News Links for: 2013

by Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum
"As it turns out, this is a lot more than you might expect, since researchers at Harvard have shown that if you stick enough of them in a small space, they self-organize into swarms."
by University of Michigan College of Engineering | University of Michigan College of Engineering
"We are building a computer in the same way that nature builds a brain," said Wei Lu. "The idea is to use a completely different paradigm compared to conventional computers. The cat brain sets a realistic goal because it is much simpler than a human brain but still extremely difficult to replicate in complexity and efficiency."
by John Markoff | The New York Times
EdX, a nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will release automated software that uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers.
by Simon Garnier, et. al. | ScienceDaily
Scientists, aiming to discover how individual ants, when part of a moving colony, orient themselves in the labyrinthine pathways that stretch from their nest to various food sources, have successfully replicated the behaviour of a colony of ants on the move with the use of miniature robots.
by Daniela Hernandez | Wired Magazine
"We have a really big dream of using deep learning to simulate the functionality, the power, the intelligence of the human brain..."
by Charles L Parker | BigML
Part one of a fascinating, readable series on machine learning...
by Anya Kamenetz | Fast Company
"...the Interactive Robotics Group at MIT discovered that cross-training, which is swapping jobs with someone else on your team to help everyone understand the work better, works even when your coworker doesn't have a mind."
by Marc Lallanilla | LiveScience.com
Robots have been trained to drink, dance, and swear. This was simply the next logical step. British Health and Safety Laboratory researchers say it will help them study the elusive spread of norovirus.
by Erik Sofge | Popular Science
Humans regularly lose their lives rushing into disaster zones. Now engineers are racing to build robots that can take their place.
by Amanda Kooser | CNET
Cocktails may never be the same again. Robot can handle up to 15 bottles of booze and mixers and can dispense precision cocktails in less than 10 seconds.
by Associated Press | Fox News
What? UrbanDictionary.com isn't enough?
by Tom Simonite | MIT Technology Review
Prototype software can give early warnings of disease or violence outbreaks by spotting clues in news reports.
by Braden Kelley | Business 2 Community
"Should we be afraid as workers that the machines are going to take away our jobs and leave us with nothing to do? No. In much the same way that tractors and steam shovels began freeing man and beast from back breaking work nearly two hundred years ago, there are many benefits for man to gain from the crowd computing revolution – the biggest being freedom from an increasing amount of mind numbing work."
by Peter Ford Dominey | INSERM
CNRS Director, Peter Ford Dominey, is developing a kind of "simplified artificial brain" that reproduces certain types of so-called "recurrent" connections observed in the human brain. The artificial brain system enables the robot to learn, and subsequently understand, new sentences containing a new grammatical structure. It can link two sentences together and even predict how a sentence will end before it is uttered.
by Danica Kragic | AlphaGalileo Foundation
"Robots will challenge the way we feel about machines in general," Kragic says. "A completely different kind of society is on the way."
by Jennifer Welsh | Business Insider
"The idea behind this is to show you what the reality of robotics is today. We are nowhere near Commander Data or R2D2 or C-3PO," said NASA Chief Historian Roger Launius.
by Robert T. Gonzalez | Gizmodo
"The human brain is built so that when given the slightest hint that something is even vaguely social, or vaguely human... people will respond with an enormous array of social responses," says Stanford researcher Clifford Nas.
by Helen Knight | MIT News
"When the person trains the robot through reward it is one-way..., But when you switch roles the person is better able to adapt to the robot's capabilities and learn what it is likely to do."
by Clara Moskowitz | LiveScience.com
People are looking more and more to robotic toys and tools for companionship, and less to other people, said Sherry Turkle, a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT.
by David Gerrold | SD Times
"Majel was astonished-even a little freaked out. At one point, she backed away from the computer and shrieked, 'Gene, who's in there?'"
Launching in 2013, Goddard and his colleagues will outfit hundreds of British homes with sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, and light levels, as well as gas and electricity use, and wirelessly report their readings every minute. Using machine learning techniques, they will be able to analyze how utilities are actually used despite how users think they're using them.
by Catherine Norwood | Monash University
"We're trying to come up with some yardstick that could be applied to everyone and everything - to machines, humans, non-human animals and hybrids thereof, and even entities from other planets...,"
by Lucas Mearian | Computerworld
The computer models simulated numerous alternative treatment paths out into the future and continually planned and replanned treatment as new information became available. In other words, it can "think like a doctor," according to the university...
by Amanda Kooser | CNET
A BBC documentary team unleashed 50 spycams into penguin colonies, including cameras that served as eyes for robotic penguins, to capture stunning close-up footage of the unusual birds.
by Michal Lev-Ram | Fortune via CNN Money
The truth comes out a couple years late: IBM's Watson began swearing after memorizing the contents of the Urban Dictionary. Researcher Eric Brown and a 35-person development team were forced to delete the associated data.
by Jeff Stefan | Embedded.com
"Artificial intelligence is about more than talking computers and robots in search of love and laughter. In fact, AI is most useful in its simplest form: ad hoc decision making capabilities in an embedded system."
by Annette Grotz | PRWeb
"We've created the kind of A.I. challenge that students find fun and interesting – not just a little bit but 'one of the best days at school ever' kind of fun."
by David J. Hill | SingularityHUB
Article and Video: In an exclusive with Singularity Hub, Ray Kurzweil gave one of his first interviews since the December announcement that he joined Google full time as Director of Engineering.
by Huw Price | The New York Times
"In Copenhagen the summer before last, I shared a taxi with a man who thought his chance of dying in an artificial intelligence-related accident was as high as that of heart disease or cancer..."
by Alex Stone | The New York Times
The Standup program, engineered by a team of computer scientists in Scotland, is one of the more successful efforts to emerge from a branch of artificial intelligence known as computational humor, which seeks to model comedy using machines.
by Doug Ramsey | UC San Diego
The world is getting a long-awaited first glimpse at a new humanoid robot in action mimicking the expressions of a one-year-old child. Video of robo-toddler shows him demonstrating different facial expressions, using 27 moving parts in the head alone.
by Tom Oswald, Xiaobo Tan | Michigan State University
The robot's ability to glide is achieved through a newly installed pump that pushes water in and out of the fish, depending on if the scientists want the robot to ascend or descend. Also, the robot's battery pack sits on a kind of rail that moves backward and forward, in sync with the pumping action, to allow the robot to glide through water on a desired path...
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