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Culture and Philosophy

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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?

Part 2: Autonomous Systems and Transparency

In my previous post I argued that a wide range of AI and Autonomous Systems (from now on I will just use the term AS as shorthand for both) should be regarded as Safety Critical. I include both autonomous software AI systems and hard (embodied) AIs such as robots, drones and driverless cars. Many will be surprised that I include in the soft AI category apparently harmless systems such as search engines. Of course no-one is seriously inconvenienced when Amazon makes a silly book recommendation, but consider very large groups of people. If a truth (such as global warming) is – because of accidental or willful manipulation – presented as false, and that falsehood is believed by a very large number of people, then serious harm to the planet (and we humans who depend on it) could result.

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Image: IEEE

On the 15th November 2016, the IEEE’s AI and Ethics Summit posed the question: “Who does the thinking?” In a series of key-note speeches and lively panel discussions, leading technologists, legal thinkers, philosophers, social scientists, manufacturers and policy makers considered such issues as:

  • The social, technological and philosophical questions orbiting AI.
  • Proposals to program ethical algorithms with human values to machines.
  • The social implications of the applications of AI.
by   -   January 20, 2017

world-economic-forum-2017-theresa-may

The population of the scenic ski-resort Davos, nestled in the Swiss Alps, swelled by nearly +3,000 people between the 17th and 20th of January. World leaders, academics, business tycoons, press and interlopers of all varieties were drawn to the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. The WEF is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas for the coming year and beyond. Perhaps unsurprisingly given recent geopolitical events, the theme of this year’s forum was Responsive and Responsible Leadership.

Join Professor Brian Cox as he brings together experts on AI and machine learning (including RoboHub’s own Sabine Hauert) to discuss key issues that will shape our technological future



Deep Learning in Robotics
June 24, 2017


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