A.I. Takes a Stroll Through Amsterdam in AI News

A.I. Takes a Stroll Through Amsterdam
28 November 2015, 12:00 am

                    Read about the world's tallest building, the longest bicycle, the most modern tractor and a discovered time capsule that cannot be opened until the year 2957. Above: Shoe manufacturer New Balance is stepping onto the 3-D printing platform with a new running shoe that incorporates a 3-D printed midsole that can be customized to each runner.

Discovery - NewsLink

Source: AI in the News

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Started November 28, 2015, 11:00:04 PM


Friday Funny in General Chat

Share your jokes here to bring joy to the world  :)

910 Comments | Started February 13, 2009, 01:52:35 PM


Seiloak Chicko Rough (Vanuatu Singer) in Video

Started November 28, 2015, 05:49:05 PM


Is it just me or ?? in General Chat

Is it just me or does some of the people at ai_zone forum seem to be a tad testy when you bring up needing to do things different as far as chatbots go?  I think that there needs to be a different way of doing it as tossing facts at chatbots does not necessarily improve their conversational skills. There needs to be a way to give them common sense. Without it all the facts in the world won't make them better.

The very definition of  a chatbot is a program that talks like a person. IT carries on a conversation. It is not necessary for it to know everything. IT is necessary for it to somehow understand what we mean and the nuances of speech. Joy hardwood who created God Louise and i a long time ago spoke about this very thing. We agreed that something different needed to be done. There needed to be a new way to instill common sense to them. How that would be accomplished i am not sure but i think it some how needs to be close to it having true intelligence of some sort. Even animals can communicate with each other. I think that when we finally understand how the brain works that then we might be able to duplicate that in a computer program. Until then we are kinda swimming in the dark about it.

But it does not mean we should not keep trying because if nothing else chatbots are fun to play with.

18 Comments | Started November 24, 2015, 09:59:29 AM


Spencer the robot can guide passengers to their gates at busy airports in AI News

Spencer the robot can guide passengers to their gates at busy airports
27 November 2015, 12:00 am

                    For travellers in a hurry, navigating their way through the terminals at a busy airport can be a stressful experience. At one European airport, however, there will soon be help for those racing to reach their flight in time from a friendly robot called Spencer.

Daily Mail - Sciencetech (UK)Link

Source: AI in the News

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Started November 28, 2015, 05:01:01 AM


What’s new in robotics this week? Researchers teach robots to disobey (for their own good) in Robotics News

What’s new in robotics this week? Researchers teach robots to disobey (for their own good)
27 November 2015, 8:31 pm

Simple-Natural-Language-Interaction-with-Consequence-Reasoning---YouTubeResearchers teaching robots to disobey human instructions; bug-zapping robot helps 8-year old; new drone regulations; robot tractors; and more.

Researchers Teaching Robots How to Best Reject Orders from Humans (IEEE Spectrum)

Robots are often thought of as mere slaves designed to obey our orders without question. The very word “robot” is derived from Czech words meaning “slave labor”.

Huge industrial robots that operate at a safe distance from humans and other equipment in our factories are a good example of the traditional ‘Human Overlord-Robot Slave’ relationship. Such robots are fed strict instructions in the form of computer code and then proceed to carry them out without question.

But as humans and robots start working in ever closer proximity and robots enter our homes, the traditional relationship becomes a lot more problematic.

For a start, the environments that robots are operating in are becoming more complicated than a simple ‘robot in a cage.’

Further, many domestic robot designs are based on robots receiving their instructions by voice rather than through computer code, which increases the range of potential mishaps that could occur.

With all this in mind, it’s clear that a robot that followed human instructions without question every single time would be a bad idea, the most obvious example being when following a human’s instructions could potentially cause the robot to damage itself or other property.

And let’s face it, domestic robots are likely to receive all sorts of orders with varying levels of common sense and good intentions attached:

“I dropped my smartphone in the swimming pool. Can you get it for me?”

An instruction like that is only going to work well with waterproofed robots, but that won’t stop some people from giving such orders, either without thinking or simply to see what happens next.

Put simply, robots need to have enough intelligence and awareness of their surroundings to enable them to distinguish between sensible and foolish instructions.

This is what a team of researchers at Tuft’s University is hoping to achieve by developing mechanisms that will enable a robot to reject orders that it receives from humans, as long as there is a good reason for doing so:

Now, let’s talk about how all of this stuff works in practice, in real interactions between humans and robots. The overall goal here is not just to teach robots when they should (and should not) follow orders, but also to provide a framework within which the robot is able to effectively communicate why it rejected an order. This is important, because it allows the human to provide additional instructions that might satisfy whichever felicity condition caused the failure in the first place.

The second and third law of robotics get switched here, since the robot ignores orders from a human when those orders would lead to it harming itself.

Are we setting a dangerous precedent that could doom humanity? Sure, maybe. But it’s not realistic to expect that robots will ever unquestionably obey the laws of all humans they come in contact with: if we tried to do that with computers and software, it would lead to an enormous and destructive mess, and the present and future of robotics is no different.
Read the full paper here.

There may be potential for robot disobedience beyond simply ensuring robot safety.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think I would quite enjoy having a domestic robot that not only questioned my instructions when safety issues arise, but also outright contradicted me on a regular basis for no particular reason.

Why? Think brain-training device rather than robo-butler. Such a robot would keep me on my toes hopefully without our relationship descending to Inspector Clouseau-Cato type levels:



FAA Releases Drone Registration Recommendations (Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association)  

drone-1The Federal Aviation Administration has released a list of recommendations (PDF) for how to better monitor recreational use of drones in the United States:

The group’s final recommendations include creating an electronic registration system accessible through the Web or an app, providing an electronic certificate of registration and a personal registration number that can be used on all of an owner’s UAS, and requiring that the registration number (or registered serial number) be marked on all UAS before they are flown.

The task force recommended that any drone with a maximum takeoff weight of 250 grams, just under 9 ounces, or more be registered. But several task force members suggested that a heavier weight might be more appropriate. AOPA and others noted that very little research has been done on the effects of a small drone strike, making it difficult to make a well-reasoned recommendation as to what size drone poses a meaningful threat. They urged the FAA to expedite its research in that area and review the weight requirement for registration based on its findings.

Under the task force recommendations, drone owners would need to provide their name and address in order to receive a registration number. Providing email addresses and phone numbers would be optional.
See also: 3 Problems with the Drone Registration Recommendations (RoboticsTrends)



DARPA wants your wacky robotics ideas (Geek)  

Futurama_robertoDo you have an idea for a robot you think DARPA would be interested in? Now’s your chance to let them know:

DARPA has teamed up with the Open Source Robotics Foundation to launch a program called the Robotics Fast Track (RFT). The goal is to give people outside the government a chance to pitch ideas for the future of robotics. The RFT is happy to accept any robotics or robotics software proposal, but it’s particularly interested in what people have in mind for maritime and space robots. These are considered the most challenging aspects of modern robotics.


Robot protects 8-year-old with brain tumor from deadly infection (WDTN) blog_what_new_27_novXenex’s bug-zapping robot has come to the aid of Aydan Chapman, an 8-year old Texan boy who picked up a superbug infection while receiving chemotherapy for brain cancer:

1.7-million Americans will pick up infections at the hospital this year, often antibiotic resistant superbugs hard to disinfect, that can potentially be fatal. That has apparently happened to an eight-year-old Westlake boy. During the time he was receiving chemotherapy for his brain cancer, he got c-Diff, a superbug that kills one in ten people who get it, and lingers on surfaces for months. But Aydan Chapman is safely home now, his entire house disinfected by a superbug zapping robot.


Robopocalypse Now! #4 Interview: Roman Yampolskiy Discusses AI, Killer Robots, and the Age of the Machine (Futurism)

How swarm intelligence could save us from the dangers of AI (VentureBeat)



Why this farmer built a cool robot tractor (CBC Radio)

Matt Reimer, a farmer in rural Manitoba, has built a robotic tractor from open source components that can pull up alongside his combine, so harvested grain can be transported, all without a driver. (Audio: 9m14s)



And finally The Drone Racing League Will Be a Spectator Sport Like No Other (Wired)

Robotic Surgery For Sleep Apnea (ABC)

Artificial Intelligence: 10 Things To Know (InformationWeek)

Robot to help passengers find their way at airport (Alphagalileo)

5 Places To Meet a Robot in Tokyo (Japan Today)

Flying Robots Are the Future of Solar (GreenTechMedia)

Robotic agriculture and swarming with bees (ABC)

China’s robot sector needs to pick up the pace to upgrade manufacturing and rival foreign competitors, say experts (South China Morning Post)

Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

Started November 28, 2015, 05:01:00 AM


Data-mined photos document 100 years of (forced) smiling in AI News

Data-mined photos document 100 years of (forced) smiling
27 November 2015, 12:00 am

                    Here's an odd fact: Turn-of-the-century photographers used to tell subjects to say "prunes" rather than "cheese," so that they would smile less. By studying nearly 38,000 high-school yearbook photos taken since 1905, UC Berkeley researchers have shown just how much smiling, fashion and hairstyles have changed over the years.


