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) …
We were used to hearing that we'll be out of a job in twenty years, because of robots. Then the virus came, and now many are out of a job a bit faster, and not because of anything more intelligent or capable than themselves. Here are five currently existing robots that score pretty high on the creepiness scale, even without threatening to take away one's job. Sophia has somehow become the flagship of humanoid robotics. Constructed in Hong Kong, it has taken part in major TV talk shows and has been granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, although it is, essentially, not more than a "chatbot with a face" . What the citizenship thing really means is unclear: Can Sophia vote?
The robot uprising forged in the "Terminator" movies is one step closer to reality. On Thursday, Toyota debuted its new, upgraded humanoid robot, the T-HR3, which is controlled remotely by someone wearing a headset and wiring on their arms. Toyota claims that in the future, this machine, which is smoother, lighter and easier to use than past models, could be used "to perform surgery in a distant place where a doctor cannot travel. It also might allow people to feel like they're participating in events they can't actually attend," according to the Associated Press. That same day, it was announced that Swiss researchers developed a light, quick robotic bug called the DEAnsect, which can withstand several whacks from a flyswatter and can survive being stepped on by a shoe.
There has been an exponential increase in R&D related to virtual reality, photorealistic computer animations and augmented reality. Researchers from around the globe are working in these domains and have been creating machines which have the abilities of a human -- or humanoid robots. This is an emerging research domain which is now playing a crucial role in robotics research. However, according to the uncanny valley theory, the humanoid objects which imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of revulsion in observers. The IEEE spectrum ranks robots into three categories, -- top-rated, creepiest and most wanted.
The robot apocalypse has been tentatively scheduled for late 2019. Boston Dynamics, the SoftBank-owned robotics firm (that was once Alphabet's headache), will begin to commercialize its research next year. Marc Raibert, the company's founder, announced onstage at a TechCrunch robotics conference May 11 that Boston Dynamics will begin selling its dog-shaped robot, SpotMini, in 2019. It'll build about 100 robots over the next year, and is currently in the process of contracting manufacturers. The robot, which the company has been developing for the last couple years, is the smaller brother of Spot, a robot Boston Dynamics' researchers have been kicking since 2015.
A creepy robot that listens to you at home and shares your every move with your friends has been developed to help young people tackle loneliness. Scientists behind the robot, named Fribo, claim it encourages its owner to text and call their friends to help them socialise. To do this, the robot senses when you open a door or turn on a light and then messages your group to let them know what you're up to. In early trials, users said Fribo did help them to contact friends more but many expressed privacy concerns. A creepy robot that listens to you at home and shares your every move with your friends has been developed by scientists to stop young people feeling lonely.
A lot of well-meaning parents really, really want their child to learn a second language. However, it's hard to teach a language when you don't actually speak it yourself. Flash cards, videos and apps are all great, but real retention only happens through regular social interaction. Enter Flash Robotics' EMYS, a Kickstarter project that isn't just another mechanical assistant -- it's a friend that chats, plays and makes sure your kid walks away with some knowledge of the Spanish language. The dome-headed robot is named for how its head resembles certain species of turtles, but its segmented skull is probably more akin to the stacked lines of an old AT&T logo.
Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, a company that builds robots that mimic the movements of humans and animals with stunning dexterity and speed. "We are looking forward to this next chapter in robotics and in what we can accomplish as part of the Google team," Boston Dynamics co-founder Marc Raibert said via email. Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company that Google has acquired in the past six months, according to The New York Times, which first reported the news on Friday. Earlier this month, the Times reported that Google has named former Android chief Andy Rubin as the company's lead for its robotics projects. On its YouTube channel, Boston Dynamics has videos of its impressive robots, including WildCat, a four-legged robot designed to run fast in all terrains, Cheetah, which tops 28 miles-per-hour, and Petman, a human-like robot that balances himself as he walks, squats and does calisthenics, and simulates human physiology by controlling its temperature, humidity and sweating, according to the company.
Watching Charlie Rose attempt to interview a bald, poorly dressed, artificially intelligent robot is akin to watching your own grandfather try to use Siri, except much, much worse. On this week's 60 Minutes Overtime, as part of a longer episode about artificial intelligence, the famous interviewer tries to get some answers out of Sophia--the same robot, it appears, CNBC once inexplicably described as "hot." The chat goes about as well as you might expect, which is to say it's very awkward and uncomfortable, and definitely a sign of the impending robot apocalypse. Sophia: I can do what you do, but I can never feel human emotions as such. Sophia's creator, David Hanson, simply sits by her side and lets the inane questioning happen.
Wouldn't it be fun to play a rousing game of hide-and-seek with the droid you're looking for? Don't you think you'd sleep better at night knowing R2-D2's got your back? Well, this advanced bot not only resembles the famous droid, with its pill-like shape, it's smart like him too. BIG-i is a personal home assistant that takes care of you and your family. The bot encourages you to don a light jacket if it's chilly outside, entertains you with an enthralling tale, and more.
There is no getting around it, humanoid robots are going to be our servers, coworkers and well, possibly our killers. Okay, maybe we are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves on that last part, but you should definitely get familiar with the idea of being around them, because it is very likely they will be walking among us within the next 20 years. As we have reported before, artificial intelligence is progressing at a rapid rate and robots are starting to look more and more like us. Take for example the newest robot by Hanson Robotics, who goes by the name Sophia. She made her debut at SXSW in Austin last month, showcasing her 65 different facial expressions and expressing her rather positive attitude about destroying all humans.