keeping a car within its lane and at a consistent distance from other vehicles. But even people who shell out for Full Self-Driving don't own a self-driving car, and vehicles with Autopilot can't automatically pilot themselves. Lengthy blocks of text in Tesla owners' manuals describe when, where, and how the features should be used: by a fully attentive driver who is holding the steering wheel and is "mindful of road conditions and surrounding traffic."


Want to Get Along With Robots? Pretend They're Animals

WIRED

Pigs, rats, and locusts have it easy these days--they can bother whoever they want. But back in the Middle Ages, such behavior could have landed them in court. If a pig bit a child, town officials would hold a trial like they would for a person, even providing the offender with a lawyer. Getting insects to show up in court en masse was a bit more difficult, but the authorities tried anyway: They'd send someone out to yell the summons into the countryside. That's hilarious, yes, but also a hint at how humans might navigate a new, even more complicated relationship.