Tag Archives: AI

South Korea is building Terminators

A few days ago the information was spread saying that KAIST is working on advanced war robots equipped with artificial intelligence. KAIST stands for “Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology”, a university and also a research institute that is responsible for many innovations in the field of robotics.

In order to create a war robots (allegedly), the university established cooperation with Hanwha Systems. The purpose of both brands is to create autonomous robots that will be able to kill the designated targets. As we can read on the corporate website: „As a defense electronics company, Hanwha Systems has significantly advanced the defense capabilities of South Korea’s military since the company was founded in 1978”. Hanwha Systems, with whom KAIST cooperates, is the largest arms producer in Korea and the main supplier of equipment for the South Korean military. It is also worth mentioning that the company is responsible for creating cluster bombs, which are prohibited in over 120 countries.

Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robot

Toby Walsh, a lecturer at the University of New South Wales, is the initiator of a boycott against both Hanwha Systems and the Korean university. Other scientists who worked mainly on artificial intelligence also joined the initiative. There are about 30 of them in total and they announced that they will not cooperate with KAIST so long as this one does not stop researching a new weapon. The president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology – Sung-Chul Shin said, “I reaffirm once again that KAIST will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control”. It is worth mentioning that not only the Korean university is conducting research on advanced robots that could be used for military purposes. The most known company working on advanced robots is Boston Dynamics, which used to belong to Google (Alphabet).

 

Sources:

https://nypost.com/2018/04/05/south-korean-university-may-be-developing-killer-robots/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAIST

https://www.hanwha.com/en/about_hanwha/history.html

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Social Robots – Challenges and Potential

The term Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to (re)creating natural intelligence (human and animal) based on machine learning in computer science area. The goals of AI are for machines and/or computers to replicate/mimic human reflection and reaction. Among others, the focus on AI developing capabilities are the following: (1) problem solving: identifying the action needed to archive and solve at best a specific goal given (2) Reasoning: identifying and acknowledge diverse events, knowledge, relations and other in order to decide on the best solution and analyze its consequences (3) Planning: identifying step by step tasks needed to archive a specific project/goal within sets of time (4) Perception: capable to interpret surroundings (such as voice, face and object) thanks to sensors such as camera, tactile sensors and microphone (5) Motion and manipulation: distinguish his localization, navigate in it environment, manipulate objects, use physical motions and gestures (6) Learning (automatic, semi-supervised and supervised): learn complex relations between its actions and its results for specific improvements on it performance needed such as able to move more effectively. (7) Natural language processing: ability to understand human basic language in specific language and able to communicate/engage in conversation (8) social intelligence: To do these sort of tasks, AI machine must have required human intelligence, therefore these machines must require as well; the ability to fit within our social norms and express and/or perceive emotions

This last capability is much more important for social robots; seen already utilized in warehouses and factory, Robots are now slowly but surely entering our homes and private public places sectors which increase the value of it machines by gradually shaping our new daily life style by being more and more accessible and available seen these past few years.

 

Lea – The robot assistance for elderly person by The Robot Care:

Being on the market since last year, Lea was built for the purpose of helping elder person to walk or sit thanks to it very though full design, connect with family and friends thanks to an integrated screen and it video communication system, ensuring the safety of it owner thanks to sensors while being able to assist in physical activities, helping to motivate elder people to move and be more active.

Savioke Relay – The service robot in hospitality industry by Savioke

Provide personnel customer service especially in hotels but also in workplaces (used in about 17 localization using it device, counting major hotel brands such as Sheraton, The Westin, Marriott and others), primarily used as transport small items from one person to another.

Buddy – The home companion and assistant robot by Blue Frog Robotics

Built with a screen to represent the “face” and “head” and moving on wheels, Buddy is a “companion” robot that offer assistance (ex:controlling smart home appliances), entrainment at home (play with kids) and interfaces but more importantly, Buddy is here to make your home more secure as he can be used as a movable camera and can detect anything going on in your own home when you are not there and send you a signal when there is something fishy going on when you are out.

In the past as well as today, the issues for robots to be placed in our home sphere and being able to communicate with, lies less on the lack of it technology development but more on boundaries, ethical and moral issues and the complexity of our social norms in human society. These issues turned to create further complex questions if social robots would be accepted into human’s daily life style. Developers have tried to focus on according these concerns by creating “acceptable” robots as this technology brings a lot of concerns. Andrea Thomaz, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university of Texas at Austin, explain this situation briefly in her TEDtalks speech: “The Next Frontier in Robotics: Social, Collaborative Robots” where also explain the importance of assembling few different capabilities into the social robots that we have cited and describe at the beginning of the article.

