A mouthwatering array of over 750 events has been taking place throughout Europe this week as the continent celebrates Robotics Week 2015. The festivities began with an eye-opening debate on “Robots and Society” in the UK city of Bristol on Tuesday, with experts versed in strategy, business, academia, law and policy. But, for many, the star of the show was Nao, in his guise as robot avatar.
What does it mean to have giants like Google, Apple and Amazon investing in robotics? Since last December, Google alone has acquired a handful of companies in robotics, home automation and artificial intelligence. This can be pretty exciting for robotics. But what exactly is the internet giant planning to do with this technology? Is there something we should be worried about? If there is, what can we do about it?
Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending VLAB: Drones – The Commercial Era Takes Off at Stanford GSB. The event was truly fantastic and the panel was amazing. The moderator was Chris Anderson, former editor at Wired and CEO of 3D robotics. I’m really struck by how much he has become the face of the commercial drone industry.
In this episode, we talk with Kate Darling from the MIT Media Lab, about giving rights to social robots. She tells us about a recent Pleo torture session she organized at the LIFT conference and the class she taught at Harvard Law School on “Robot Rights”.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford released a video of their panel discussion on “How an (Autonomous Driving) Bill Becomes Law” that took place earlier this month. The discussion builds on recent legislation in several US states (Nevada, California, Florida) to authorize autonomous vehicles. Focus is given to Nevada, which was the first in the world to issue a test plate for Google’s self-driving cars.