Countering singularity sensationalism: Ken Goldberg reviews three books at the nexus of people and robots | Nature

16 October 2015

share this:

In the late nineteenth century, the United States was awash with the racist term ‘yellow peril’. Fears spread that Chinese immigrants working in the country’s mines and building its railways would seize more jobs from the citizenry. Today, there is a similar collective fear, this time about a ‘singularity’ in which artificial intelligence (AI) and robots surpass human abilities. In May 2014, for instance, physicists Stephen Hawking, Frank Wilczek and Max Tegmark, with computer scientist Stuart Russell, warned in the newspaper The Independent: “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last”.

Surprising advances are being achieved, for example in ‘deep learning’ — a method for approximating complex functions using thousands of numerical parameters. And robots are evolving, with advances in 3D sensing and mapping. But progress is not nearly as steady as some claim. Three books explore the topic from different perspectives. All suggest that robot superiority faces a formidable obstacle: human psychology.

Hallie Siegel’s insight:
I recently interviewed John Markoff about his new book – watch for that on Robohub soon.

Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large
Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large

Related posts :

The one-wheel Cubli

Researchers Matthias Hofer, Michael Muehlebach and Raffaello D’Andrea have developed the one-wheel Cubli, a three-dimensional pendulum system that can balance on its pivot using a single reaction wheel. How is it possible to stabilize the two tilt angles of the system with only a single reaction wheel?
30 June 2022, by and

At the forefront of building with biology

Raman is, as she puts it, “a mechanical engineer through and through.” Today, Ritu Raman leads the Raman Lab and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
28 June 2022, by

Hot Robotics Symposium celebrates UK success

An internationally leading robotics initiative that enables academia and industry to find innovative solutions to real world challenges, celebrated its success with a Hot Robotics Symposium hosted across three UK regions last week.
25 June 2022, by

Researchers release open-source photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving

MIT scientists unveil the first open-source simulation engine capable of constructing realistic environments for deployable training and testing of autonomous vehicles.
22 June 2022, by

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks to Maria Telleria, who is a co-founder and the CTO of Canvas. Canvas makes a drywall finishing robot and is based in the Bay Area. In this interview, Maria talks ab...
21 June 2022, by and

Coffee with a Researcher (#ICRA2022)

As part of her role as one of the IEEE ICRA 2022 Science Communication Awardees, Avie Ravendran sat down virtually with a few researchers from academia and industry attending the conference.

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association