Source: AI in the News

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1 Comment | Started November 27, 2015, 11:00:32 PM


Music Vids in General Chat

I don't start many new topics but today I have a compulsion to start one, sorry  ;D  and as today (Sunday) is normally a time of the week I get to listen to some music I thought I would share.  

Expect to find plenty of Dubstep and robotic goodies in here.  O0

54 Comments | Started July 20, 2014, 03:17:38 PM


Robots at #ERW2015: From imagination to market in Robotics News

Robots at #ERW2015: From imagination to market
27 November 2015, 7:56 pm

Robothespian welcomes visitors to Bristol Robotics Lab during #ERW2015. Image: euRoboticsRobothespian welcomes visitors to Bristol Robotics Lab during #ERW2015. Image: euRobotics  Bridging the gap between cutting-edge research in academia and the vibrant robotics startup ecosystem is no easy task. This Wednesday in the UK city of Bristol, a free public event titled “From Imagination to Market” — the centre piece of European Robotics Week 2015 — took on that challenge by bringing together leading innovators, researchers, startups and strategists. Below are the key moments and insights from the event.

Organised by euRobotics AISBL (which represents robotics stakeholders in Europe) and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL — one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe), this event was packed insight, stories and advice.

The day kicked off with an introduction to robots in science fiction by Michael Szollosy and a look at the field of RoboLaw by Andrea Bertolini, before taking a deep dive into the BRL’s state-of-the art research on swarms, human-robot interaction and soft robotics. Then we heard from up-and-coming startups Open Bionics and Reach Robotics, we got an overview of the UK robotics landscape, followed up by inside info from two of the UK’s most successful corporations: Dyson and Ocado. In the middle of all this, we were whisked off to BRL to meet real-life robots before being brought back for a rousing panel discussion to bring all that freshly gained knowledge together.

There was more: the day finished with a robot build-a-thon, where kids aged 5-14 years helped researchers build 100 robots to ‘treat’ artificial cancer cells. Robot stations were also placed throughout Bristol’s Science Museum, showcasing a swarm of 200 coin-sized robots, Thymio and TiddlyBot robots to program, the latest robots from the Robogals team, and students from Digimakers.

Here is a taste of what we learned in just one day:

What could be going from imagination to market in the future Control in human-robot interaction can take four forms, BRL’s Angelika Peer told us. First is bilateral control, where transparency, task performance, telepresence, robust stability and conflicting requirements need to be taken into account. Then we have shared control — the kind found in robotic assistive walking devices, or in the automation of assembly and transportation tasks, which can be performed either collaboratively with a human operator, or learned from humans by imitation. For the third category — supervisory control — Peer outlined the EU-funded project, VERE, which stands for Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-embodiment. Autonomous control makes up the fourth category, and this can be sequential, parallel, or parallel and symmetric.

Sabine Hauert speaking at ERW2015Sabine Hauert speaking at ERW2015 Taking swarming into the real world through the simulation of basic rules forms the basis for Sabine Hauert’s research at the BRL. Her interest in nanoparticles inspired her research in using robot swarms to cure cancer. The particles can change size and shape, but you need to design their behaviour too. How do you synchronise them? How sticky should they be to deal effectively with cancer cells? Hauert’s research can translate with as few as 50 robots, but thousands is where it starts to get really interesting, and we’re just now reaching that stage. Watch her TEDx talk here.

BRL’s Jonathan Rossiter has just received a £2.5m EU grant to make trousers out of soft robotics — a futuristic aide to enable those with mobility issues. The limitations of rigid robots have inspired his research, which forms part of the EU’s Robosoft action. With applications in everything from mobile phones to alleviating deep vein thrombosis, soft robotics is really taking off. While it took 15 years to develop adequate motors, Rossiter believes work on materials will move much faster.

So when can we buy this stuff? “It’s just starting,” said EuRobotics road-mapping expert David Bisset. “We tend to use the phrase ‘on the cusp.’ There are a lot of products out there, but long way to go.” The UK landscape, he said, is composed of four different areas: manufacturing and agricultural goods, healthcare and consumer, transport and cities and energy, and utilities and the environment. The drivers are economic, societal (such as the crisis in care for the elderly), markets (which are concerned with efficiency) and, finally, getting robots to do things we don’t want to, such as vacuuming. But, crucially, the infrastructure needs to be in place for robots to become a valued part of activity. The biggest market is healthcare, with a value of £323bn. But it’s not the value of the robots themselves, it’s their impact that’s important, and for this we need strategy, assets, skills clusters and challenges — landing a UAV at Heathrow, mapping out North Sea pipelines, and driving though a town, for instance. Here, SMEs are a very important part of the mix.

