Posts in tag

Robots


In today’s factories and warehouses, it’s not uncommon to see robots whizzing about, shuttling items or tools from one station to another. For the most part, robots navigate pretty easily across open layouts. But they have a much harder time winding through narrow spaces to carry out tasks such as reaching for a product at …

We are in the era of automation. Each year, robots are becoming more and more visible in our cities. At this point, it isn’t that difficult to think of a future where we will be in a full-blown cohabitation set-up with robots. The question is, are cities prepared for a robot-filled future? What can we do …

Last night, way past midnight, I stumbled onto my porch blindly grasping for my keys after a hellish day of international travel. Lights were low, I was half-asleep, yet my hand grabbed the keychain, found the lock, and opened the door. If you’re rolling your eyes—yeah, it’s not exactly an epic feat for a human. …

MIT’s fleet of robotic boats has been updated with new capabilities to “shapeshift,” by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam’s many canals. The autonomous boats — rectangular hulls equipped with sensors, thrusters, microcontrollers, GPS modules, cameras, and other hardware — are being developed as part of the …

What is the role of pain in our lives? Pain, we can all agree, is unpleasant, both physically and emotionally. Pain acts as an alarm when faced with danger. Pain can be excruciating, tragic, the forerunner of death. In short, when we feel pain, we feel more alive than ever. Now that robots play an …

Autonomous weapons – killer robots that can attack without a human operator – are dangerous tools. There is no doubt about this fact. As tech entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Mustafa Suleyman and other signatories to an open letter to the United Nations have put it, autonomous weapons ‘can be weapons of terror, weapons that …

Robotics has come a long way in the past few years. Robots can now fetch items from specific spots in massive warehouses, swim through the ocean to study marine life, and lift 200 times their own weight. They can even perform synchronized dance routines. But the really big question is—can robots put together an Ikea …

It’s tempting to think of the mind as a layer that sits on top of more primitive cognitive structures. We experience ourselves as conscious beings, after all, in a way that feels different to the rhythm of our heartbeat or the rumblings of our stomach. If the operations of the brain can be separated out …

WHAT IS AI? From SIRI to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to IBM’s Watson to autonomous weapons. Artificial intelligence today is properly known as narrow AI (or weak AI), in that it is designed …

Mistaken extrapolations, limited imagination, and other common mistakes that distract us from thinking more productively about the future. We are surrounded by hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics—hysteria about how powerful they will become, how quickly, and what they will do to jobs. I recently saw a story in ­MarketWatch that said robots will take …