How machine learning systems sometimes surprise us
- This simple spreadsheet of machine learning foibles may not look like much but it’s a fascinating exploration of how machines “think.” The list, compiled by researcher Victoria Krakovna, describes various situations in which robots followed the spirit and the letter of the law at the same time.
- In other test, a robot learned to move a block by smacking the table with its arm and still another “genetic algorithm [was] supposed to configure a circuit into an oscillator, but instead [made] a radio to pick up signals from neighboring computers.” Another cancer-detecting system found that pictures of malignant tumors usually contained rulers and so gave plenty of false positives.
- Each of these examples shows the unintended consequences of trusting machines to learn.
Universal Robots snags 20 Rethink refugees after bot maker goes belly up
- Fortunately Universal Robots has picked up 20 of the engineers and others who contributed to Rethink’s well-liked but ultimately ill-fated Baxter and Sawyer robots.
- Universal Robots, on the other hand, is an enormous company that’s been around for much longer, manufacturing and supporting a number of popular industrial and collaborative robots all over the world.
- It was purchased by Teradyne for $350 million in 2015, but is still operating more or less on its own — sounds like it was a UR decision to pick up the Rethink employees.
- Rethink’s focus was on small scale custom operations: a small business that could semi-automate itself by having a Sawyer perform some monotonous manual labor like packing boxes or aligning parts on the conveyor belt.
- All this is just to say that the people in Rethink were working on, and solving, serious problems in robotics, and the company closing its doors doesn’t change that.
Inside the New Industrial Revolution
- The first three industrial revolutions were driven by coal and steam, then electricity and the automobile, then computing.
- Now we may be witnessing the rise of the fourth: an economy powered by the mobile internet, automation and artificial intelligence.
- That was the assessment of Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, who made the fourth industrial revolution the theme of his annual meeting in 2016.
Teaching robots body language offers common ground for humans and machines
- She’s an artist, coder, and designer who, for the past few years, has been exploring how humans relate to robots; programming machines that react to our presence and that use mechanical body language of their own to communicate back.
- And just like industrial robot arms, these machines are fast and powerful and don’t intrinsically have a way to communicate with the people around them.
- If you think about our pets, for example, these are non-humanoid things that don’t have great ways of communicating with us, yet they’ve transcended their utility, from being wolves in nature to being sheepdogs, and they’ve been domesticated and they add meaning to our lives.
- I think the most surprising reaction came from the engineers from robotics company ABB who installed them, who were saying that the robots’ personality was something that they thought might be useful in a factory.
AI could soon be all around us — here's how that could upend 8 different industries
- Chip manufacturers are making processors specifically for machine learning and related AI features, noted Deloitte analysts David Schatsky, Jonathan Camhi, and Aniket Dongre in a new report.
- Similar chips could soon be placed in a wide range of devices and other products, from robots to internet of things gadgets, wind turbines to medical devices, the Deloitte analysts said.
- Drones, robots, and connected cameras with built-in AI could dramatically improve productivity and efficiency in construction, the Deloitte analysts wrote.
- But the Deloitte analysts noted that efficiency could come at a cost, particularly to materials providers, who could see reduced demand for their products.
- A system of such robots that could coordinate with each other on the fly could significantly increase efficiency and reduce the time it takes to pick, pack, and ship orders, the analysts wrote.
Robots are learning hand gestures by watching hours of TED talks
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- We say a lot with our hands.
- We spread them wide to indicate size, stab the air for emphasis and reach out to draw people in.
- Waving our hands about when we speak makes us appear less robotic – and that’s true for robots too.
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