Computer Engineering

This Is What a True Artificial Intelligence Really Is


To borrow a cliché opening from the last high school commencement or Maid of Honor speech you heard, the dictionary defines artificial intelligence (AI) as 1: a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers; and 2: the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. But, do these definitions really explain the difference between an artificially intelligent system and one that's just programmed to be useful? What is "intelligent" behavior or, more specifically, "intelligent human behavior"? For many, the term "artificial intelligence" draws to mind humanoid robots like C-3PO from "Star Wars" or Dolores from "Westworld."

Disney creating 'deformable', 'humanoid' robots to hug children

The Independent

A new patent application has revealed that Disney is looking into the development of robotic versions of its animated characters. The document describes "soft body" robots built specifically for "physical interaction with humans". It doesn't mention any specific characters, but the images alongside the filing show off a bulbous torso resembling that of Big Hero 6's Baymax. The entertainment firm's application repeatedly stresses the importance of safety. It says the robots would have a "rigid support element" and soft, deformable body parts that could potentially be filled with a gas or fluid.

New computer vision challenge wants to teach robots to see in 3D

New Scientist

Computer vision is ready for its next big test: seeing in 3D. The ImageNet Challenge, which has boosted the development of image-recognition algorithms, will be replaced by a new competition next year that aims to help robots see the world in all its depth. Since 2010, researchers have trained image recognition algorithms on the ImageNet database, a go-to set of more than 14 million images hand-labelled with information about the objects they depict. The algorithms learn to classify the objects in the photos into different categories, such as house, steak or Alsatian. Almost all computer vision systems are trained like this before being fine-tuned on a more specific set of images for different tasks.

UK driverless vehicle tests begin in London

The Independent

Driverless pods have started started carrying members of the public around in North Greenwich, London, as part of the GATEway Project. The autonomous vehicles aren't fitted with a steering wheel or a brake pedal, and instead use a collection of five cameras and three lasers to detect and avoid obstacles on a two-mile route near the O2. They can see up to 100m ahead and are capable of performing an emergency stop if necessary, though they have a top speed of just 10mph. The prototype pods being used in Greenwich can carry four passengers at a time, but each of them will have a trained person on board during the three-week trial. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph.

Fetch Robotics Introduces Burly New Freight Robots

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's a good sign for the robotics industry that more and more robotics companies are starting to make major announcements at specialized events and trade shows, indicating that their robots are ready for tough, real-world applications. This week at ProMat, "the premier showcase of material handling, supply chain, and logistics solutions," Fetch Robotics is showing off two very new, and very large, stuff-transporting robots. This video shows the Freight 500, which can handle 500 kilograms of payload, or generally something about the size of a "case," which I guess is a standard unit in the area of "material handling, supply chain, and logistics solutions." The Freight 1500 weighs just under 470 kg all by itself, but it's only 35.5 centimeters (14 inches) tall, which is the same height as its smaller siblings. It has lidar sensors front and back, a forward-looking RGBD camera, and can run for up to 9 hours while recharging itself to 90 percent in just an hour.

Book: Neural Networks and Statistical Learning


Providing a broad but in-depth introduction to neural network and machine learning in a statistical framework, this book provides a single, comprehensive resource for study and further research. All the major popular neural network models and statistical learning approaches are covered with examples and exercises in every chapter to develop a practical working understanding of the content. Each of the twenty-five chapters includes state-of-the-art descriptions and important research results on the respective topics. The broad coverage includes the multilayer perceptron, the Hopfield network, associative memory models, clustering models and algorithms, the radial basis function network, recurrent neural networks, principal component analysis, nonnegative matrix factorization, independent component analysis, discriminant analysis, support vector machines, kernel methods, reinforcement learning, probabilistic and Bayesian networks, data fusion and ensemble learning, fuzzy sets and logic, neurofuzzy models, hardware implementations, and some machine learning topics. Applications to biometric/bioinformatics and data mining are also included.

To really help U.S. workers, we should invest in robots


America's manufacturing heyday is gone, and so are millions of jobs, lost to modernization. Despite what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might think, the National Bureau of Economic Research and Silicon Valley executives, among many others, know it's already happening. And a new report from PwC estimates that 38% of American jobs are at "high risk" of being replaced by technology within the next 15 years. But how soon automation will replace workers isn't the real problem. The real threat to American jobs will come if China does it first.

How artificial intelligence is taking Asia by storm


THE world reeled when Lee Sedol – one of the great modern players of the ancient board game Go – was beaten by Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence (AI) program, AlphaGo. The AI managed to outmaneuver Lee at his own game, one which rewards players' strategic judgment and creative analyses. To achieve this, DeepMind provided AlphaGo with the basic framework of the game, recordings of previous games and made it play itself continuously. The software mimics the processes of human learning – and as it went along, AlphaGo learned to be a better player over time. The day of the face-off, AlphaGo beat Lee four games to one and was awarded the highest Go game-master ranking.

Can we ever create a truly ethical artificial intelligence?


Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used as an unbiased judge, for matters ranging from insurance to economic efficiency. But can it ever truly be unbiased? When Remy Descartes first wrote the phrase cogito ergo sum –'I think therefore I am'– in the 1600s, he could not have been aware of the philosophical questioning that would erupt with the onset of artificial intelligence (AI) in the 20th and 21st century. Every Google search, every video suggested on YouTube and every Siri recommendation is built on machine learning algorithms designed to learn everything about your online habits, in a bid to offer targeted content that you might like. Even outside of consumer-level decisions, AI and algorithms are increasingly being used to root out hidden meanings in billions of lines of genetic code, in the hope of finding a cure to a disease or building machines that can talk for themselves.

Uber pulls self-driving cars off the road after Arizona crash

The Independent

Uber has suspended its self-driving car operations after one of its vehicles was involved in a crash in Arizona. The accident left one of the company's driverless Volvos on its side, but fortunately led to no serious injuries. A picture of the crash scene shows two other damaged cars sitting next to the Volvo, one of which has smashed windows and particularly bad dent marks, suggesting the accident happened at some speed. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar.