This video is a TED talk given by Marc Raibert is the founder and CEO of robot maker Boston Dynamics in April 2017. It really shows how far robots have evolved. It focuses on ‘SpotMini’ a multifunction robot.
The concept will be that the world is being transformed by the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. While we are not there yet, our society is in the process of being massively changed by the growing introduction of robots, AI and Automation. The series will show the struggle between the emergent AI and humanity.
This might be a good series if it makes it through to production.
Predictions are that Robots, Automation and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasing role in our lives.
This week is National Robotics Week. This has been an annual recognition since 2010. Events are going on all over the country this week, most aimed at K-12 STEM. The list can be found here.
We have all seen the hype about deliveries by drone. Now Amazon has begun some trial deliveries in the UK and hope to expand these efforts. The ‘Prime Air’ autonomous drone deliveries are just a trial for now. I don’t think that this will put UPS or FedEx out of business anytime soon, but it is a step towards automated delivery.
Artificial Intelligence . . . Christmas . . . music, you would think that would make a winning combination. Maybe not so much if you listen to the new “Christmas Carol” above that was created by a machine.
Researchers at the University of Toronto used a neural network to ‘write’ the song. It did so after being exposed to several other Christmas songs to ‘learn’ how to write one itself.
Not exactly a tune you will be singing around the Christmas tree this year, but it has to start somewhere. This is not the first music related AI article this year. Just a heads up to everyone that AI and robotics is beginning to have an impact over a wide range of job categories.
The White House has just (Octoberr 2016) issued the report entitle “Preparing For the Future of Artificial Intelligence“.
In short the report:
- highlights the benefits of AI
- talks of the need for standards
- brings up how AI should be regulated
- raises the issue of job loss due to automation
If you are interested in Robots, AI and Automation, your time would be well spent reading this 48 page report.
The Dubai Police may be deploying a robot as early as 2017. The robot shown above was on display at Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Tech Week in recently Dubai. There may only be the one unit in use next year, but by 2020 more extensive use of robots is planned.
The robot could salute and shake the hands of conference attendees. The touch screen on its chest can be used to report crimes and pay for traffic violations. The robot also has the capability for facial recognition. The Dubai police are working with IBM Watson as well as Google to enhance the robots skills, particularly with verbal communication.
This is another example of robots beginning to work side-by-side with humans. It is also another example of how robots could begin to gradually displace humans in some jobs.
The World Robotics Conference has been going on since October 21 and ends today in Beijing. As you would expect, there have been demonstrations of robots that continue to be ever more human like. The event was cosponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation (RAS) Society.
While the commentator in the above video is Chinese, the subtitles give an explanation of the two human-like robots being displayed. One wonders how soon it will be before we begin to encounter these human-like robots?
I have written quite a bit about AI over the past few months. I came across the article “This AI-written pop song is almost certainly a dire warning for humanity” today and found it interesting. Certainly I am no music expert or even listen to music very often (I put on a local popular radio station when I am driving granddaughters around), but the tune in the video below is not bad.
Now as the article explains, the AI just creates the melodies and a real human composer takes that and turns it into the final music track. The melodies were produced by Sony’s Flow Machines.
The AI pulls data from about 13000 songs in its leadsheet database when a user inputs the selected style for the music to be created. The example above was created in the “Beattles” style.
Is this a sign of another career sector that will be impacted by AI in the years ahead? It is too early to tell, but Sony plans to release a music album of AI created pop music in 2017. If it is successful who knows what the long term impact may be.
I cam across the article “The Road Ahead” this morning and found that it gives some interesting predictions as to the future of transportation. For instance one of the statistics it quotes is that “The average vehicle is used only 4% of the time and parked the other 96%.” That leads to these three changes in transportation:
- Autonomous vehicle fleets will quickly become widespread and will account for the majority of Lyft rides within 5 years.
- By 2025, private car ownership will all-but end in major U.S. cities.
- As a result, cities’ physical environment will change more than we’ve ever experienced in our lifetimes.
Other interesting facts mentioned:
- there are at least 700 million parking spaces in the U.S. That means our country has more than 6,000 square miles of parking
- A full shift to “Transportation as a Service” is finally possible, because for the first time in human history, we have the tools to create a perfectly efficient transportation network.
It is too early to tell if these predictions have merit, though I think it is more of a ‘when’ not an ‘if’. I have read elsewhere that some predict that larger cities will eventually declare non-human driving zones restricting transportation within the area to autonomous vehicles. If this interests you, check out the full article.