Robots Have Begun Writing the News

robot scribe

AI is now advanced enough that it can be fed raw data, and produce a news article which looks like it was penned by a human. News articles are now routinely written and published in this way. The LA times recently wrote and posted a snippet about an earthquake, three minutes after the event, using one of these writerbot algorithms.

“Kristian Hammond, cofounder and CTO of Narrative Science, thinks some 90% of the news could be written by computers by 2030.”

I guess that’s only fair, since in 2030, the robot population is expected to surpass the human population. Still, as more and more people begin to lose jobs to robots and automation, I had hoped journalists were safe. Remember to be skeptical if, in the near future, you see news articles like “100% of All Humans Want a Robot President” or “I For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords.”

Read more at SingularityHub

Mini Humanoid Robots Starting to Walk More Like People


If they are ever going to be able to pass for human, robots will have to be endowed with a more natural gait. This mini bot has an incredibly natural, human-like walk. It is a KHR-3HV robot kit, modified by Masahiko Yamaguchi, a roboticist who has worked at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Boston Dynamics, and Osaka University.


Read more at Gizmag

DARPA’s Newest X-Plane Concepts Are All Robots



“DARPA announced the four companies that’ll be competing to develop a new experimental aircraft that combines the efficiency of an airplane with the versatility of a helicopter.”

Pictured above is Boeing’s concept, “Phantom Swift.” Hmm…


Just sayin’. Read more at IEEE SPECTRUM


Meet the Cheetah-Cub Robot

Developed in the Swiss laboratories of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Cheetah-Cub robot is about the size of a housecat, and moves like one as well.

“We show experimental results where Cheetah-cub robot reaches 1.42m/s speed, (3.2mph), almost seven body lengths per second. This makes Cheetah-cub robot the fastest running quadruped legged robot under 30kg

Read more at Botropolis

Unnerving video of robot face controlled by slime mold


This website sort of has a “fear of robots” theme to it, so here is something to be afraid of. Or at least really creeped out! [Be sure to have the volume up for the full effect.]


“Electrical signals produced when a yellow slime mould moves eagerly towards food or is repulsed by light are used to power a human-like robot face”

Not sure if this is research or art, but it’s very unsettling, whatever it is!

Humans Are Programmed to Obey Robots


Studies suggest that humans perceive robots, even simple robots, as a more legitimate authority figure than another human. Pictured above, one of two new 8-foot-tall robots directs traffic in Kinshasa.

“The automatons are little more than traffic lights dressed up as campy 1960s robots—and yet, drivers obey them more readily than the humans previously directing traffic there.”

Full article, video at Singularityhub 

Happy Birthday DARPA!

Happy Birthday

DARPA’s birthday card to itself, because… were you going to send them one??

DARPA Tweeted “Happy Birthday DARPA! 56 and innovation never looked so good”

Happy birthday indeed, and P.S. T H A N K S    F O R    T H E   I N T E R N E T !


Robots With Machine Guns, Robotic Pack Mules


Companies showed off their weaponized robots to U.S. Army officers at Fort Benning, Georgia last week. Military leaders were looking to see what the technology is capable of and how it could be used on the battlefield. Read more at Computerworld

The Ethics of War Bots


Fascinating insights and discussion of the ethical and practical considerations of military robots, from The Verge

Postdoctoral Research Associate Mark Gubrud, commenting on the DARPA Robotics Challenge: “DARPA’s trying to put a face on it, saying ‘this isn’t about killer robots or killer soldiers, this is about disaster response,’ but everybody knows what the real interest is.”

Dr. Gubrud does not propose rejecting technology, but putting limits in place. He says on his blog, “Technology should serve human ends, not become the end of humanity.”

See full article and “Bots of War” video at  The Verge


New Algorithm Detects Humans with near 100% Accuracy



Dah-Jye Lee of Brigham Young University has developed the new AI which “avoids human calibration by instead giving computers the skills to learn how to differentiate themselves: so, rather than the operator flagging individual differences between, say, a person and a tree, the computer is given the tools to identify the differences on its own, and then use them moving forward.”




So the computers can figure out for themselves how to identify objects of interest, “without human calibration.”

Says Lee, “It’s very comparable to other object recognition algorithms for accuracy, but, we don’t need humans to be involved,” Lee said. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. You just run it.”

More at SlashGear






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