Two designers talk about why they make robots, and how they plan to give their machines social skills.
Tagged with “robots” (10)
A.I., artificial intelligence, has had a big run in Hollywood. The computer Hal in Kubrick’s “2001” was fiendishly smart. And plenty of robots and server farms beyond HAL. Real life A.I. has had a tougher launch over the decades. But slowly, gradually, it has certainly crept into our lives.
Think of all the “smart” stuff around you. Now an explosion in Big Data is driving new advances in “deep learning” by computers. And there’s a new wave of excitement.
Guests: Yann LeCun, professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University.
Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc.
Shift Run Stop is a free comedy podcast full to the brim with games, geeks and special guests.
This week we were really honoured to talk to two fantastically clever artists who make use of technology in their work. Artist/performer Sarah Angliss has been researching the Uncanny Valley, and we hear about some of the eerie musical experiences she has created, for the Adam Curtis "It Felt Like A Kiss" piece and elsewhere. Sarah plays everything from the piano to the theramin and frequently makes use of automata and robots in her witty and evocative shows.
Paul B Davis is an artist and lecturer at Goldsmiths, well-known for his work with computer art/music collective Beige, particularly NES cartridge hacking. Beige were among the first to record audio data for 8-bit computers onto a vinyl music LP - "vinyl for software distribution". Both classically-trained musicians, both drawn to a historical aesthetic that goes beyond simple nostalgia, and both fascinated by the technical and creative process of art-making, Paul and Sarah find they have much in common.
Plus Leila and Dave Green go to the Tatsuo Miyajima show (running till January 16th), we all play Astro Wars and Dave finds that plenty of Easter treats are already in the shops.
This week on Spark: We find out all about Angelina, the AI program that designs simple video games from scratch. Also, how to make robots more lovable, how a Roomba can work in harmony with your cat, and whether humans are tempted to destroy robots if given the chance. More robot fever, on Spark!
Michael Cook is a PhD student at Imperial College, and he’s fascinated by video games. He’s also fascinated by artificial intelligence, and he’s fascinated by creativity. And so, he’s found the perfect research – exploring whether Angelina, an artificial intelligence program he’s created, can design video games from scratch.
We know that human beings attach emotions to robots. We tend to think of them as anthropomorphic, even if we know they’re not alive. Young designer Julia Ringler wanted to know if humans would actually hurt robots, given the chance and how humans would feel about doing it. She engineered an experiment to find out.
As we move towards a future with robots and smart devices everywhere, the focus is usually on designing these objects to be as smart as people. But what if we created them instead to be as smart as a puppies? That’s a design philosophy Matt Jones embraces. He’s a principal at a design company called BERG and he wondered if it was possible to develop user interfaces to be well, a little more loveable. He calls his design theory “Be as smart as a puppy” (or BASAAP) – instead of designing for “artificial intelligence” we should emphasize “artificial empathy”.
Carlos Asmat is a young Montreal engineer with an idea for a social networking service: a social network for robots. As we get more and more ‘smart’ objects in our environment – from sensors to Roomba robots – what would happen if you could connect those objects so they can share updates and data?
What kind of future do you want to live in? What excites or concerns you about the future? Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson poses these questions as part of The Tomorrow Project, an initiative to investigate not only the future of computing but also the broader implications on our lives and the planet. Science and technology have progressed to the point where what we build is only constrained by the limits of our own imaginations. The future is not a fixed point in front of us that we are all hurtling helplessly towards. The future is built everyday by the actions of people. The Tomorrow Project engages in ongoing discussions with superstars, science fiction authors and scientists to get their visions for the world that’s coming and the world they’d like to build.
The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called “future casting” – using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Fake Plastic Love, Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories and the forthcoming This Is Planet Earth). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.
Robots and Media: Science Fiction, Anime, Transmedia, and Technology | MIT Comparative Media Studies
Ian Condry, Associate Director of MIT Comparative Media Studies and Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures, will discuss the prevalence of giant robots in anime (Japanese animated films and TV shows). From the sixties to the present, robot or "mecha" anime has evolved in ways that reflect changing business models and maturing audiences, as can be seen in titles like Astro Boy, Gundam, Macross, and Evangelion. How can we better understand the emergence of anime as a global media phenomenon through the example of robot anime? What does this suggest about our transmedia future?
Cynthia Breazeal, Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab and founder/director of the Lab’s Personal Robots Group, will discuss how science fiction has influenced the development of real robotic systems, both in research laboratories and corporations all over the world. She will explore of how science fiction has shaped ideas of the relationship and role of robots in human society, how the existence of such robots is feeding back into science fiction narratives, and how we might experience transmedia properties in the future using robotic technologies.
“Will you donate your body to be stuffed and put on display (at the American Museum of Natural History)?” This is one of the many questions John Hodgman poses to Neil during their monumental meeting of minds. From the Mac vs. PC debate to ‘geeks versus jocks,’ John and Neil provide more information than you require on the questions and challenges that face our age. Astrophysicist Charles Liu sits in the co-host chair this week, and comments on areas far beyond his usual expertise.
From Science Hack Day: the Best Science Hack winners and their robots.
Guests: Ariel Waldman founder of Spacehack.org, Christie Dudley of Team FREDnet, Geoffrey Chu and Matt Everingham of NASA Ames Research Center, David Burchanowski of awesomenessinabox.com and Jade Wang, neuroscientist at NASA
Fresh from signing a £1m deal with Gollancz, the science fiction author Alastair Reynolds has penned a story for the Guardian which follows a new recruit sent out to battle in an interstellar war.
Nineteen years after his first short story appeared, and nine years after the first of his eight novels was published, Scales is Reynolds’ first foray into militaristic SF. In it, he explores the transformations war imposes on soldiers as his hero Nico’s mission evolves into something stranger than he could have possibly imagined.
Reynolds is best-known for his mastery of space opera – the SF sub-genre in which the stakes are high and the aliens deadly – but, after 16 years working for the European Space Agency, he brings a scientist’s rigour to the genre’s high drama.
Dr. Robot, I presume? Your appendix may be removed by motor-driven, scalpel-wielding mechanical hands one day. Robots are debuting in the medical field… as well as on battlefields. And they’re increasingly making important decisions – on their own. But can we teach robots right from wrong? Find out why the onslaught of silicon intelligence has prompted a new field of robo-ethics.
Plus, robo-geologists: NASA’s vision for autonomous robots in space.
- P.W. Singer – Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century
- Wendell Wallach – Chair of a technology and ethics working group for Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and the co-author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
- Pablo Garcia – – Principal engineer working on medical robotics at SRI International, Menlo Park, California
- Robert Anderson – Planetary geologist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Robyn Asimov – Daughter of author Isaac Asimov