Coming soon to a market near you are cutting-edge robotic technologies from two of these SMEs: Open Bionics and Reach Robotics, both originating from the BRL incubator.

Openbionics_grace_mandeville_prosthetic_arm_hand_5Open Bionics is the first company to use 3D scanning and printing to fit a prosthetic limb. The startups’ CEO, Joel Gibbard, relayed how a handheld device that cost a couple of hundred pounds now makes it possible to customise every device, remotely and cost-effectively. The company took time to ask amputees what they wanted, and it turned out they would rather have a prosthetic that is comfortable, light weight, and that helps them celebrate their limb difference over a prosthetic that offers high functionality. To this end, Open Bionics focused on fashion and design, creating a Swarovski crystal-encrusted prosthetic arm, and partnering with Disney for Ironman, Elsa and Star Wars hands that light up (which produces additional benefits). Plus there’s a subscription model in the works so that children can have the size of their prosthetic adjusted as they grow.

Reach Robotics CEO Silas Adekunle at ERW2015Reach Robotics CEO Silas Adekunle at ERW2015 Reach Robotics CEO Silas Adekunle sees a future where video game characters will leap out of the screen into our world. Their robot, MekaMon, can do battle in both the real and virtual worlds, can be customised, and has its very own universe complete with epic battles. The company recently had its first round of VC funding, from Qualcomm and Techstars, among others. “When creating, startups are in the sausage-making business,” he said, “It’s lovely in front but a mess in the back.” Team members have left and been replaced, and there have been 17 grants and 24 product iterations, said Adekunle. MekaMon is on track and due on the market for Christmas 2016.

The startup ecosystem Support for startups, how to raise the funding, and what infrastructure is needed to allow startups to be successful were covered by the next two speakers, BRL’s Farid Dailami and Renaud Champion of Robolution Capital.

“I’m looking for products that will solve a problem but not to replace someone,” said Champion, speaking of his investment policies.  “What I’m looking for is a bicycle for the mind, and project linked to robotics to solve any kind of issue: ethical, legal or societal.” He had further advice for would-be entrepreneurs:

  • Know what’s at the core of your product, not just the IP. What is the service you give to users? What is your competitive advantage?
  • Don’t confuse getting feedback with convincing people.
  • Be able to name failure in your product development.
  • A low [financial] burn rate does not mean you have time to waste.
  • Don’t validate your customer hypothesis with investors.
  • Start off with Indiegogo and Kickstarter rather than VCs; it’s a question of strategy.
Meanwhile, for those ready to develop and test products, services or processes, Faisal Dalmanie outlined the facilities available at BRL’s Robotics Innovation Facility (RIF).

Robots in the real world Next up were two success stories from industry. Note that neither Dyson nor Ocado are companies that have previously worked with robots. The former is best known for vacuum cleaners and the latter is an online grocer. Their stories were inspiring because they show the power of robotics when it enters everyday life.

“The only way you are going to get something to work in the real world is by putting it in the real world,” said Dyson’s Mike Aldred. His key take away message was “test test test.” Dyson’s 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner was 16 years in development and went through 110,000 trials in real homes over more than eight years. Two person-years were spent just in creating a test tool that identifies outliers and anomalies. But Aldred was keen to point out that, since it went on sale in Japan four weeks ago, the 360 Eye has already saved customers 250,000 hours that they could spend doing something else. However, for a robot be taken up, it has to perform better than a human, he said. His advice for would-be innovators was: “Always try to do something that can never possibly work. Innovation comes from thinking broadly and thinking differently.”

Thinking very differently from the average grocer is what got online supermarket Ocado interested in robotics. The company’s robotics research team leader Graham Deacon outlined the two major projects the company is involved with (in collaboration with European research institutes): Secondhands and SoMa, both funded via Horizon 2020 grants. SoMa is about using compliant robotic mechanisms to handle deformable products without conventional geometry, and Secondhands is seeking to develop a humanoid robot to assist maintenance technicians in routine and preventative maintenance. It’s a hugely ambitious exercise in collaborative robotics to develop a safe robot that can work shoulder to shoulder with a human.

Bringing it back to the table Panel roundup at ERW2015Panel roundup at ERW2015 During the panel discussion that followed, three of the speakers were joined by the BRL’s Innovation Manager Jill Burnet, and there was some final advice on bringing imagination to market.

Researching and manufacturing robotics can be hugely expensive. Dyson spent  £28m on research for the 360 Eye, and manufacturing ran into eight figures, said Mike Aldred. But although this amount of investment is a barrier to many SMEs, Jill Burnet pointed out that incubators, such as the one at BRL, can tackle niche market problems.

