Facebook’s AI chief doesn’t like Sophia the Robot

Facebook’s AI chief doesn’t like Sophia the Robot

Sophia the robot, the Twitter account-wielding robo-sapien who gained Saudi Arabian citizenship last fall, has her fair share of critics. Developed by Hanson Robotics, the humanoid bot got into a Twitter feud with Chrissy Tiegen earlier this month. Now, Yann LeCun, Facebook ‘s head of AI research, has spoken out against the social robot.

Hanson Robotics’ CEO has said in the past that Sophia is “ basically alive ,” but LeCun says she is more like a puppet. As Quartz explains , Sophia is a mix of robotics and pre-programmed, situation-specific code. She has three main modes: a research mode where she can answer simple questions about what she observes in her surroundings, a speech-reciting mode that uses canned responses […]

German Scientists Create Ultrafast Robot Arms from DNA

German Scientists Create Ultrafast Robot Arms from DNA

Illustration: Technical University of Munich Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany have given a big boost to DNA-based robotic systems by using electric fields to speed up their movements by five orders of magnitude over previous DNA systems.

Prior to this work, which the German scientists descibe in today’s issue of the the journal Science , the main issue preventing previous DNA-based molecular machines from operating faster was that they were dependent on DNA’s molecular cues.

For example, most DNA-based molecular machines previously were operated by a variety of DNA molecular manipulations, including DNA hybridization with externally added DNA “fuel strands,” the action of DNA-cutting enzymes , a change in buffer conditions (such as pH levels), or […]

This Robot Will Assist Humans with the Maintenance of other Robots

This Robot Will Assist Humans with the Maintenance of other Robots

SecondHands is a robot designed to help fix other robots . This helpful bot is a product of a collective project called SecondHands that aims to investigate how humanoid robots can work together. Supported by the European Union initiative called Horizon 2020 program, SecondHands is a collaboration between UK automated warehouse company Ocado, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and other research institutions like EPFL, UCL, and Sapienza University of Rome.

SecondHands, aims to “design a robot that can offer help to a maintenance technician in a proactive manner… as a second pair of hands that can assist the technician when he/she is in need of help.”

The team has developed a prototype robot using the sixth iteration of the ARMAR robot […]

Robot ‘ALTER-EGO that knows everything about you a reality in just 20 years’

Robot ‘ALTER-EGO that knows everything about you a reality in just 20 years’

ALTER-EGO: Microsoft predict ‘digital assistants’ which know everything about us The tech giant’s president Brad Smith and its executive vice-president Harry Shum have written about how artificial intelligence will transform the world in future.

And the co-authors of the Future is Computed have delivered a stark warning for how technology companies that develop AI might not be best to decide how it works for society.

Shum has talked about how a “digital assistant” which knows your every move is the next step forward.

He said: “I think predicting the future is always hard, but one thing Brad and I firmly believe is that the ultimate form of AI is a digital assistant —a digital assistant that really understands you, and with your […]

Male Sex Robots With Bionic Penises Are a Real Thing in 2018 So You're Welcome, Humanity

Male Sex Robots With Bionic Penises Are a Real Thing in 2018 So You’re Welcome, Humanity

When it comes to finding intimacy in the digital age, the same tools that seem to make it easier than ever to connect with other humans are wont to leave users isolated and alone, remotely tethered to an app or website that provides the thrilling immediacy of intimacy or companionship, but is not ultimately sustainable.

The sexbot industry is another story altogether. Realbotix , a company that launched the world’s first interactive female sex bot last year, now plans to introduce a male counterpart—with a bionic penis to boot. It goes without saying that this brings new meaning to the term “hardware.”

Last year’s release of the female sex bot, Harmony , was an industry disruptor for its ability to imitate […]

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs

Drones are coming to the wind industry in a big way. An $8 million cash injection for a little-known startup this month highlighted the growing importance of robotics in wind turbine operations and maintenance.

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based SkySpecs, which makes drone systems for wind farm inspections, gained the funding through a Series B financing round led by Statkraft Ventures with UL Ventures, Capital Midwest and previous backers Venture Investors, Huron River Ventures and others.

SkySpecs will use the cash to add greater intelligence to an autonomous system that the company says can carry out a full turbine rotor-blade inspection within 15 minutes, at the push of a button and with no additional human insight.

“This year we will enable owners to harness […]