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) …
It's so disappointing to see a great game come along that falls shorts because it keeps getting in its own way. I don't know what went wrong with Heaven's Vault. Developer Inkle Studios has done enough strong work over the years for me to go into any of their games with confidence and curiosity. I still feel that way even now. But I'm disappointed with this latest game.
The fear of robots coming for your job is one of the many challenges confronting 21st-century workers, but the machines aren't ready to take on every industry just yet. Bridgewater Associates, the massive hedge fund founded by legendary investor Ray Dalio, just released a report on the changing relationship between labour and capital in the US. One of the big factors the Bridgewater authors highlighted was the ongoing rise in automation across industries, which they noted could be a support for corporate profits in the years to come as more efficient robots and software potentially replace slower and error-prone human labour. Bridgewater cited a 2016 report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company that looked at which industries in the US were most susceptible to being automated. The McKinsey report used data from the Department of Labour to estimate how much time workers in various industry sectors spent doing different types of tasks, and which of those tasks could, theoretically, be automated using present technology.
It's the undisputed heavyweight champion of AI held up as proof of machines hell-bent on the destruction of humanity. In my experience seeing Atlas do parkour and backflips, and four-legged Spot robots get pushed around by humans, Boston Dynamics is a close second. These robots fascinate and terrify people. If facial recognition software and Amazon's Alexa are held up as popular examples of surveillance capitalism, Boston Dynamics videos are usually shoved in my face by people afraid of these robots' mobility and physical prowess. This is partially due to the advanced robotics and unique design, and partially due to the success of a YouTube campaign over the course of the past six months in which each video sucks up millions of views.
In many animals, tool-use skills emerge from a combination of observational learning and experimentation. For example, by watching one another, chimpanzees can learn how to use twigs to "fish" for insects. Similarly, capuchin monkeys demonstrate the ability to wield sticks as sweeping tools to pull food closer to themselves. While one might wonder whether these are just illustrations of "monkey see, monkey do," we believe these tool-use abilities indicate a greater level of intelligence. Right: A gorilla using a stick to gather herbs.
It's been two years since the last time I judged the Automate Startup Competition. More than any other trade show contest, this event has been an oracle of future success. In following up with the last vintage of participants, all of the previous entrees are still operating and many are completing multi-million dollar financing rounds. As an indication of the importance of the venue, and quite possibly the growth of the industry, The Robot Report announced last week that 2017 finalist, Kinema Systems was acquired by SoftBank's Boston Dynamics. Traditionally, autonomous machines at the ProMat Show have been relegated to a subsection of the exhibit floor under the Automate brand.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR), at a press conference here last week, announced preliminary 2018 figures for the industrial sector of the robotics industry. Last year set another record -- but just barely. It was only up 1% over 2017. No information was given about service and field robotics. It's true that 2017 was a banner year, with a 30% year-over-year gain.
Using easily guessed passwords across multiple accounts is a major gap in the online security habits of British people, a government study has found. The survey by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that many internet users did not know the best ways to protect themselves from cybercrime, with 42 per cent expecting to lose money to online fraud. Only 15 per cent of the survey's 2,500 respondents said they knew "a great deal" about how to protect themselves from harmful activity online, while fewer than half of respondents said they do not always use a strong, separate password for their main email account. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.
A pillar box red electric train connects Paris, Verona and Grenada via Budapest's Liberty Bridge and on to Heidelberg Castle in a 120-hectare fantasy business park dreamt up by the Chinese billionaire Ren Zhengfei. Ren, 74, a former Red Army engineer who founded the telecommunications company Huawei in 1987 and still owns a 1.14% stake, asked the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to recreate some of Europe's most historic cities. He hoped to inspire an army of 25,000 research and development staff to challenge Apple, Google and Samsung. While its US competitors keep their research facilities on lockdown to prevent corporate espionage (oft allegedly by the Chinese), Huawei is inviting the world's media into its labs and factories in an attempt to dispel the US government's claims that the privately held company is an arm of the Chinese state and that its technology could be used to hack into western governments. US politicians allege that Huawei's forthcoming 5G mobile phone networks could be hacked by Chinese spies to eavesdrop on sensitive phone calls, gain access to counter-terrorist operations – and potentially even kill targets by crashing driverless cars.
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. It only takes 10 Spotpower (SP) to haul a truck across the Boston Dynamics parking lot ( 1 degree uphill, truck in neutral). These Spot robots are coming off the production line now and will be available for a range of applications soon.
Paris firefighters used drones and a water-spitting robot to help tame the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Putting out Monday's fire at the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was a joint effort between hundreds of firefighters, emergency personnel and modern technology. Parisian firefighters used a combination of robots and drones to see, track and contain the blaze that ravaged the 800-year-old cathedral's roof, spire and stained glass windows. One instrumental player was Colossus, a water-firing robot that was deployed to quell the flames from inside the smoldering Gothic cathedral after firefighters were forced to evacuate certain areas. The tank-like robot, which was designed to transport equipment and wounded people, is equipped with cameras that allow the person who's operating it to see what's happening within danger zones.