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Culture and Philosophy

by   -   January 11, 2017

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

by   -   January 10, 2017
Image: Gerd Altmann
Image: Gerd Altmann

The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University will serve as the founding anchor institutions for a new initiative aimed at bridging the gap between the humanities, the social sciences, and computing by addressing the global challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) from a multidisciplinary perspective.

by , and   -   January 9, 2017

Design company After the Flood team-up with author Lloyd Shepherd and illustrator Eunike Nugroho to offer a speculative glimpse of first-contact between a 21st century explorer and a host of wild robots. Are they friend or foe? Where do they come from and what controls them? If we saw one for the first time tomorrow, what would we tell our friends?

A robot hands a medication bottle to a person. Photo credit: Keith Bujak. Source: Georgia Tech News Center
A robot hands a medication bottle to a person. Photo credit: Keith Bujak. Source: Georgia Tech News Center

The Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Social Robots in Healthcare and Education Workshop (also called ELS Workshop) was held in Yokohama the 14th Nov 2016 during the JSAI-isAI Conference. The workshop was twinned with another workshop in the New Friends Conference in Barcelona the 2nd Nov 2016.

by   -   December 30, 2016

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Sophisticated household robots are only just starting to show up in our lives, but all the building blocks for a veritable “Cambrian explosion” of robotics are there, as Gill Pratt described it when he was running the recent DARPA Robotics Challenge. The service robotics industry is emerging, and we will soon be seeing robots of all shapes and sizes making their first forays into our everyday lives.

by   -   December 27, 2016

Alan Winfield introduces the recently published IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems…

by   -   December 8, 2016

Yueh-Hsuan Weng interviews Prof. Hiroko Kamide about her theory of “One Being for Two Origins”, derived from the teachings of the Buddha, and how her philosophy might impact the emerging field of roboethics.

by   -   November 29, 2016
Hiroshi Ota and Minako Inoue with 2 Robovie R3 robots in Oriza Hirata's "I, Worker"
Hiroshi Ota and Minako Inoue with 2 Robovie R3 robots in Oriza Hirata’s “I, Worker”

How can robotics help to enhance the development of the modern arts? Japan’s famous playwright, stage director Oriza Hirata and leading roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro launched the “Robot Theater Project” at Osaka University to explore the boundary between human-robot interactions through robot theater. Their work includes renditions of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”, Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, and their own play “I, Worker”. Their work has spread internationally to Paris, New York, Toronto and Taipei.

For this interview, we would like to invite their collaboration partner Yi-Wei Keng, director of Taipei Arts Festival, to share his insights on the intersection of robotics and the arts.

by   -   October 27, 2016

artistbook_inlove_25-10-2013loveherve-veronese-centre-pompidou-2-3The OPLINE Prize is the first online contemporary art award, where the audience vote for the winner out of 10 nominated artists. The winning artist receives 4,000 Euros and exhibitions. The winner also gives away a work of art to a random voter. The OPLINE Prize process in itself reflects on innovative digital culture and the engagement of the broader community in art.

by and   -   April 18, 2016

engineering_still_needs_more_women-heroIt’s super hard to find skilled people willing to work for robotics companies in Silicon Valley. Even though robotics is awesome and going to change the world. Because big companies with big paychecks are stealing all the talent. So, you seriously can’t afford to overlook anyone. Yet, judging from the gender ratio at robotics companies, most are overlooking one huge potential talent pool.

by   -   July 11, 2014

Facebook’s algorithms are making decisions about what kind of person you appear to be to your ffriends.

by   -   February 13, 2014

AdrianneWortzelGuest talk in the ShanghAI Lectures, 2009-12-17

This lecture discusses the relevance of embedding dramatic scenarios and expressive language into methodologies employed in the research and development of biochemical and/or electronic sentient beings. The author demonstrates how adding imaginative modalities to current practices can afford a profound and positive effect on outcomes.

by   -   January 15, 2014

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cy·borg  –  ˈsīˌbôrg/ – noun

a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body

This month we asked our Robotics by Invitation experts to tell how they would use robotics to enhance themselves. Here’s what they have to say …

by   -   January 15, 2014

There are two kinds of cyborgs – those that have broken the skin, and those that have not. Iron Man comes to mind as a cyborg of the second category, in that he can remove his enhancement (save for that pacemaker, of course). Being able to fly would be great, but we have planes. A hardshell carapace would be fun if I was into doing things like running into walls and falling from buildings. Though I have little super-hero ambition I do think there’s something that Iron Man has that I’d like, and that’s J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s A.I. assistant.

