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Politics, Law & Society

This week’s news is preliminary, but a U.S. house committee panel passed some new federal regulations which suggest sweeping change in the US regulatory approach to robocars.

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.

Join us at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017) for a full day workshop that will bring together international stakeholders in robotics to examine best practices for accelerating robotics innovation through strategic policy frameworks.

by   -   July 14, 2017

A quick, hassle-free way to stay on top of robotics news, our robotics digest is released on the first Monday of every month. Sign up to get it in your inbox.

Driverless car merging into traffic. How big of a gap between vehicles is acceptable? Image credit: Jordan Collver

I’m examining the perception of autonomous cars using hypothetical scenarios. Each of the hypothetical scenarios is accompanied with an image to help illustrate the scene — using grey tones and nondescript human-like features — along with the option to listen to the question spoken out loud to fully visualise an association. 

If you live in the UK, you can take this survey and help contribute to my research!

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.

by   -   June 20, 2017

WeRobotics Global has become a premier forum for social good robotics. The feedback featured below was unsolicited. On June 1, 2017, we convened our first, annual global event, bringing together 34 organizations to New York City (full list below) to shape the global agenda and future use of robotics in the social good sector.  WeRobotics Global was kindly hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, the first donor to support our efforts. They opened the event with welcome remarks and turned it over to Patrick Meier from WeRobotics who provided an overview of WeRobotics and the big picture context for social sector robotics.

The artificial intelligence that beat a world master at the game of Go is now to be directed at more complex global problems. What can be expect?

The world’s brightest minds in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and humanitarian action will meet with industry leaders and academia at the AI for Good Global Summit, 7-9 June 2017, to discuss how AI will assist global efforts to address poverty, hunger, education, healthcare and the protection of our environment. The event will in parallel explore means to ensure the safe, ethical development of AI, protecting against unintended consequences of advances in AI.

View the live webcast at: http://bit.ly/AI-for-Good-Webcast.

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.

After a successful 2016 first edition, our next summer school cohort on The Regulation of Robotics in Europe: Legal, Ethical and Economic Implications will take place in Pisa at the Scuola Sant’Anna, from 3- 8 July.

Credit: EESC

The EU must pursue a policy that ensures the development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe in favor, and not conducive to the detriment, acts of society and social welfare, the Committee said in an initiative opinion on the social impact of AI which 11 fields are identified for action.

Jordan’s Fifth National Technology Parade. At the parade, university students showcased their grasp of modern technologies with projects spanning renewable energy and water to robotics. Photo Credit: UN Women/Hamza Mazra’awi CC

The Middle East and North Africa’s youthful, fast-urbanizing population are perfectly placed to embrace technology and reap the rewards of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

by   -   May 16, 2017

Professor David Mindell, who researches the interaction between automation and human behavior, discusses the interdependence of people, robots, and infrastructure.

NAO robot. Photo courtesy: Paul Bremner/UWE

I was asked to write a short op-ed on the European Parliament Law Committee’s recommendations on civil law rules for robotics. In the end, the piece didn’t get published, so I am posting it here:



Robot Academy
July 22, 2017


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