For robots to become a further developed social companion however, it is much more complex as it could seem. For that, robots should not only recognize behavioral pattern, but also be able to communicate and act as we human-to-human. They should be able to detect therefore, human emotions, sarcasm and motives to react on them as we are living within a constant dynamic environment. Thanks to that, the two-way flow actions between robot-to-human goal achievement would be much more easy and possible but the development of this specific capability us much more complex to attain. However, the recent availability of robots for home as companion, with Buddy (available to pre-order since mid 2016) or Jibo (available to purchase since end of 2017) have risen hopes for possible further development in such a robot to acquire their maximum potential to soon really become the reason our life changing daily routines.

 

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1ZhWv84eWE

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/top-10-ethical-issues-in-artificial-intelligence/

https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/artificial-intelligence-based-techniques-problem-solving-2109

http://groups.csail.mit.edu/medg/ftp/psz/k-rep.html

http://artint.info/html/ArtInt_8.html

https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/reinforcement-learning-explained

https://www.thocp.net/reference/robotics/robotics.html

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s12369-011-0121-z.pdf

https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/pdf/2016/06/social-robots.pdf

 

http://www.traveldailymedia.com/433601/hotel-jens-new-service-staff-tireless-obedient-just-little-bit-different/

http://www.ece.utexas.edu/people/faculty/andrea-thomaz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1ZhWv84eWE

https://books.google.pl/books?id=FD4rDwAAQBAJ&pg=PR16&lpg=PR16&dq=social+robots+requirements&source=bl&ots=bJfN8k-IOt&sig=A9gtIS7t-Zx5s1aZHkqXp42jPVw&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj16pfoveHYAhWLjCwKHb6pAM4Q6AEIdjAJ#v=onepage&q=social%20robots%20requirements&f=false

 

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Meet Sophia, your new friend

She talks, she smiles, she communicates with you. She is almost alive and might be a human, soon. Or isn’t she?

We live in the times, when technology is developing in the fastest way than we ever observed through the history. It is hard to realize, but more than half of our daily routines are already somehow improved by technology advancements. In fact, robots and artificial intelligence are already easing our lives. Moreover, it is time to face that the further changes are inevitable and sooner or later such technologies might become an integral part of our society.

The latest change has occurred to be an explosion in social media and almost every news source, when a new robot was introduced by Hanson Robotics. Her or its name is Sophia and she already has shocked everyone, who has ever heard about her. According to Hanson Robotics website, this newly emerged robot is created to assist people in daily life like help the children study, entertain people, provide companionship and serve people in general.

But what is so special about her?

It seems to be the most advanced robot that is created to have human-like appearance and have several features of the human character and abilities.

However, she is not a human. Sophia is a robot, powered by AI. While being extremely similar to people and having so close to us expressions and mimics, Sophia is still having hundreds of cords, wires and is operating due to specific program. In fact, this program makes her so special. According to Quartz Media, Sophia’s software is composed of three main pillars:

  • Research platform – to research and cumulate the context and semantics of the dialogues
  • Speech-reciting robot – due to this software, Sophia is able to match her facial expressions to the context of the words that she is saying
  • Robotic chatbot – sometimes Sophia’s speech is run by pre-written responses, chosen due to analysis of the speech of the people that she is talking to

In fact, Sophia is built in such a way to use a machine learning to educate herself and to become a more consistent companion in the dialogue.

The other factor that makes Sophia outstand from other AI based creatures is that Sophia operates due to decentralized AI, specifically SingularityNET. According to Forbes, “Until recently, the contemporary AI industry had been built around a centralized distribution paradigm where machine learning solutions are delivered as a part of cloud-based APIs and software packages deployed on remote servers of AI providers”. This means that the data and information provided to the machine learning had been stored and created straightly at the providers of this information. However, now, as well as Sophia, the information can be cumulated from various sources, which would allow AI to be trained in decentralized way, like a blockchain.

Nevertheless, the event that made Sophia so popular and unpopular at the same time is that she is the first robot, who received the citizenship. The country that was ready to adapt such changes is Saudi Arabia. As a result, this event has caused a lot of noise around Sophia. According to The Verge, many people complained about the rights that might be further given to the robots, especially in such countries where even the rights of a human are at the critical debate. Moreover, it has caused a huge discussion upon the ethical issues and the technological advancements of the near future.

In fact, this has become the first step to introduce completely new technologies to the society and to allow such technologies to live and act among people and with people.

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Artificial Intelligence will help you learn. And relax.

Artificial Intelligence is a growing trend in technology. Most of us are aware of the fact that its importance is steadily increasing. Some people say AI is, in fact, the most important topic for our future. 