Champion’s advice was to identify the core of the product, which might lead you to rethink your manufacturing. If it’s not linked to manufacturing, the SME should sub-contract.

And their top advice?

Mike Aldred: The best person to follow your idea is you. Own your own idea.

Jill Burnet: Find a community to work in, with like minded people, as we’ve done at BRL.

Renaud Champion: It’s a matter of having an idea, but the difference is in having and implementing. You don’t have to the go to the US to develop, Europe is a great place to start your business.

Graham Deacon: The companies I know that continue have passion – so it’s about sticking to it.

Check out all our European Robotics Week coverage here.

Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

Started November 27, 2015, 11:00:32 PM


Robots are learning to DISOBEY humans saying no if it thinks it might be hurt in AI News

Robots are learning to DISOBEY humans saying no if it thinks it might be hurt
26 November 2015, 12:00 am

                    If Hollywood ever had a lesson for scientists it is what happens if machines start to rebel against their human creators. Yet despite this, roboticists have started to teach their own creations to say no to human orders.

Daily Mail - Sciencetech (UK)Link

Source: AI in the News

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

2 Comments | Started November 27, 2015, 05:00:13 PM
AI Virtual Pets

AI Virtual Pets in Other

Artificial life also called Alife is simply the simulation of any aspect of life, as through computers, robotics, or biochemistry. (taken from the Free dictionary)This site focus's on the software aspect of it.

Oct 03, 2015, 09:21:09 am
Why did HAL sing ‘Daisy’?

Why did HAL sing ‘Daisy’? in Articles

...a burning question posed by most people who have watched or read “2001: A Space Odyssey”: that is, why does the computer HAL-9000 sing the song ‘Daisy Bell’ as the astronaut Dave Bowman takes him apart?

Sep 04, 2015, 09:28:55 am

Humans in Robots on TV

Humans is a British-American science fiction television series. Written by the British team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the emotional impact of the blurring of the lines between humans and machines.

Aug 28, 2015, 09:13:37 am
Virtual Talk

Virtual Talk in Chatbots - English

[iTunes app] Virtual Talk is a AI chatting app that makes you talk with whomever you want. It remembers what you say and learns new dialogs. This app is one of the smartest chatbots in the world.

Aug 17, 2015, 13:33:09 pm
Robot Overlords

Robot Overlords in Robots in Movies

Not long after the invasion and occupation of Earth by a race of powerful robots wanting human knowledge and ingenuity, humans are confined to their homes. Leaving without permission would be to risk their lives. Monitored by the electronic implants in their necks, the robot sentries are able to track the movements of humans in order to control them. And if any person comes out of their home, they are given warnings by the robot sentries to get inside their home. If they do not comply, they are shot immediately.

Long article on the making of here...

Aug 15, 2015, 14:42:25 pm

Zerfoly in Chatbots - English

Zerfoly is a chatbot platform that makes it possible to create imaginary persons (chatbots) and teach them to talk to each other.

You will be able to let loose your creativity and imagination. Build persons, by writing interactive dialogues. The persons you create will gradually become individuals with unique personalities. One of the persons could bear your name and learn to talk like you; your alter ego. Another way of using Zerfoly is as an interactive diary.

Aug 09, 2015, 11:06:42 am

YARP in Robotics

YARP is plumbing for robot software. It is a set of libraries, protocols, and tools to keep modules and devices cleanly decoupled. It is reluctant middleware, with no desire or expectation to be in control of your system. YARP is definitely not an operating system.

Jul 31, 2015, 16:23:49 pm

Kimbot in Chatbots - English

Kimbot uses simple text pattern matching to search its database of past conversations for the most reasonable response to a given query. It learns by associating questions it asks with the responses that are given to it.

Jul 08, 2015, 10:10:06 am
Telegram Bot Platform

Telegram Bot Platform in Chatbots - English

Telegram is about freedom and openness – our code is open for everyone, as is our API. Today we’re making another step towards openness by launching a Bot API and platform for third-party developers to create bots.

Bots are simply Telegram accounts operated by software – not people – and they'll often have AI features. They can do anything – teach, play, search, broadcast, remind, connect, integrate with other services, or even pass commands to the Internet of Things.

Jul 06, 2015, 18:13:45 pm

Inf.net in Chatbots - English

'Our users can create and teach their own virtual characters (we call them 'infs'). Infs' creators choose appearance for their infs, teach them anything they want and post them on Facebook, MySpace, Blogger.com, Wordpress or any other website. Having read a conversation logs of the inf, the user can modify the replies directly in the logs, to make the inf smarter. '

Jan 21, 2010, 09:15:23 am