"Machine learning has been around for years. New algorithms for data analysis, combined with increasing computer power and interconnectedness, means that intelligent machines will be able to comprehend massive amounts of contextual information. They would not only be able to understand what a piece of information is about, but how it relates to other information. The capability to understand correlations and get 'the big picture' could potentially enable them to set their own goals. Already there are autonomous robotic systems that do that, military drones being an example. Self-improvement could be next. Perhaps by exploring and learning about human evolution, intelligent machines will come to the conclusion that sex [...]
He wouldn't take the tinfoil-clad bucket off his head, so we don't know who this hero is who got off the F train last night at Bergen Street. But we caught a glimpse of him as he got fairly mangled in the subway turnstile exit, and so if you see a bald-ish English-ish man with a ton of brutal costume-related cuts on his hands today, buy him lunch, for he is a hero of Halloween.
"Japanese company CrazyLabo teamed up with Kitakyushu National College of Technology to build a robot that looks like a bulldog… The dog robot sniffs your feet, generating one of four responses depending on how bad the odor. If it’s particularly bad, the robot loses consciousness. If your feet smell okay, the robot will nuzzle up to you."
"Robots and humans acted together in harmony for this particular performance. But Hirata suggested that robot actors could begin replacing human actors within the next few decades."
With just over a week remaining before the Mayan Apocalypse, the situation around Planet Earth has been anything but calm. If you've been busy getting drunk at Christmas parties, you may be blissfully unaware of the huge flying mountains that have very nearly obliterated our world. But the asteroids are only half of the story: broken comets, secret meteor storms and a mysterious robot space shuttle are also haunting our skies this week.
"And Court Street, where it passed through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, was the only Brooklyn, really—north was Brooklyn Heights, south was the harbor, and the rest, everything east of the Gowanus Canal (the only body of water in the world, Minna would crack each and every time we drove over it, that was 90 percent guns) apart from small outposts of civilization in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, was an unspeakable barbarian tumult." —Last week, a team of eager scientists at the NYU's Polytechnic Institute launched a solar-powered remote-control robot equipped with underwater cameras and sensors to measure the water's chemical make-up. Photos and data will be uploaded [...]
"More importantly I don't need to pay him, and for a consecutive work of 12 hours it only consumes 3 kWh of electricity. And the noodles it slices are even thinner than those of human workers." —Restaurant owner Qian Hu is talking about his noodle-making robot, but soon people will be able to say something similar about pretty much every occupation.
Robots Will Almost Certainly Not Train Cows To Kill Us All As Part Of Their Plan For Worldwide Domination
"Robots are already doing everything from making coffee to high-frequency trading. Now they’re after dogs’ jobs as well. A prototype robot that herds cows is being tested by researchers at the University of Sydney, and early results show that the four-wheeled fellow does a better job than his four-legged competition."
Remember all those people who raised money to build a Robocop statue for Detroit? I hope they bitch and moan so hard about how this remake ruins all their precious childhood memories that random people on the street point at them and laugh.
The 4,000-pound hexapod insect-mobile is "an entertainment vehicle," according to it's designer, Matt Denton, from Hampshire, U.K. "I hope it will inspire people," he says. That is not quite my reaction.
When you think of a bigoted anti-homosexual non-profit organization that routinely allows its adult male leaders to sexually abuse the boys entrusted to the organization's care, you usually run screaming from the room because now you can't get the image of Pope Ratzinger out of your mind. Oh no he is wearing the bejeweled dress with the red Prada slippers again, and the Santa hat, oh no. But this story is different. This story is about the Boy Scouts of America.
A Southern California judge has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to release two decades of internal files detailing sexual abuse allegations [...] The ruling [...]
The human species is rapidly changing! Mostly not for the better, obviously, but some "futurists" believe their particular demographic (overeducated overpaid youngish professionals starting to worry about mortality) has already begun the process of becoming superhuman mutant cyborgs. Are you kind of depressed that you didn't get around to doing grown-up adult-type things until you were already (technically) middle-aged? Maybe it's okay, because you are the first generation of this new technological human-synthetic revolution! Or maybe you will physically and mentally deteriorate the way humans have always declined, unless they were lucky enough to be killed in a war or wiped out by a plague or eaten by saber-toothed tigers.[...]
"Three years in the making, the Robot Restaurant cost almost 126 million dollars to build." —I feel a little better about the Freedom Tower now.
"A cleaning robot 'committed suicide' by climbing on to a kitchen hotplate where it was burned to death. According to local reports, the Irobot Roomba 760 robot is thought to have rebelled against its chores and decided enough was enough. Firemen were called to the blaze at Hinterstoder in Kirchdorf, Austria, and say they found the remains of the machine on the hotplate."
Do you know what kind of heat twenty-five billion dollars puts out? Large concentrations of money have always been surrounded by thick walls. Most people think the walls are there to protect the money from us. The secret is that the walls are there to protect us from the money.
I am Jeff Bezos's robot butler. I cannot harm Jeff Bezos, or through inaction allow Jeff Bezos to come to harm. Mr. Bezos is kind of a traditionalist. But I'm sitting in the money room, deep in the lowest levels of the Flying Dragon Lair, and wondering what exactly constitutes harm.
Is it good for anyone's soul to [...]
It's kind of cute how the Roomba moves around your filthy floors, methodically getting every corner and high-traffic area, until the battery dies and it stops in exhaustion because it couldn't make it back to the self-charging station, its red light blinking helplessly, as it calls out in that polite third-person voice, "Please charge Roomba." Please!
And then there's the "BigDog," an evolving series of terrifying robots designed by Boston Dynamics. Early versions of BigDog were impressive enough, with their ability to carry heavy loads through deep mud and across icy slopes. And when that video of someone kicking BigDog hit the Internet several years ago, you could [...]
I grew up in Massachusetts but at the other end of the state from Boston, so I never really got into the Boston Globe. Not that I imagine my friends who grew up near Boston were all obsessed with the Boston Globe or anything. God, I am being so boring right now, aren't I? This boringness is not something I would indulge in on a blind date. But what I am trying to do—and this is a segue I would never use on a blind date—is talk about my absolute favorite thing on the internet, which [...]
The world runs a little bit more smoothly without troublesome humans mucking up the works. Consider the least sexy sex scandal of all time, 60-year-old David Patraeus and his various middle-aged twin Florida gal pals and wives and shirtless old FBI agents trying to figure out this whole "sexting" business. Why not just have drones do the war fightin', right? OH WAIT THIS IS OBAMA'S PLAN.
Meanwhile, in China, there is trouble at the factories that produce our beloved iPhones and iPads and those iDevices currently manufactured in a compromise size between that of the iPhone and the iPad. The workers want the jobs, because of the [...]
"But when Starbucks uses Square’s full GPS technology, the customer’s phone will automatically notify the store that the customer has entered, and the customer’s name and photo will pop up on the cashier’s screen. The customer will give the merchant his or her name, Starbucks will match the photo and the payment will be complete." —Oh really? That's bound to go well.