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Posts Tagged ‘Robotics’

Despite What You Might Think, Major Technological Changes Are Coming More Slowly Than They Once Did

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2019

Date: 14-08-2019
Source: Scientific American By Wade Roush

Major technological shifts are fewer and farther between than they once were

On June 22, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew into Dayton, Ohio, for dinner at Orville Wright’s house. It had been just a month since the young aviator’s first ever solo nonstop crossing of the Atlantic, and he felt he ought to pay his respects to the celebrated pioneer of flight.

Forty-two years later, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was allowed to bring a personal guest to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of NASA’s towering Saturn V rocket. Armstrong invited his hero, Charles Lindbergh.

That’s how fast technology advanced in the 20th century. One man, Lindbergh, could be the living link between the pilot of the first powered flight and the commander of the first mission to another world.

In our century, for better or worse, progress isn’t what it used to be. Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon argues that by 1970, all the key technologies of modern life were in place: sanitation, electricity, mechanized agriculture, highways, air travel, telecommunications, and the like. After that, innovation and economic growth simply couldn’t keep going at the breakneck pace set over the preceding 100 years—a period Gordon calls “the special century.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Could robots make us better humans?

Posted by hkarner - 7. März 2019

Date: 06-03-2019
Source: the Guardian

Machines can already write music and beat us at games like chess and Go. But the rise of artificial intelligence should inspire hope as well as fear, says Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy … ‘We often behave too like machines.’

As Marcus du Sautoy greets me at the entrance to New College, Oxford, his appearance is a quiet riot of colour. His clothes rather suggest someone who ran into White Stuff or Fat Face and frantically grabbed anything he could find – in this case, a salmon zip-up top, multihued check trousers and shoes that are a headache-inducing shade of turquoise. When we settle down to talk in a nearby meeting room, he repeatedly glances at a notepad – whose pages, just to add to all the garishness, are a bold shade of yellow.

They are full of what look like scrawled equations, mixed with odd-looking shapes: the raw material, he explains, of a project involving very complicated geometry. “There’s an infinite symmetrical structure that I’m looking at,” he says, “and I think the top bit of it will tell me everything that’s going on inside it. It’s almost like an infinite lake, and I should be able to know everything that’s happening in it by looking at the first centimetre.”

He suddenly looks rather pained. “But I don’t know.”

Du Sautoy, 53, is a professor of maths and a fellow of New College. Eleven years ago, Oxford University made him its Simonyi professor for the public understanding of science, a role ideally suited to a prolific author who is a regular presence on the TV. But a lot of his day-to-day life still seems to revolve around the fascinatingly abstract and complex world of pure maths – which, as his current quest suggests, is becoming ever more onerous and complex. Modern mathematicians stand on top of a body of knowledge that stretches back centuries. A great many theorems have been proved; even some of the most complicated fields of research have been fully explored, and closed off. To appreciably extend human understanding often seems to require unfathomable intellectual leaps. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‘The Globotics Upheaval’ Review: When the Robot Gets an Office

Posted by hkarner - 5. März 2019

Date: 04-03-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

New robotics and AI technologies may soon be coming for the jobs of those who until now have only known globalization’s benefits.

The great wave of globalization is ebbing, or so it seems. Trade barriers are going up, ocean shipping is slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago, and manufacturers and retailers are keeping more inventory just in case their supply chains can’t deliver. But while the loss of factory jobs to foreign competition may have abated, a new threat to employment may loom. If Richard Baldwin is right, globalization will soon go after white-collar jobs with a vengeance.

Mr. Baldwin, a professor at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, is among the leading scholars of international trade. In his 2016 book “The Great Convergence,” he showed how the transfer of advanced technologies to poor countries made the current episode of globalization particularly harmful to industrial workers in rich countries, and he called for new social policies to address the problem. Now, in “The Globotics Upheaval,” he moves in a new direction, considering how the spread of robotics and artificial intelligence will affect the international distribution of labor. He argues that these fast-changing technologies will expose relatively well-paid jobs to foreign competition. As this occurs, people who have until now enjoyed mainly benefits from globalization will experience its costs first hand. “We need to stop asking whether the economic impact is due mostly to globalization or mostly to automation,” Mr. Baldwin writes. “Globalization and robotics are now Siamese twins—driven by the same technology and at the same pace.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The AI Road to Serfdom?

Posted by hkarner - 25. Februar 2019

Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

Estimates of job losses in the near future due to automation range from 9% to 47%, and jobs themselves are becoming ever more precarious. Should we trust the conventional economic narrative according to which machines inevitably raise workers‘ living standards?