I’d like a personal gentleman’s gentleman, if you will, someone that is there to both advise and help. A Sancho Panza, a Samwise Gamgee, a Dr. Gonzo, or a Dean Moriarty. A Ron Weasley or a Huckleberry Finn. A real companion to help me through life.

Though I have not spent more than a few minutes with it Marvel did build an app that is intended to do just this. Someone had the right idea but this is a thin semblance of what we need. Unfortunately, what Marvel missed was what makes J.A.R.V.I.S. so intelligent – his street smarts. His worldly knowledge and personality.

J.A.R.V.I.S. is based on Reginald Jeeves, the fictional valet of Bertie Wooster, from the writing of P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975). Jeeves offered Bertie advice, assisted him with daily operations, helped him keep track of things, run systems, and do it via natural language. Jeeves was someone that enhanced Bertie’s knowledge, understanding, amplified his perception and wisdom and even fixed him the occasional hangover cure. So I’d like a Jeeves – an advisor of the most intimate sort that’s there as a consultant, teacher, confidante, and companion. Especially for the morning of January 1st, when I suspect I’ll have a bit of a hangover. He would, after all, know exactly what I’d had to drink that night, and would have probably been the one that had called the cab for me to get home.

Read more answers →

by   -   January 15, 2014

As a researcher in robotics, I tend to cringe whenever someone asks how long it will take until people start to see terminator-like robots on the streets. It’s a fun question to think about, but it is often asked with all too much seriousness, as though the world with terminators is the inevitable future that lies ahead of us.

But when I was asked this month’s Robotics by Invitation question, I gladly put on my imagination hat without much hesitation or cringing. Part of it might have something to do with the fact that no one will come after me and ask “so, when do you think that kind of technology will be available in the future?” So I felt very much free to let my imagination do what it does best.

The first thing that crossed my mind was a vision or an idea Mr. John S. Canning of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division had discussed many years ago (in 2009 I believe) at a talk he titled “A Concept of Operations for Armed Autonomous Systems”. After thirty-something powerpoint slides, he summarized the talk with “Let the machines target machines – not people”. I think it’s a cool notion to think about building robots that are not built as ultimate killing machines, but built as the ultimate weapon-neutralizing machines. Imagine that, instead of targeted killing of humans, you send robots for targeted neutralization of weapons?

After coming across that summary, I remember thinking how useful it would be if I had an expandable, hidden robotic device implanted on my forearm, such that when I (if ever) need to go neutralize someone’s weapon, or protect myself from someone attacking me (for whatever reason), the device will automatically activate, expand into a bullet-proof shield, and help me detect dangerous weapons in the area to neutralize. If it comes with a mini jet-pack that allows me to fly, that’s even better. I’d be the ultimate superwoman whose day-job is to do research in robotics, but with a side job to fly to random places and help out with conflict situations. Ok, that sounds like a plot from a comic book.

inspector_gadget2Some of you might think I sound like I’m dreaming to be a female version of Iron Man. But I am thinking of something more subtle (at least while the device isn’t activated), like the Inspector Gadget (for those of you who don’t know him, Inspector Gadget was a cartoon character that could hide all of his cyborg gadgetry inside his trench coat). I would look just like a normal person, except that, when necessary, my ‘implanted devices’ would activate to serve whatever various purposes I need.

That’s only if you are asking me about implants. But if you are asking me about robotic accessories, then that’s a whole different story. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a foldable and light pocket-sized device that you could carry with you while travelling (or grocery shopping), so that when you don’t want to carry heavy things, you could just activate it, and it would become a full sized stair-climber and a follow-bot? It would have come in very handy if I had such a device during my trip to Europe, hopping between trains and planes with my luggage. I don’t think I’d use anything bigger or heavier than my purse for this purpose, because that defeats the purpose.

Anyone have one of these available for testing yet?

Read more answers →





Digital cultures
November 16, 2012


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