robots

‘We understand that the tragic hero—in contrast to the baroque character of the preceding period—can never be mad; and that conversely madness cannot bear within itself those values of tragedy which we have known since Nietzsche and Artaud.’ –Michel Foucault

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{ IEEE | full story | Thanks Tim! }

‘To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect.’ –Hegel

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Google started testing their cars on public roads back in 2009, long before any regulations were even dreamed of. An examination of the California Vehicle Code indicated there was nothing in there prohibiting testing.

For testing purposes, Google has a trained safety driver sitting behind the wheel, ready to take it at any moment. Any attempt to take the wheel or use the pedals disables the automatic systems and the safety driver is in control. The safety drivers took special driving safety courses and were instructed to take control if they have any doubt about safe operation. For example, if a vehicle is not braking as expected when approaching a cross walk, take the controls immediately, do not wait to see if it will detect the pedestrians and stop.

The safety drivers are accompanied by a second person in the passenger seat. Known as the software operator, this person monitors diagnostic screens showing what the system is perceiving and planning, and tells the safety driver if something appeared to be going wrong. The software operator is also an extra set of eyes on the road from time to time.

Many other developers have taken this approach, and some of the regulations written have coded something similar to it into law.

This style of testing makes sense if you consider how we train teen-agers to drive. We allow them to get behind the wheel with almost no skill at all, and a driving instructor sits in the passenger seat. While not required, professional driving instructors tend to have their own brake pedal, and know how and when to grab the wheel if need be. They let the student learn and make minor mistakes, and correct the major ones.

The law doesn’t require that, of course. After taking a simple written test, a teen is allowed to drive with a learner’s permit as long as almost any licenced adult is in the car with them. While it varies from country to country, we let these young drivers get full solo licences after only a fairly simple written test and a short road test which covers only a tiny fraction of situations we will encounter on the road. They then get their paperwork and become the most dangerous drivers on the road.

In contrast, robocar testing procedures have been much more strict, with more oversight by highly trained supervisors. With regulations, there have been requirements for high insurance bonds and special permits to go even further. Both software systems and teens will make mistakes, but the reality is the teens are more dangerous.

{ Brad Templeton | Continue reading }

related { Will You Need a New License to Operate a Self-Driving Car? }

‘I feel like I totally understand gothic architecture in all of its brilliance’ —deanna havas

The Random Darknet Shopper is an automated online shopping bot which we provide with a budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week. Once a week the bot goes on shopping spree in the deep web where it randomly choses and purchases one item and has it mailed to us.

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Spineless swines, cemented minds

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Researchers at the MIT are testing out their version of a system that lets them see and analyze what autonomous robots, including flying drones, are “thinking.” […]

The system is a “spin on conventional virtual reality that’s designed to visualize a robot’s ‘perceptions and understanding of the world,’” Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, a post-doctoral associate at MIT’s Aerospace Controls Laboratory, said in a statement.

{ LiveScience | Continue reading | via gettingsome }

image { Lygia Clark }

‘Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.’ —Paul Theroux

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We evaluated the impact of different presentation methods for evaluating how funny jokes are. We found that the same joke was perceived as significantly funnier when told by a robot than when presented only using text.

{ Dr. Hato | PDF }

Ongoing projects: Adding farting to the joking robots.

{ Dr. Hato | Continue reading }

we took a young woman w/ severe memory loss and helped her forget she ever had it

{ Samantha West The Telemarketer Robot Who Swears She’s Not a Robot | more }

‘Pourquoi démissionner quand on est innocent ?’ –Jérôme Cahuzac

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{ Thomas Jackson }

Alteration of the platelet serotonin transporter in romantic love

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Holograms of human figures are appearing increasingly often in airports as virtual assistants. And they may also be introduced in various commercial activities. […]

The woman was two-dimensional, a projection on a human-shaped glass sheet. […] She is a product by Tensator®, a “queue control and management solutions” brand. Installed in June of last year, an aviation trade publication reported she cost the airport only 26,000 dollars. The avatar runs 24 hours a day and is portable so she can be moved to other areas of the terminal. […] You will find similar holographic announcers or “airport virtual assistants” in Dubai, Washington Dulles, Macau, Istanbul Ataturk and Long Beach, among other locations. […] The next step will be to install more interactive virtual assistants, which might answer basic questions from travellers about things like flight times, gates or rental car locations. Their plan is to provide models with a touch-screen interface next to the avatar rather than Siri-style speech technology. Voice recognition, while available in the more expensive models (roughly 100,000 dollars) isn’t recommended for airports due to the likelihood of interference from background noise. […]

Musion is better known for their less practical work: reviving dead celebrity singers. Their most famous project was the digital resurrection of Tupac Shakur at last year’s Coachella Festival. The company also recreated Frank Sinatra to perform at Simon Cowell’s 50th birthday party. […] Copyright permissions and objections from various estates, in addition to the high costs, have so far prevented “resurrections” from becoming a more widespread trend.

{ Domus | Continue reading }

art { Wayne White }

Persistent vegetative state

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These new robot-painting machines can wash, apply solvent to remove dirt, rinse and then spray two different paint types. […]

Manually, it takes a team of painters 4.5 hours to do the first coat. The robots do it in 24 minutes with perfect quality. Boeing began using the machine in February. By midsummer, all 777 wings will be painted this way. […]

Half the 777 wing-painting team has been redeployed to other roles, such as programming the machines, painting the airline liveries on the fuselage or working on the sophisticated paint job needed for the 787-9 tails, which have a special smooth aerodynamic finish, Clark said.

{ Seattle Times | Continue reading }

Step aside for the flex Terminator X

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From assembly line robots to ATMs and self-checkout terminals, each year intelligent machines take over more jobs formerly held by humans; and experts predict this trend will not stop anytime soon. […]

“By 2015, robots should be able to assist teachers in the classroom. By 2018, they should be able to teach on their own, and this will cause many teachers to lose their jobs.” […]

The ultimate tool to replace doctors could be the nanorobot, a tiny microscopic-size machine that can whiz through veins replacing aging and damaged cells with new youthful ones. This nanowonder with expected development time of mid-to-late 2030s could eliminate nearly all need for human doctors. […]

Experts estimate by 2035, 50 million jobs will be lost to machines […] and by the end of the century, or possibly much sooner, all jobs will disappear. Some believe the final solution will take the form of a Basic Income Guarantee, made available as a fundamental right for everyone. […] America should create a $25,000 annual stipend for every U.S. adult, Brain says, which would be phased in over two-to-three decades. The payments could be paid for by ending welfare programs, taxing automated systems, adding a consumption tax, allowing ads on currency, and other creative ideas.

{ IEET | Continue reading }

Arianna Huffington Unveils New ‘Huffington Man’ Aggregated From 84 Different Humans

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Many are only just getting their heads around the idea of 3D printing but scientists at MIT are already working on an upgrade: 4D printing.

At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble.

It could be used to install objects in hard-to-reach places such as underground water pipes, he suggested.

It might also herald an age of self-assembling furniture, said experts.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

Some, to example, there are again whose movements are automatic. Perceive. That is his appropriate sun.

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There’s growing privacy concern over flying robots, or “drones.” Organizations like the EFF and ACLU have been raising the alarm over increased government surveillance of US citizens. Legislators haven’t been quick to respond to concerns of government spying on citizens. But Texas legislators are apparently quite concerned that private citizens operating hobby drones might spot environmental violations by businesses.

{ Robots | Continue reading }