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.’
The abrupt death of hitchBOT on August 1, 2015 shocked its fans. hitchBOT, the friendly hitchhiker robot, had traveled across Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and some parts of the USA. In Philadelphia, however, the robot was vandalized—a scenario he had not been programmed to deal with. And so his journey ended. More…
(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…
Things that caught our eye
In 2013, Amazon announced that they would start delivering products directly to their customers via drones – Amazon Prime Air. Purchasers would no longer have to wait for days until their order arrived, but could choose the speedy option and drones would deliver everything within hours to their doorstep. “Convenience” was the buzzword pushing forward this project but back then nobody was sure if that would be legal as according to the FAA drones were not allowed to be used for commercial purposes. Here’s Amazon’s letter to the FAA pleading for exemption from this clause. In March this year, the FAA finally allowed Amazon to test their new delivery system which is a big step forward…
And just last week more good news, Amazon’s patent for their Prime Air Delivery System was published the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Is it just a matter of time now, that goods aren’t just purchasable at our fingertips but also deliverable within the hour? Stay tuned, we will be following the developments closely.
For further information on the Prime Air patent click here.