Grab a mallet, tongs, and as much butter as you can carry, because the Crabster is on its way. The 1,400 pound ocean-going robot is the brainchild of the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, and wasn’t at all designed to dismember you limb from limb before disappearing into the briny depths of an indifferent sea.
Tag Archives | Robots
I guess we should probably include journalists among those soon to be replaced by robots…
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A recent study investigates how readers perceive computer-generated news articles.
The advent of new technologies has always spurred questions about changes in journalism – how it is produced and consumed. A recent development which has come to the fore in the digital world is software-generated content. A paper recently published in Journalism Practice investigates how readers perceive automatically produced news articles vs. articles which have been written by a journalist.
The study, undertaken by Christer Clerwall of Karlstad University in Sweden, was conducted by presenting readers with different articles written by either journalists or computers. The readers were then asked to answer questions about how they perceived each article – e.g. the overall quality, credibility, objectivity.
The results suggest that the journalist-authored content was observed to be coherent, well-written and pleasant to read.
Microsoft founder and GMO enthusiast Bill Gates made some pretty grim predictions during an appearance at an event hosted by right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Grim for them? No, no, silly little person: Grim for you! According to Gates, people are underestimating the number of jobs that will be lost to robots, and unless we’re willing to cut payroll and income taxes out altogether, future businesses will likely not be willing to hire human beings that need jobs. Gates is also against raising the minimum wage, as he sees that as potential discouragement as well. So get ready to work for peanuts or not work at all.
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Gates said that within 20 years, a lot of jobs will go away, replaced by software automation (“bots” in tech slang, though Gates used the term “software substitution”).
This is what he said:
“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing.
Four hours of trudging through circuit diagrams and forum posts that read like Chinese toaster manuals, trying desperately to figure out what “Arduino” is. I finally have a breakthrough realization: I may have reached the far end of my brain’s capacity to learn new things.
I am an idiot. What a downer.
Luckily, I find a TED Talk by Massimo Banzi, an instructor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy and co-creator of Arduino, an “open-source electronics prototyping platform,” which breaks it all down for me. Through a haze of tears, I learn how a couple of nerds have managed to turn the world of interactive technology on its head while fooling around with toys and LED displays in their bedrooms.
From what Banzi says, Arduino has slowly and quietly been taking over our technological world since 2005, when he and four friends began developing a tool that would make it easier for his students to create their own interactive electronic inventions without having to be an engineer.… Read the rest
Scientists have created a network which various smart devices and artificial intelligences will use autonomously to share information and learn from each other – increasing their capabilities. Should we just surrender now? The BBC reports:
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A world wide web for robots to learn from each other and share information is being shown off for the first time. The system has been developed by research scientists from Philips and five European universities including Eindhoven.
It is the culmination of a four-year project, funded by the European Union. The eventual aim is that both robots and humans will be able to upload information to the cloud-based database, which would act as a kind of common brain for machines.
“At its core RoboEarth is a world wide web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other,” said Rene van de Molengraft, the RoboEarth project leader.
It’s mooted by Jon Turi at Engadget that Nikola Tesla, as ever ahead of his time, designed the first military drone, although he’s quoted as saying himself, “You do not see there a wireless torpedo; you see there the first of a race of robots, mechanical men which will do the laborious work of the human race”:
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…Tesla once said, “The world moves slowly, and new truths are difficult to see.” It was his way of responding to the crowd’s stunned disbelief upon viewing his scientific wizardry at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1898. Using a small, radio-transmitting control box, he was able to maneuver a tiny ship about a pool of water and even flash its running lights on and off, all without any visible connection between the boat and controller. Indeed few people at the time were aware that radio waves even existed and Tesla, an inventor often known to electrify the crowd with his creations, was pushing the boundaries yet again, with his remote-controlled vessel.
Google confirmed on Friday that it had completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon. The company, based in Waltham, Mass., has gained an international reputation for extraordinarily agile machines that walk with an uncanny sense of balance and even — cheetahlike — run faster than the fastest humans. Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection.
When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection. When the number was called a second time, a real live employee of Premier Health Plans Inc., who gave his name as Bruce Martin, answered the phone. He described the company as selling life insurance, health insurance and dental insurance.
Tiffany Shlain and husband Ken Goldberg, Professor of Robitics at UC Berkeley, share some thoughts about robots in a new short film “Why We Love Robots”: