Midnight In The Desert — robots

Robots Learn to Conduct Their Own Science Experiments

Posted by K R on

Robots Learn to Conduct Their Own Science Experiments

Inside a lab at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, a robot arm lifts a bottle filled with chemical reagents and carries it over a bank of test tubes, where it dispenses a precise number of drops into each one. The arm swivels, replaces the bottle, swivels again, and picks up another container. Gracelessly, tirelessly, the machine thrums on, carrying out test after test. The experiments are part of an ongoing project to determine the ideal chemical makeup for high-capacity electric car batteries. Soon, machines won’t just run the experiments—they’ll devise them, too. Over the next few months, an artificial intelligence...

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'Killer robots': AI experts call for boycott over lab at South Korea university

Posted by K R on

'Killer robots': AI experts call for boycott over lab at South Korea university

Artificial intelligence researchers from nearly 30 countries are boycotting a South Korean university over concerns a new lab in partnership with a leading defence company could lead to “killer robots”. More than 50 leading academics signed the letter calling for a boycott of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and its partner, defence manufacturer Hanwha Systems. The researchers said they would not collaborate with the university or host visitors from KAIST over fears it sought to “accelerate the arms race to develop” autonomous weapons. “There are plenty of great things you can do with AI that save lives,...

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Elon Musk Worries That AI Research Will Create an 'Immortal Dictator'

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Elon Musk Worries That AI Research Will Create an 'Immortal Dictator'

Imagine your least-favorite world leader. (Take as much time as you need.) Now, imagine if that person wasn't a human, but a network of millions of computers around the world. This digi-dictator has instant access to every scrap of recorded information about every person who's ever lived. It can make millions of calculations in a fraction of a second, controls the world's economy and weapons systems with godlike autonomy and — scariest of all — can never, ever die. This unkillable digital dictator, according to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, is one of the darker scenarios awaiting humankind's future...

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What we actually have to fear from killer robots

Posted by K R on

What we actually have to fear from killer robots

You’ve probably seen the latest Boston Dynamics video, which shows one of its recent quadruped creations, the SpotMini, opening a door despite being repeatedly accosted by a company employee. Boston Dynamics’ videos are notorious for eliciting both excitement and fear across social media and the internet. Nicholas King’s new parody of the Planet Earth documentary shows herds of SpotMinis taking over the planet. And the most recent season of Netflix’s Black Mirror features a murderous, highly autonomous SpotMini look-alike. So should we be concerned about killer robots taking over? My take: I don’t expect the robot uprising anytime soon, but...

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'Floating Brain' to Assist Astronauts Aboard ISS

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'Floating Brain' to Assist Astronauts Aboard ISS

The crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) will soon welcome a new member — one that is 3D-printed from metal and plastic and is described by its creators as "a kind of flying brain." It goes by the name CIMON, short for "Crew Interactive Mobile Companion." Built by the aerospace design company Airbus in collaboration with IBM, CIMON houses artificial intelligence (AI) in an autonomous, spherical body that would "float" in the space station's microgravity environment, with a screen that can display data readouts for astronauts — or present an image of a friendly face — as well...

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