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Talking Machines: Bias variance dilemma for humans and the arm farm, with Jeff Dean

In episode four of season three Neil introduces us to the ideas behind the bias variance dilemma (and how how we can think about it in our daily lives). Plus, we answer a listener question about how t...
03 July 2017, by

Making Pepper walk: Understanding Softbank’s purchase of Boston Dynamics

It is unclear if Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Softbank, was one of the 17 million YouTube viewers of Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog before acquiring the company for an undisclosed amount this past Thursday...
12 June 2017, by

Finally! Google sells Boston Dynamics to SoftBank

In a long-awaited transaction, The New York Times Dealbook announced that SoftBank was buying Boston Dynamics from Alphabet (Google). Also included in the deal is the Japanese startup Schaft. Acquisit...
09 June 2017, by

California publishes robocar intervention reports: Google/Waymo vastly outpaces competition

California published its summary of all the reports submitted by vendors testing robocars in the state. You can read the individual reports. They are interesting, but several other outlines have creat...
08 February 2017, by

Google car is now Waymo

Google’s car project (known as “Chauffeur”) kickstarted the entire robocar revolution, and Google has put in more work, for longer, than anybody. The car was also the first project of what becam...
14 December 2016, by

Google puts Boston Dynamics up for sale

The maker of advanced humanoid and 4-legged robots (BigDog and Atlas), Boston Dynamics, is up for sale. According to the Financial Times, "this is one of those discordant moments that makes you questi...
22 March 2016, by


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Toyota Research gets Kuffner, and Google gets Brondmo

At a press conference last week at CES, Toyota, led by Gill Pratt of DARPA fame and now CEO of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), informed the world what Toyota intended to do with it's billion dollar...
18 January 2016, by

Tricking LIDAR and robocars

Security researcher Jonathan Petit claims to be able to hack the multi-thousand-dollar laser ranging - LIDAR - systems that self-driving cars rely on. How does he do it and is it as dangerous as it so...
14 September 2015, by

Robotics and AI prominent in MIT’s annual 35 Innovators Under 35

The MIT Technology Review’s annual list of 35 Innovators Under 35 aims to illustrate the most important emerging technologies of the moment. Released this August, the 2015 list features a number of...
02 September 2015, by

Robocar news roundup: Google doesn’t hit Delphi but does go to Austin; Vislab sold for $30M

The press were all a-twitter about a report from Reuters that there had been a near miss between Delphi’s test car and one of Google’s, though it was quickly denied that anything happened....

Robocar roundup: Google accidents, Baidu cars, startups and more

Here’s a roundup of news stories in the field of robocars....

Google to release monthly driving reports

Google has started publicly disclosing details of accidents involving its self-driving cars....
09 June 2015, by

Automated vehicle crashes

  Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported on several past crashes involving automated vehicles. (Per SAE Standard J3016, I use the term "automated vehicle" instead of "autonomous veh...
29 May 2015, by

Why Google’s robot personality patent isn’t what it appears to be

[tweetquote]Google’s new patent: Less about creating robot personalities than collecting yours.[/tweetquote]...
16 April 2015, by

Delphi’s cross-country trip, and a raft of other robocar news

There has been a ton of robocar news in the last four weeks. Below is just a small subset of the now constant stream of news items and articles that appear about robocars....
31 March 2015, by

Google scraps initial ‘Project Wing’ plans for new secret design

The head of Google's moonshot lab Google X has recently announced they have scrapped the initial 'Project Wing' design that they have been testing in Australia. According to X lab Director Astro Te...
25 March 2015, by

Intuitive Surgical da Vinci Surgical System gets big endorsement and new competition

UPDATED 3/29/15 For over two years, Intuitive Surgical has been sued, tried, analyzed and criticized about the efficacy of their da Vinci surgical robots. But they have continued to thrive, grow and ...
23 March 2015, by

Why are JIBO, Pepper, Siri, Google Now and Cortana so important?

There's a race going on to see which AI solution providing personal assistance is welcomed by businesses, end users and consumers, and whether this will be physical or virtual....
16 March 2015, by

Introducing Spot, a new smaller 4-legged robot from Boston Dynamics

[tweetquote]Boston Dynamics just released a video of a new four legged robot named “Spot”.[/tweetquote] It is an evolution along the lines of their previous four-legged robots like BigDog and Wild...
09 February 2015, by

Uber Chases Google in self-driving cars with Carnegie Mellon deal | WSJ

What might have been a budding partnership suddenly appeared to boil over into a pitched rivalry on Monday. Besides Uber’s disclosure that it will work on its own self-driving car technology, a Bloo...
03 February 2015, by

No, Google and Uber aren’t going to war over self-driving cars | The Verge

This week, Uber has announced a self-driving research initiative in partnership with Carnegie Mellon, while Google is rumored to be investigating ride-sharing using its own self-driving cars. At a gla...
03 February 2015, by

Google is developing its own Uber competitor | Bloomberg Business

Google Ventures, the search giant's venture capital arm, invested $258 million in Uber in August 2013. It was Google Ventures' largest investment deal ever, and the company put more money into Uber...
03 February 2015, by

Talking Machines: Common sense problems & learning about machine learning with Kevin Murphy

On episode three of Talking Machines we sit down with Kevin Murphy, who is currently a research scientist at Google. We talk with him about the work he’s doing there on the Knowledge Vault, his tex...
29 January 2015, by

Google presents their actual autonomous car test prototype

Google just unveiled their first ‘real-build’ self-driving prototype vehicle. This is a follow up to the concept presented in May and signifies the progress of this particular Google project....
22 December 2014, by

Google commits $1.36 billion for NASA facility, to house their robotics, space and flight technologies

Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures has committed to a 60-year $1.16 billion lease of the 1,000 acre Moffett Field Naval Air Station. The agreement includes an additional $200 million to refurbish th...
12 November 2014, by

Google news: Rubin leaves; Pichai promoted to #2; and Google invests in Magic Leap

Andy Rubin leaves Google; Sundar Pichai promoted to #2 man at Google; and Google invests in $542 million B funding for Magic Leap....
31 October 2014, by

Google adds to DeepMind, acquiring 2 UK startups and partnering with Oxford U

In January, 2014, Google acquired London-based DeepMind Technologies for $643 million. Now it is adding to that purchase with two more companies, ten new hires and a substantial contribution to Oxford...
27 October 2014, by

Artificial General Intelligence that plays Atari video games: How did DeepMind do it?

Last December, an article named “Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning” was uploaded to arXiv by employees of a small AI company called DeepMind. Two months later [tweetquote]Google bough...

Google’s secret drone delivery program

The Atlantic revealed the inside story of Google's two-year secret X-labs drone-delivery project in a detailed story by Alexis Madrigal. Project Wing, as the drone-delivery venture is called, has alre...
29 August 2014, by

Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program “project wing” | the Atlantic

After two years of development, the Silicon Valley company reveals to The Atlantic that it has substantial research effort into building flying robots than can deliver products across a city...
28 August 2014, by







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