Sunday, January 15

Robots and Rights

From BusinessPundit:

"This article from Wired is interesting because it highlights some of the issues we are going to face in the future with artificial intelligence. For instance, are most of you aware that some software programs have already out-designed humans?

Evolutionary software has already designed simple circuits, as well as physical mechanisms like the ratchet and cantilever. As these automatic design systems improve and progress from simple geometric forms to novel integrated systems, intellectual property laws must change. If a robot invents, does the patent go to its owner or the patent holder of its artificial intelligence?

I am firm believer that someday Americans will go to the polls to vote about whether or not robots have rights. I believe that consciousness is a function of system complexity, and once we can build systems that are complex enough, they will become conscious. We don't like to think about that because it jars humans out of our sacred place as special creatures here on Earth, but the day is coming when it will happen. Business schools struggle now to teach ethics and make it relevant. I hate to think of the ethical dilemmas that the next generation will have to face when the average person is finally faced with the fact that humans aren't so special. I hope our educational systems can keep up."

Friday, December 23

Artificial Intelligence Resources

January 2006 Zillman Columnis now available and is titled Artificial Intelligence Resources. This January 2006 column is a comprehensive list of artificial intelligence resources and sites on the Internet. The subject area of Artificial Intelligence has always intrigued both individuals and corporations and today with the advent of high speed computing and processing the field is ripe for major happenings and events. Download this excellent 15 page free .pdf (493KB) column today and discover the amazing field of artificial intelligence!"

Tuesday, September 13

Project Management for Entrepreneurs

'One of the greatest benefits of projects in an organisational context is their ability and effectiveness in the achievement of goals. The success or failure of projects is largely related to the way that managers develop tactics or plans for the projects and how these plans can be effectively monitored and controlled through the various stages of the project lifecycle. It is a basic premise that the successful implementation of a project requires the development of a set of action plans together with subsequent tactics by the project manager.

The planning stage of the project will define issues such as the project goal, targets and other milestones, as well as the establishment of a relationship with the clients or stakeholders of the project. The tactical aspects of the projects will include activities such as verifying the projects technical abilities, resources needed such as personnel and equipment and putting systems in place for the monitoring and control of the project. Although these planning and tactical activities are carried out through the duration of the project careful attention should also be given to the human issues and its influence on the project. "

Read more in Intro To Project Management for Entrepreneurs
By: Ben Botes

Monday, September 12

U.S. Losing Robotics Edge

"The U.S. leads the way in areas such as robot-assisted surgery and mobile space robots, but is losing ground in other fields. The U.S. once dominated in the development of robots designed for service and industry, but now other countries are catching up and even passing the old golden standard."

Read more in this article.

Saturday, September 10

LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots

LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots is a Brooklyn-based group of artists and technologists developing robotic musical instruments. Founded in 2000 by musician and engineer Eric Singer, LEMUR's philosophy is to build robotic instruments that "play themselves." In LEMUR designs, the robots are the instruments.

LEMUR is supported in part by generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation (in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recogntion of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society) and Arts International. LEMUR is also sponsored by Harvestwork Digital Media Arts Center.

Wednesday, August 31

Robotic arm can improve motor control after stroke


"A computerized robotic arm trainer appears to be more effective than electrical stimulation in improving motor control and strength in stroke patients who are left with severe arm paralysis, German investigators report. "

Thursday, August 11

Measuring the IQ of AI

"New Scientist reports that a pair of scientists have devised a universal IQ test for artificial intelligences:

'Traditional measures of human intelligence often won't be appropriate for systems that have senses, environments and cognitive capacities very different from our own. So Shane Legg and Marcus Hutter at the Swiss Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Manno-Lugano have drafted an alternative test that will allow the intelligence of vision systems, robots, natural language processing programs or trading agents to be compared and contrasted despite their broad and disparate functions.'"

Read more in this post.

Tuesday, July 5

Kurzweil Essays Available as a PDF

From this Slashdot post:

"prostoalex writes 'The Ray Kurzweil Reader is a collection of essays by Ray Kurzweil on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, radical life extension, conscious machines, the promise and peril of technology, and other aspects of our future world. These essays, all published on from 2001 to 2003, are now available as a PDF document for convenient downloading and offline reading. The 30 essays, organized in seven memes (such as 'How to Build a Brain'), cover subjects ranging from a review of Matrix Reloaded to 'The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine' and 'Human Body Version 2.0.'' "

Friday, July 1

Robotic Life

Taking inspiration and guidance from the science of animal and human behavior, the goal of Robotic Life is to build cooperative robots that can work and learn in partnership with people.

"Not only an engineering endeavour, we hope to gain scientific insight into the mechanisms that underlie this human and animal competence, and to develop a science of human-robot collaboration. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of this endeavor, our research explores a wide variety of topics including:

Novel mechanical designs
New sensing and actuator technologies
Active multi-modal perceptual systems
Natural language and gesture interfaces
Expressive movement and skillful motor control
Social learning
Psychological modeling
Human-robot interaction and collaboration"

Wednesday, June 29

New Roles For Robots

"Once viewed largely as a way to save on labor costs, robots today have taken on more significant roles in manufacturing. They're part of global competitiveness plans and are seeing, moving and servicing better than ever.

Get ready for new robot relevance. When General Motors Corp. deployed the first industrial robots in 1961, their roles at a Ternstedt, N.J., plant were justified in terms of handling the 3-D tasks -- dangerous, dirty and difficult. In contrast, today's smarter, more capable robots have also become significant tools affecting global competition. For tomorrow's manufacturing winners, the competitive determinant will be how robots fit into a total manufacturing/automation strategy -- not just labor cost.

Start with a new definition. 'Think of industrial robots as a business strategy tool, one that helps build manufacturing competitiveness in a global economy,' "

Read more in this IndustryWeek article.