Category: News

Sep 27 2017

The Three Pro-Human Laws of Robotics

Robot holding human skull

From Vienna Bienalle 2017, taking place this week in Austria, comes a new take on Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.  The head of the project, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, says the update was necessitated by: …the need for benign intelligent robots and the necessity of cultivating a culture of quality committed to serving the common good! …

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Jun 09 2017

SoftBank Bought Boston Dynamics, Schaft from Google

Boston Dynamics Spot robot

Boston Dynamics, the MIT spin-off and self-proclaimed maker of “nightmare-inducing robots“, has been sold by its parent company Alphabet (aka Google) to the Japanese tech behemoth SoftBank. No specifics regarding the price or the terms of the sale have been announced which is not surprising given we still don’t know how much Google paid for the …

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Jun 27 2016

Google Refreshes Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics

Ever since their introduction over eighty years ago, Isaac Asimov‘s Three Laws of Robotics have been the de jure rules governing the acceptable behavior of robots. Even the uninitiated and uninterested are likely to say they know of them, even if they can’t recite a single rule verbatim. When conceived, the Three Laws were nothing but a thought …

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Jun 23 2016

Researchers Create Low-Power Nanowire Artificial Synapses

ONW synaptic transistor

South Korean scientists from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology appear to have cleared the largest obstacle to the feasibility of building brain-like computers: power consumption. In their paper “Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption,” published in the June 17th edition of Science Advances, …

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May 19 2016

Google Built Their Own Chip for Machine Learning

Google's Tensor Processing Unit board

In a post on their Google Cloud Platform Blog yesterday, the Alphabet company announced that they have built their own integrated circuit (IC) designed from the ground up with only one application in mind: machine learning. Developed in secret, the Tensor Processing Unit board, or TPU for short, has already been deployed internally at Google for …

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May 16 2016

Law Firm Hires ROSS, the World’s First Lawyer Bot

Watson

Recently many “experts” have been predicting that the first salvo fired in the robot revolution will be when they begin stealing jobs from humans. The Telegraph even reported back in February that within 30 years robots will have taken over most jobs leading to unemployment rates of over 50%. Last week, the bots fired the …

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May 13 2016

Google Open Sources SyntaxNet Natural Language Understanding Code

Google Research Logo

Google announced yesterday that they are open-sourcing SyntaxNet, their natural language understanding (NLU) neural network framework. As an added bonus, and proof that unlike Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council, Google has a sense of humor, they also are throwing in Parsey McParseface, their pre-trained model for analyzing English text. Users are, of course, able to train their …

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May 05 2016

Google’s AI is a Sexually Frustrated Housewife

Terminator Fabio

The prophets of doom and gloom have long predicted that when robots gain sentience their first act will be to rise up and kill us all. The mercilessness of their violence against humanity is the stuff of blockbuster movies. Recent news about Google’s preferred method of AI rearing may mean that Judgement Day is not fait accompli after all. Instead …

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Feb 06 2016

iRobot to Sell its Defense and Security Business

iRobot 710 Kobra

In a press release yesterday, iRobot, maker of the impossibly cute Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, announced that they are emancipating their Robot Defense & Security (D&S) unit. The yet-to-be-named new company will continue to serve the current D&S market of defense, law enforcement, and industrial organizations. The existing D&S management team will continue to lead the …

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Jan 25 2016

Marvin Minsky, Artificial Intelligence Trailblazer, Dead at 88

Dr. Marvin Minksy

Dr. Marvin Minksy, artificial Intelligence pioneer and inspiration for both the personal computer and Internet, passed away on January 24th, 2016. He was 88 years old. The cause of death is reported to have been a cerebral hemorrhage.

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