Looks like we should start getting used to it and finding a place for AI in our lives. Of course, it is widely used in business already, Accenture calls AI ‘fuel for growth’.  However, what I wanted to talk about is a solution that can help you learn, relax or fight insomnia thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

Brain.fm is a service offering AI-composed music that will help you trigger specific cognitive states. This includes deep focus, relaxation, and sleep. Music is obviously powerful and we know that. That’s a rule all movie soundtracks are based on. But Brain.fm goes even further. The product has a lot of scientific research behind. Starting with how neuronal oscillations control cognitive processes to showing how music entrains neuronal oscillations.

There are plenty of researchers from various universities behind Brain.fm. There are even experiments ran to measure effects of the AI-composed music on cognition. Measures included Reaction Time (RT), Go-No Go (GNG), Visual Pattern Recognition (VPR) and EEG. Detailed results are presented here, but well, you probably guessed them already ;).

What’s interesting, even athletes use Brain.fm. It lets them focus and then relax and meditate. For athletes, especially those from Olympic teams, the pressure is huge. Psychological aspects of sports are as important as physical ones. It’s not something new that during finals of the most important championships, mind is equally important as body and only people who have nerves of steel will win. Robby Smith is the US Olympic wrestling team captain and he was using Brain.fm during Rio preparations. This is a great example of balanced preparations and another use of AI.

The solution sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? What’s worrisome a little is the legal info. If the AI-composed music so beneficial to us, why do have to be so careful about it? If it might be dangerous to epileptics, pregnant women, people wearing a pacemaker of ones who drank alcohol and took medications, then how can we be sure it’s safe to the rest of us? Isn’t it just too misterious, with no explanation following the legal info?

 

brain.fm

Source: Brain.fm

For sure, the solution is brilliant and can help many people who can’t focus or sleep. Knowing the reality of today’s and huge problems people have with focus, seems like the demand will be only growing. But can we really trust Brain.fm? I’m sure we’ll find out about it soon!

 

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5 Ukrainian startups that are about to break through

 

How many Ukrainian startups do you know?  At best – Looksery (purchased by Snapchat), Grammarly and Jooble.

Too bad. Theres far more to learn about.

Here are 5 hottest startups of 2016 that are about to break through. Whether you are a tech-lover, startuper, or an investor – have a look at the list and learn where the real deal is.

Ain.ua online portal, devoted to startups and entrepreneurship, has conducted a study among business angels, investors, and entrepreneurs, who were asked to point out startups, which developed and achieved something in the past year.

1st place – Sixa

Sixa – a personal computer in the cloud

“Sixa is a full computer that operates right from the cloud via a client app. It supports various devices and is capable of running the most demanding applications. With Sixa users can easily deploy a cloud computer optimized for different tasks and access a powerful virtual computer without hardware upgrades” (www.sixa.io). This app not only allows you to have a powerful computer without actually having it, but also save the costs of utility bills and free you from buying expensive hardware. In 2016 Sixa has received the investments from legendary Y Combinator, receive $300,000 from the venture fund TMT Investments, and finally received $3,5 mln from Californian fund Tandem Capital, abd Ukrainian Digital Future and Horizon capital.
Currently, they launched beta-version of the service, that everybody can try for free.

2nd place – Mobalytics

Mobalytics – Personal performance analytics for competitive gamers

The platform measures players’ performance, helps them define their strengths and weaknesses and provides personalized advice, based on Gamer Performance Index, on how to improve your skills. The app was first introduced during TechCruch Disrupt in San Francisco, where it victoriously took the 1st prize. Shortly after the big triumph the startup received $2,6 mln investments from Almaz Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst and GGV Capital.

3d place – People.ai

People.ai – sales productivity platform powered by AI

The app analyzes sales managers’ performance and displays the statistics to the employer, helping to identify who works best and who underperforms. Startup received the investments from the Y Combinator, as well as many funds from business angels.

4th place – Hideez Technologies Inc.

Hideez – hardware cybersecurity project

In 2016 Hideez launched their first product – Hideez Key, which stores all the digital keys and certificates on one device, allowing unblock smartphones, laptops, open RFID-locks or authorize mobile payments. It also works as a anti-thief sensor for the thongs like wallet or keys, as it distances from the smartphone it is connected to, the app will notify the user of the loss.

And finally last but not least – SolarGaps

SolarGaps – world`s first solar smart blinds.

SolarGaps is all-in-one energy solution. With the help of solar panels on the blinds, which generate electricity from solar energy, you can supply yourself with own electricity and save on your electricity bills.
This great invention has received a support from the investors of $1 mln over this summer. So, we are definitely going to hear about them soon.

 

References

http://ain.ua/top-10-ukrainskix-startapov-2016

 

People.ai is using machine learning to rewrite the sales ops playbook

 

 

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Is Google slowly taking over the world?

google-skynet

Is science fiction coming true? Is the world as we know it transforming into something more surreal every passing day? Continue reading

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