Issue #20

How to make a robot more likeable, US government plans mandatory drone registration program, on including hate into AI systems, drones bashing into each other and drones flying in formations, robot-firefighter, robot-jazz musician and more!

More Than Human

Forget Humans vs. Machines: It’s a Humans + Machines Future

Recently, media have created a vision of future, where humans are competing with robots for jobs, or even fighting with each other. But there is another way – the world in which humans work with machines and with their help become more than themselves.

The body is obsolete – Stelarc

An interview with Stelarc – a man, who grows a third ear on his forearm. He proudly presents his third ear and tells what’s planned for the near and a bit further future.

Breaking The Barrier Of Humans And Machines

An article from TechCrunch about how current AI systems and intelligent assistants who understand speech are changing the way we interact with machines, making that interaction more human than ever before.

Artificial Intelligence

Programming Hate Into AI Will Be Controversial, But Possibly Necessary

Zoltan Istvan writes about consciousness, what is might be, how we can define it and how it relates to AI systems. He also writes about programming empathy into AI, which is a double-edged sword – the AI will be able to like something, but it will be also able to dislike. This leads to the problem of machine feeling emotions, which is a quite interesting thing to think about.

System that replaces human intuition with algorithms outperforms human teams

MIT researchers aim to take the human element out of big-data analysis, with a new system that not only searches for patterns but designs the feature set, too. To test the first prototype of their system, they enrolled it in three data science competitions, in which it competed against human teams to find predictive patterns in unfamiliar data sets. Of the 906 teams participating in the three competitions, the researchers’ “Data Science Machine” finished ahead of 615.

What will it take for humans to take advice from a robot?

As robots are becoming more and more present in our lives, researchers from Paris asked the question how much will it take to take advice from a (controlled by human in this case) robot. The experiment they conducted might give some insights on human-robots interactions.


U.S. Government Plans Mandatory Drone Registration Program

If you live in US and you have a drone, you might be soon forced to register your drone. This post from IEEE Spectrum analyses this plan in details.

** Humans Will Love Robots More When They’re Flawed**

As humans, we are not perfect. We do mistakes. Robots, on the other hand, can do the same task perfectly every time. Researchers have found, that if the robot is not perfect and it makes mistakes like a human, humans will like it more.

Mind-controlled robotics company blasts through Kickstarter goal in just hours

Dobot is a robotic arm designed for everyday use which can be controlled by a computer, mobile app, gesture input, and even brain waves. People on Kickstarter liked it so much that the project raised the initial goal in less than 4 hours.

Combat Drones That Are Built for Bashing Into One Another

Wired takes a closer look at Aerial Sports League, in which drones made of military grade materials are bashing each other. Let the Game of Drones begin!

Introducing MARTY, a self-driving, electric, drifting DeLorean

This week, on 21th October, the future had arrived. Many people were celebrating this day. Among them were engineers from Stratford, who created MARTY – a self-driving, electric DeLorean, which can also drift on its own.

Lockheed’s Firefighting Robo-Copter Gets Closer to Service

Originally developed for the battlefields of Afghanistan, Lockheed’s autonomous helicopter K-MAX has been adapted to became a firefighter dropping water to stop spreading wildfires. After recent demonstrations of its capabilities K-MAX gets closer to service.

Jazz-Playing Robots Will Explore Human-Computer Relations

Jazz-playing computers and robots could soon yield clues about how to help people collaborate with machines, researchers say. The new project, called MUSICA (short for Musical Improvising Collaborative Agent), aims to develop a musical device that can improvise a jazz solo in response to human partners, just as real jazz musicians improvise alongside one another.

Fruit-sorting robot ‘will disrupt the industry’

Sorting irregular organic object is a hard task to automate. Till now. A British design and development organisation has produced a robotic gripper and vision system that can distinguish and selectively pick fruit of different varieties, shapes, sizes and colours.

Exoskeleton to ensure an active old age

Researchers from Aalborg University have been working on an exoskeleton designed to help older people deal with daily tasks. Which means that if aging won’t be cured when we got old, at least we will have awesome exoskeletons.

DARPA’s Dancing Robot

Boston Dynamics built Spot as a quieter and nimbler version of their flag robot – Big Dog. By the way, Spot can dance.

In Japan, Drones Guide Robot Trucks At Construction Sites

Komatsu, a Japanese construction equipment maker, teamed with American dronemaker Skycatch with a plan to have drones survey and map construction sites, and then have unmanned bulldozers and other vehicles go to work.

Fifty drones controlled at once in record-breaking swarm

A team at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, has succeeded in launching 50 drones that were all piloted by a single person. Next step – have more drones fighting with each other. Autonomously, obviously.

How to fall gracefully if you’re a robot

DARPA Robotics Challenge showed us two things – bipedal walking is hard and bipedal robots fall a lot. Researchers at Georgia Tech have addressed the second problem and have identified a way to teach robots how to fall with grace and without serious damage.

Bionic Butterflies are so much cooler than drones

Beautiful bionic butterflies from Festo.

5 Cities With Driverless Public Buses On The Streets Right Now

Lausanne, Trikala, Zhengzhou, Wageningen, Milton Keynes – if you live in any of these cities you can see the future.

Robot beats human in Tic-Tac-Toe

He cheated! Sneaky bastard…

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