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Inside Amazon's robotics ecosystem - The Robot Report

#artificialintelligence

A decade after Amazon made its first foray into robotics with its acquisition of Kiva Systems, the e-commerce giant is acquiring iRobot for $1.7 billion. While completion of the transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, the deal expands Amazon's already extensive robotics portfolio. Here's a look at the company's robotics acquisitions and some of its investments and notable robots developed internally. It's impossible to talk about Amazon's history in robotics without talking about Kiva Systems. Amazon acquired the mobile robot company in 2012 for $775 million.


New robots--smarter and faster--are taking over warehouses

#artificialintelligence

A DECADE AGO Amazon started to introduce robots into its "fulfilment centres", as online retailers call their giant distribution warehouses. Instead of having people wandering up and down rows of shelves picking goods to complete orders, the machines would lift and then carry the shelves to the pickers. That saved time and money. Amazon now has more than 350,000 robots of various sorts deployed worldwide. But it is not enough to secure its future.


Council Post: The Demise Of Robotics Companies: Learning From Past Mistakes

#artificialintelligence

When Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, it became a catalytic event for venture investment in robotics companies. Venture capitalists (VCs) envisioned replicating this success in a much bigger way (i.e., creating unicorn companies). And Silicon Valley engineers wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to not only fill the void left by Kiva in the marketplace but to also go a step further and build more capable robots. The VC appetite for robotics and related hardware grew unabated for almost a decade, leading to a staggering aggregate funding of roughly $20 billion to date. This capital infusion cemented the robotics space as one of the hottest sectors of the decade.


Future of Automation: Robots Are Coming But Wont Take Jobs

#artificialintelligence

At the start of the first Terminator movie, Sarah Connor, unknowingly the future mother of Earth's resistance movement, is working as a waitress when Arnold Schwarzenegger's Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator is sent back through time to kill her. But what if, instead of attempting to murder her, Skynet's android assassin instead approached the owner of Big Jeff's family restaurant, where Sarah worked, and offered to do her shifts for lower wages, while working faster and making fewer mistakes? The newly jobless Sarah, unable to support herself, drops out of college and decides that maybe starting a family in this economic climate just isn't smart. This, in a somewhat cyberbolic nutshell, is the biggest immediate threat many fear when it comes to automation: Not a robopocalypse brought on by superintelligence, but rather one that ushers in an age of technological unemployment. Some very smart people have been sounding the alarm for years. A 2013 study carried out by the Oxford Martin School suggested that some 47% of jobs in the U.S. could be automated within the next two decades -- only 12 years of which now remain following the publishing of the study.


AI and Shared Prosperity

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Future advances in AI that automate away human labor may have stark implications for labor markets and inequality. This paper proposes a framework to analyze the effects of specific types of AI systems on the labor market, based on how much labor demand they will create versus displace, while taking into account that productivity gains also make society wealthier and thereby contribute to additional labor demand. This analysis enables ethically-minded companies creating or deploying AI systems as well as researchers and policymakers to take into account the effects of their actions on labor markets and inequality, and therefore to steer progress in AI in a direction that advances shared prosperity and an inclusive economic future for all of humanity.


Accelerating Entrepreneurial Decision-Making Through Hybrid Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

AI - Artificial Intelligence AGI - Artificial General Intelligence ANN - Artificial Neural Network ANOVA - Analysis of Variance ANT - Actor Network Theory API - Application Programming Interface APX - Amsterdam Power Exchange AVE - Average Variance Extracted BU - Business Unit CART - Classification and Regression Tree CBMV - Crowd-based Business Model Validation CR - Composite Reliability CT - Computed Tomography CVC - Corporate Venture Capital DR - Design Requirement DP - Design Principle DSR - Design Science Research DSS - Decision Support System EEX - European Energy Exchange FsQCA - Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis GUI - Graphical User Interface HI-DSS - Hybrid Intelligence Decision Support System HIT - Human Intelligence Task IoT - Internet of Things IS - Information System IT - Information Technology MCC - Matthews Correlation Coefficient ML - Machine Learning OCT - Opportunity Creation Theory OGEMA 2.0 - Open Gateway Energy Management 2.0 OS - Operating System R&D - Research & Development RE - Renewable Energies RQ - Research Question SVM - Support Vector Machine SSD - Solid-State Drive SDK - Software Development Kit TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol TCT - Transaction Cost Theory UI - User Interface VaR - Value at Risk VC - Venture Capital VPP - Virtual Power Plant Chapter I


Meet Boston Dynamics' new robot, called Stretch

#artificialintelligence

The new robot comes in the form of a mobile base equipped with a robotic arm and gripper. After having deployed the flagship robot dog Spot for a range of different applications, from factory floors to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotics company Boston Dynamics has added a brand-new specimen to its line of automatons, this time designed to move boxes around warehouses. Called Stretch, the new robot comes in the form of a mobile base equipped with a robotic arm and gripper, packed with smart sensors and controls that can identify and handle different boxes and shrink-wrapped cases. For now, Stretch's main ability consists of identifying, gripping, and unloading boxes off trucks, but according to Boston Dynamics, the robot will later expand into order building. The company is, therefore, making a debut in warehouse automation – understandably so, given the pace at which the field has accelerated over the course of the past year.


Meet Boston Dynamics' new robot, called Stretch

ZDNet

The new robot comes in the form of a mobile base equipped with a robotic arm and gripper. After having deployed the flagship robot dog Spot for a range of different applications, from factory floors to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, robotics company Boston Dynamics has added a brand-new specimen to its line of automatons, this time designed to move boxes around warehouses. Called Stretch, the new robot comes in the form of a mobile base equipped with a robotic arm and gripper, packed with smart sensors and controls that can identify and handle different boxes and shrink-wrapped cases. For now, Stretch's main ability consists of identifying, gripping, and unloading boxes off trucks, but according to Boston Dynamics, the robot will later expand into order building. The company is therefore making a debut in warehouse automation – understandably so, given the pace at which the field has accelerated over the course of the past year.


How AI Will Impact The Future Of Work And Life

#artificialintelligence

AI, or artificial intelligence, seems to be on the tip of everyone's tongue these days. While I've been aware of this major trend in tech development for a while, I've noticed AI appearing more and more as one of the most in-demand areas of expertise for job seekers. I'm sure that for many of us, the term "AI" conjures up sci-fi fantasies or fear about robots taking over the world. The depictions of AI in the media have run the gamut, and while no one can predict exactly how it will evolve in the future, the current trends and developments paint a much different picture of how AI will become part of our lives. In reality, AI is already at work all around us, impacting everything from our search results, to our online dating prospects, to the way we shop.


Why AI Will NOT Take All Our Jobs

#artificialintelligence

Over the last 200 years, technology automation has never caused a net loss of jobs. AI is a type of technology automation. The question for this article is whether AI automation will be the first technology to result in a net loss of jobs that is bigger than the decline in the number of workers. Is AI just another form of automation that will create some jobs and destroy others? Or will AI destroy more jobs than it creates resulting in unemployment that will continually rise, and remain permanently high? Science fiction books, TV, and movies are replete with descriptions of intelligent robots ranging from beneficial robots like C3PO from the Star Wars movie series to killer robots such as the ones depicted in the Terminator movie series.