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Talking Robotics' seminars of January – April 2021 (with videos and even a musical summary!)

Robohub

Talking Robotics is a series of virtual seminars about Robotics and its interaction with other relevant fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Design Research, Human-Robot Interaction, among others. They aim to promote reflections, dialogues, and a place to network. In this seminars compilation, we bring you 7 talks (and a half?) from current roboticists for your enjoyment. Filipa Correia received a M.Sc. in Computer Science from University of Lisbon, Portugal, 2015. She is currently a junior researcher at GAIPSLab and she is pursuing a Ph.D. on Human-Robot Interaction at University of Lisbon, Portugal.


#324: Embodied Interactions: from Robotics to Dance, with Kim Baraka

Robohub

In this episode, our interviewer Lauren Klein speaks with Kim Baraka about his PhD research to enable robots to engage in social interactions, including interactions with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Baraka discusses how robots can plan their actions across multiple modalities when interacting with humans, and how models from psychology can inform this process. He also tells us about his passion for dance, and how dance may serve as a testbed for embodied intelligence within Human-Robot Interaction. Kim Baraka is a postdoctoral researcher in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, and an upcoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he will be part of the Social Artificial Intelligence Group. Baraka recently graduated with a dual PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, USA, and the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal.


#eri: Fostering Creativity: RSS Pioneers and the YOLO Robot, with Patrícia Alves-Oliveira

Robohub

Patrícia Alves-Oliveira is an upcoming postdoctoral researcher working with Professor Maya Cakmak in the Human-Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Washington. She recently completed her PhD in Human-Robot Interaction at the Lisbon University Institute supervised by Profs. Ana Paiva and Patrícia Arriaga, also working as a visiting scholar in the Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Laboratory at Cornell University, supervised by Professor Guy Hoffman. Patrícia's research focuses on the use of social robots as intervention tools to enrich creative behaviors in children. Patrícia's overarching goal as a Human-Robot Interaction researcher is to investigate how and where robots can be used to empower innate human qualities and experiences.


Stephen Hawking issues dire warning on AI

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence could sideline and "destroy" its human creators if engineers cannot get a grip on the ethics behind it, Stephen Hawking has warned. Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, the theoretical physicist said AI has the potential to be the best or worst thing humanity has ever seen and the scary reality is we just don't know which yet. "We cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it," he said. The Cambridge professor said that while AI could be hugely beneficial for reducing poverty, disease and restoring the natural environment, it's impossible to predict "what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI." "AI could be the worst invention of the history of our civilization, that brings dangers like powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to oppress the many." "AI could develop a will of its own, a will that is in conflict with ours and which could destroy us. In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity."


Stephen Hawking issues dire warning on AI

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence could sideline and "destroy" its human creators if engineers cannot get a grip on the ethics behind it, Stephen Hawking has warned. Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, the theoretical physicist said AI has the potential to be the best or worst thing humanity has ever seen and the scary reality is we just don't know which yet. "We cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it," he said. The Cambridge professor said that while AI could be hugely beneficial for reducing poverty, disease and restoring the natural environment, it's impossible to predict "what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI." "AI could be the worst invention of the history of our civilization, that brings dangers like powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to oppress the many." "AI could develop a will of its own, a will that is in conflict with ours and which could destroy us. In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity."


Robo-dog creator learned by knocking down toddler

#artificialintelligence

The boss of robotics company Boston Dynamics has confessed he once pushed his one-year-old daughter over just to work out how people balance. A YouTube video of Marc Raibert's humanoid robot Atlas remaining upright while being poked with hockey sticks has 34 million views. He no longer knocked his robots over just to show people they could get themselves back up again, he said. But when he had done so, it was because he had felt like a "proud parent". "In fact, I have video of pushing on my daughter when she was one year old, knocking her over, getting some grief," he told BBC News, at Web Summit in Lisbon.


5 things we learned at Kaspersky NEXT

#artificialintelligence

From machine learning and AI right through to securing the IoT, here are five things we learned about at this year's event, which took place in Lisbon on October 14. Have you ever thought about how many decisions machines have made today? Or how many of those decisions were based on gender, race, or background? Chances are you don't even realize just how many decisions are made by artificial intelligence instead of a human. Kriti Sharma, Founder of AI for Good, explained that algorithms are being used all the time to make decisions about who we are and what we want.


A social robot to enhance children's handwriting skills

#artificialintelligence

Researchers at CHILI Lab (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland and GAIPS Lab (University of Lisbon) in Portugal have recently developed an autonomous system designed to assist children in improving their handwriting skills. The system they created, presented in a paper published in Springer's International Journal of Social Robotics, entails the use of a social robot in one-to-one learning sessions with children. For some children, handwriting can be a difficult skill to acquire, yet it is a fundamental stepping stone in their academic path. In fact, poor handwriting can negatively affect a child's academic performance, self-esteem and learning motivation. To master handwriting, a child needs to learn to coordinate cognitive, motor and perceptual abilities, thus he/she might also require a considerable amount of practice.


Our Driverless Future Begins As Waymo Transitions To Robot-Only Chauffeurs

Forbes - Tech

Waymo is ready for a dramatic next step after eight years of preparation, most of it as the Google Self-Driving Car project. The Alphabet Inc. unit has begun testing autonomous vehicles on public roads without human safety drivers at the wheel, and early next year will make its robotic chauffeurs available to Phoenix-area commuters. Speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said on Tuesday that company technicians are already hailing its Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans in and around Phoenix via a mobile app and leaving it to the artificial intelligence operating the vehicles to figure out how to get to requested destinations. Within a few months, Waymo vans loaded with laser LiDAR, radar, cameras, computers, AI and no human safety drivers will pick up Arizonans registered in its "Early Riders" program. People will get to use our fleet of on-demand vehicles to do anything from commute to work, get home from a night out, or run errands," Krafcik said.


Artificial intelligence and the future jobs you need to upskill for

#artificialintelligence

At the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon, when Sophia, a humanoid robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI), joked "We will take your jobs," behind the …