news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     events

Culture and Philosophy

We are only in the earliest stages of so-called algorithmic regulation – intelligent machines deploying big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to regulate human behaviour and enforce laws – but it already has profound implications for the relationship between private citizens and the state.

By Jeff Morgan, Trinity College Dublin

Robots have been taking our jobs since the 1960s. So why are politicians and business leaders only now becoming so worried about robots causing mass unemployment?

By Christoph Salge, Marie Curie Global Fellow, University of Hertfordshire

How do you stop a robot from hurting people? Many existing robots, such as those assembling cars in factories, shut down immediately when a human comes near. But this quick fix wouldn’t work for something like a self-driving car that might have to move to avoid a collision, or a care robot that might need to catch an old person if they fall. With robots set to become our servants, companions and co-workers, we need to deal with the increasingly complex situations this will create and the ethical and safety questions this will raise.

Here are the slides I gave recently as member of panel Sci-Fi Dreams: How visions of the future are shaping the development of intelligent technology, at the Centre for the Future of Intelligence 2017 conference. I presented three short stories about robot stories.

File 20170609 4841 73vkw2
A subject plays a computer game as part of a neural security experiment at the University of Washington.
Patrick Bennett, CC BY-ND

By Eran Klein, University of Washington and Katherine Pratt, University of Washington

 

In the 1995 film “Batman Forever,” the Riddler used 3-D television to secretly access viewers’ most personal thoughts in his hunt for Batman’s true identity. By 2011, the metrics company Nielsen had acquired Neurofocus and had created a “consumer neuroscience” division that uses integrated conscious and unconscious data to track customer decision-making habits. What was once a nefarious scheme in a Hollywood blockbuster seems poised to become a reality.

The device named “Spark” flew high above the man on stage with his hands waving in the direction of the flying object. In a demonstration of DJI’s newest drone, the audience marveled at the Coke can-sized device’s most compelling feature: gesture controls. Instead of a traditional remote control, this flying selfie machine follows hand movements across the sky. Gestures are the most innate language of mammals, and including robots in our primal movements means we have reached a new milestone of co-existence.

A record number of teams submitted beautiful robot-created artwork for the second year of this 5-year worldwide competition. In total, there were 38 teams from 10 countries who submitted 200 different artworks!

by   -   April 23, 2017

Happy International World Book and Copyright Day! Here at Robohub, we’re celebrating by sharing our list of 20 robot related books (in no particular order) aimed at engaging kids and/or teens with everything robotics. Ranging from funny fictional narratives to DIY drone building and coding, these books are sure to fire the imaginations of our future innovators and creators.

Researcher Joffrey Becker explores why robots can sometimes appear as strange creatures to us and seeks to better understand people’s tendency to anthropomorphise machines.

interview by   -   April 17, 2017



In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Roland Siegwart and Matthias Hüni about Kickstart Accelerator, a Swiss Startup Accelerator. Siegwart leads the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zürich and is one of the initiators of Kickstart Accelerator. Hüni is the vertical lead of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at Kickstart Accelerator and is involved in the program’s operations. Kickstart Accelerator seeks to provide international entrepreneurs with an inlet to the Swiss ecosystem, including connections to industry and academia.

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. Andrea Bertolini explains.

interview by   -   April 2, 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Torsten Oelkes, Executive Chairman of CUBE, about the CUBE Tech Fair. The CUBE Tech Fair is a conference that takes place in Berlin in May that seeks to facilitate connections between companies. The Tech Fair also features a start up competition where the winner will be awarded 1,000,000 without exchange of equity or debt. In this interview, Toresten talks about CUBE’s business model, the robotic companies they’re affiliated with, the CUBE Tech Fair, and the 1,000,000 prize.

The law currently recognizes individuals like you and me. Also companies, organizations and governments can negotiate agreements and liability. These non-natural persons are represented by real people (they should be controlled after all). But what about autonomous systems that take over tasks and make intelligent decisions that might be interpreted as a legal act?

Whether or not an artificial intelligence (AI) ought to be granted patent rights is a timely dilemma given the increasing proliferation of AI in the workplace. Ronald Yu discusses.

by   -   February 22, 2017

If a machine can think, decide and act on its own volition, if it can be harmed or held responsible for its actions, should we stop treating it like property and start treating it more like a person with rights?



ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017


Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup?

Need help spreading the word?

Join the Robohub crowdfunding page and increase the visibility of your campaign