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) …
Huachangda Intelligent Equipment, a Chinese industrial robot integrator primarily servicing China's auto industry, has acquired Swedish Robot System Products (RSP), a 2003 spin-off from ABB with 70 employees in Sweden, Germany and China, for an undisclosed amount. RSP manufactures grippers, welding equipment, tool changers and other peripheral products for robots.
The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) will host the first European- Commission funded European Robotics League (ERL) tournament for service robots to be held in the UK. Two teams from the BRL and Birmingham will pitch their robots against each other in a series of events from 26 and 30 June. Robots designed to support people with care-related tasks in the home will be put to the test in a simulated home test bed. The assisted living robots of the two teams will face various challenges, including understanding natural speech and finding and retrieving objects for the user. The robots will also have to greet visitors at the door appropriately, such as welcoming a doctor on their visit, or turning away unwanted visitors.
Robots are the technology of the future. But the current legal system is incapable of handling them. This generic statement is often the premise for considerations about the possibility of awarding rights (and liabilities) to these machines at some, less-than clearly identified, point in time. Discussing the adequacy of existing regulation in accommodating new technologies is certainly necessary, but the ontological approach is incorrect. The recent Resolution of the European Parliament (henceforth Resolution) has great political relevance and strategic importance in the development of a European Robotic Industry.
The EU is not really giving robots human rights; but some of its proposals are cause for concern. James Vincent on the Verge provides a sensible commentary which corrects the rather alarming headlines generated by the European Parliament draft report issued recently. Actually there are several reasons to keep calm. It is said that in the early days the Eurocrats had to quickly suppress an explanatory leaflet which described the European Economic Community as a bus. The Commission was the engine, the Council was the driver; and the Parliament… was a passenger.