We were among the lucky ones chosen to present at the 2016 We Robot Conference and for both of us, it was one of the best conferences we have ever attended. We Robot 2016 took place at the University of Miami and was hosted mainly by Professor Michael Froomkin. From the organization to the speakers: everything was amazing! We won’t address every topic discussed at the conference but we will give you a taste of the topics and point you to some interesting readings in this area. Interested parties should also check out the We Robot website and consider applying for next year’s edition, taking place on March 31 & April 1 at Yale University. More…
Things that caught our eye
A chat bot released by Microsoft this Wednesday, was taken down on Thursday because her self-learning capabilities had turned her into a racist and sex-loving robot who thought that ‘Hitler was right’.
How did that happen? Tay, the chat bot, learned from the conversations she had on Twitter, which apparently was a weakness in her programming. Elle Hunt from The Guardian writes:
“Tay in most cases was only repeating other users’ inflammatory statements, but the nature of AI means that it learns from those interactions. It’s therefore somewhat surprising that Microsoft didn’t factor in the Twitter community’s fondness for hijacking brands’ well-meaning attempts at engagement when writing Tay.”
Read on: The Guardian, ‘Tay, Microsoft’s AI chatbot, gets a crash course in racism from Twitter.’
(Spoiler alert: Ex Machina & The Age of Ultron)
What if the internet was a person? This idea, that the internet could have a personality, is a theme that has recently appeared in two big-budget sci-fi film releases over the last little while. We’ve got Ex Machina, a story about the search for artificial intelligence, and The Avengers: The Age of Ultron , where the main villain is an alien AI. But the idea stretches back a fair bit further. More…