Patrick Lin discusses ethics, responsibility and liability related to safety programming in self-driving cars: Robot Cars With Adjustable Ethics Settings.
Humans Need Not Apply.
Video essayist CGP Grey
explains why we need to start preparing for a post-human economy.
Remember the floating training remote
in Star Wars? Some people have done DIY versions of the remote
that can levitate
on your desktop. However, leave it to NASA to create the real thing and call it SPHERES: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites
: robotic bowling balls (OK, 18-sided polyhedron satellites
) with autonomous propulsion, power, avionics, software, communications, and metrology subsystems, that fly freely
in the ISS
. First tested in 2006, they have been upgraded
with Android smartphones
, which makes them (for now) the less terrifying item in Google's growing robotic arsenal
I come from the future
, and I’m here to tell you: transcending the limits of the flesh can be downright dull. [more inside]
The Hanwha Eagles, a much beleaguered South Korean major league baseball team have introduced Fanbots
, jersey-clad robots who lead cheers, display messages (and selfies where the robot would otherwise have a blank screen) sent in from fans at home, and generally stand in for fans who aren't there. [more inside]
A robot with a broken leg learns to walk again
You Were Made for Loneliness
is a Twine text adventure by Tsukareta
that explores the idea of love in different situations. Since it's release back in June reviews have been overall positive
. [more inside]
... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots
. But what everyone's worried about is you
, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net
, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
O Human Star
, an ongoing webcomic by Blue Delliquanti
, is a near-future science fiction family drama about robots, relationships, identity and finding a place for oneself in the world. [more inside]
"Buy our car, but be aware that it might drive over a cliff rather than hit a car with two people." The Mathematics of Murder: Should a Robot Sacrifice Your Life to Save Two?
SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily
" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
You thought Google buying robot technology was scary?
We've discussed here the unease brought on by Google's purchase of Boston Dynamics, the maker of "terrifying robots"
, and recently the prediction of robots rising
by Google's Director of Engineering, but it turns out that Google may not be the problem. Truly terrifying robots are already here and could show up in your home if you happen to have mounds of disposable cash and no sense of boundaries. No this isn't April 1, yes this is legit.
"I want to make fictional worlds, inhabited by large robots and machines, all over the Google campus"
Google has recently shown a great deal of interest in robots, snapping up companies right and left. Mark Pauline, a noted expert in the field, offers his services to the search behemoth.
In mid-2013, Zima Japan unveiled Z-Machines
, a "social party robot band"
featuring a 22-armed drummer, and a guitarist with 78 fingers. While Z-Machines was initially seen by many as a nightmarish reincarnation of the Chuck E. Cheese Band
, the Japanese developers have since collaborated with other musicians, and now Warp Records is announcing
an upcoming collaboration EP: Squarepusher x Z-Machines - Music For Robots
to be released in April. [more inside]
Friendly Robots of the Soviet Union
: Even robots like to drink in Soviet Russia: a babushka hands this futuristic-looking robot from Kaliningrad what looks to be a pint of beer in 1969.
In 2010, Judea Pearl was honored with a symposium on his work
. He gave a talk on how to use causal models to evaluate counterfactuals
. (He takes the first 14 minutes to thank people and reflect on his intellectual debts. Skip it if you really want to get to the meat of the talk, but it is well worth watching.) [more inside]
Worried about robots? You should be.
Artificial intelligence superior to our own is, by some estimates, only thirty years away. What could possibly go wrong? The answer: everything.
The robots are here.
George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen predicts that the trend towards automation will squeeze the middle class further still, and compares its effects on American politics to a too-overlooked 1955 short story
by Isaac Asimov.
Researchers at MIT have created M-Bots
, small cubes with internal flywheels that use angular momentum to move and magnets to help them stay aligned, as demonstrated in a video
. At this point, the robots are not strictly autonomous; rather they are controlled by commands sent by radio.
Fish Fear Robotic Predators, Unless They're Drunk
. Scientists swear they had a really good reason for building a robotic fish, getting some other fish drunk, and then chasing them around with it. The robotic bird head, too. Direct link to research: A Robotics-Based Behavioral Paradigm to Measure Anxiety-Related Responses in Zebrafish.
Occasionally, an artist will paint something, but neglect to include monkeys and/or robots. When he can, John Lytle Wilson fixes that.
In addition to correcting the paintings of others, Mr. Wilson also paints original pieces.
Most of which include monkeys and/or robots. And unicorns. There are some unicorns in there too.
Our Science Fiction Movies Hate Science Fiction.
An intelligent discourse from The Awl
about the state of modern science fiction movies. [more inside]
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.”
- Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist
. Designer Wayne Barlowe
talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film
before it has even opened?
is a robot bird
. So uncanny a hawk attacked it during testing. Other robot birds include the SmartBird
, a flying robotic seagull, and AirPenguins
is a robot bee.
"Designed in collaboration with interactive designer Jonathan Chomko, the COLORS News Machine turns your tweets into headlines, but only after they’ve been passed through all the media filters and technological platforms that disseminate and distort the news today."
"A megaphone will read your tweet out loud. Its tape recorder listens, converting what it hears into text so that the television can show it onscreen. A camera watching the television converts what it sees into a signal to the radio antenna, which broadcasts the tweet. And the waiting microphone interprets this radio address as text again for printing."
Tweet to here: @ColorsMachine
. Live stream here
Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons.
As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams
calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones. [more inside]
A few years ago Charles Guan
was a teacher's assistant in MIT's 2.007 introductory design and manufacturing class. To help out his fellow students he made a guide to building robots quickly and efficiently. Now he has expanded the original guide, retitled it How to Build your Everything Really Really Fast (HTBYERRF)
and published it on Instructables, available for anyone wishing to progress from the "zip ties and duct tape" stage of building things.
All of a sudden, we looked up, and they were there.
What if the explanation to the past half-decade --- or maybe the past decade and a half --- of the world’s economic malaise can be explained in one word: Robots.
Maybe, in other words, the reason that corporate profits are higher than ever and yet jobs aren’t being created is because we have built machines to take those jobs. Paul Krugman thinks it’s possible.
If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality. Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets....I think our eyes have been averted from the capital/labor dimension of inequality, for several reasons...But I think we’d better start paying attention to those implications.
does Kevin Drum
Here's what I mean. It's quite possible that, say, 50 years from now the production of nearly all goods and services will be automated. And this might usher in a golden age...But what happens while we're busy getting there? Answer: the owners of capital will automate more and more, putting more and more people out of work...The rest of us will have no jobs, and even with all this lovely automation, our government-supplied welfare checks will be meager enough that our lives will be miserable.
And 60 minutes.
And so does the Financial Time’s Izabella Kaminska, who’s been writing a series of posts on the influential FT Alphaville blog for more than nine months on the influence of robots on the economy and whether or not an economy can handle no scarcity.
FT Alphaville requires registration, but fortunately Kaminska has collected links from across the world of economics and journalism as people attempt to hammer out this problem. [more inside]
The Robot band Compressorhead
plays Motörhead's Ace of Spades
was recently released suggesting a pre-emptive ban on fully autonomous weapons
- robots that can pick and choose whom to fire on. If this sounds vaguely alarming
to you, don't worry - the Department of Defense issued a directive
indicating that fully automous robots may only decide to tase you