LONDON – Surveys from round the world show that people want secure jobs. At the same time, they have always dreamed of a life free from toil. The “rise of the robots” has made the tension between these impulses palpable.

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Where Robots Will Soon Rule

Posted by hkarner - 10. Februar 2019

Date: 09-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Christopher Mims

Automation might not mean lower employment overall, but it can still take away jobs as it notches gains in productivity

Right in the center of Florida is a metro area that’s home to more than 600,000 people, along with some of the most technologically sophisticated distribution centers in the country.

In and around the city of Lakeland, you’ll find operations from Amazon, DHL (for Ikea), Walmart , Rooms to Go, Medline and Publix, along with a huge Geico call center, the world’s largest wine-and-spirits distribution warehouse and local factories that produce natural and artificial flavors and, of all things, glitter. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hacking Health Care: How Tech Will Drive Down Costs

Posted by hkarner - 7. Dezember 2018

Date: 07-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association, explains how robots, sensors and AI will keep us healthy for less

Artificial intelligence, sensors and even digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa could help keep down medical costs and improve care.

Human beings are safer today than at any time in history. We live more than twice as long as we did in 1900 thanks, in large part, to advances in technology. But our increased lifespan comes at a price. The U.S. spends $3.5 trillion each year on health care, and the federal government shoulders more than 28% of that cost. The Census Bureau projects that 20.6% of Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030, compared to 15.24% in 2016. The U.S. is facing a retirement wave that will strain our health-care system. As head of CTA for three decades, I’ve watched the medical community use new technology to make advances in everything from diet science to disease detection. Much of this technology has not been widely tested, and some of it raises difficult questions about privacy and cybersecurity. But AI, sensors and even digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa could help keep costs down and improve care. Here’s how.

Sensors Will Show Us Ourselves Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can We Avoid the Potential Dangers of AI, Robots and Big Tech Companies?

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2018

Date: 29-11-2018
Source: Scientific American By Karl Frederick Rauscher

We can if we’re proactive enough about anticipating what could go wrong

If you plan to live another 10 years, you should expect to live in a world with machines doing things you don’t like doing today. Shooting for another 20? Even more will be done without your lifting the proverbial finger. It’s not only menial tasks such as cleaning, laundry and dishes. High-end services previously not accessible to you will now be in your economic grasp. Your personal robot will know you better than you know yourself. This almost unimaginable lifestyle could become routine for the masses, given the tangible achievements of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to date and the low-latency-coupled-with-high-bandwidth-connectivity that 5G is on track to provide.

Despite the excitement of the likely new reality, however, AI, robots and big companies are three things a lot of people are afraid of. While the last one has been around for a long time, the former are things we’ll have to learn to live with. The imminent rollout of 5G infrastructure could usher in a technology revolution perhaps greater than any that have preceded it. The new networks will be a thousand times faster than 4G, which means that an entire HD film, for example, could be downloaded in seconds. High-bandwidth uploads will also be possible, which will mean that what the robot sees—constituting a massive amount of data—can be sent to, and interact in real-time with, a brain in the cloud. Robots will also be able to communicate at high speeds with each other, and network delays will be so tiny that they’ll be comparable to the unnoticeable delays within our bodies between nerve cells and our brain. Major network operators are beginning 5G rollouts in select cities by end of 2018—just around the corner. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Historian Yuval Noah Harari on the Robot Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The author of ‘Sapiens’ sees a future in which machines make better doctors, AI aids dictatorships and surveillance has a silver lining

Historian Yuval Noah Harari on the Robot Revolution

Science fiction is full of artificial intelligence that gains consciousness and wreaks destruction on humankind. In reality, the threat is less dramatic but just as scary, according to historian Yuval Noah Harari, who predicts upheaval in the workforce, global governments and our emotional lives.

Harari gained a global fan base after the 2011 release of “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” a bestseller that questioned conventional wisdom on the evolution of the species. He followed that up in 2017 with “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.” In “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” published in September, the Israeli scholar offers advice on tackling the most pressing issues of tomorrow, from information technology to terrorism.

Harari, age 43, recently spoke to The Future of Everything about potential winners and losers in the automation revolution, how AI could help dictatorships outpace democracies, and the rise of machines more sympathetic than humans.

Most Jobs Will Not Be Worth Saving Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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See Food: Why Robots Are Producing More of What You Eat

Posted by hkarner - 12. September 2018

Date: 11-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Vision-automation technology is taking over the factory floor, a testing ground for adoption in self-driving cars, drones

Before it can drive your car, vision technology must first be able to cut your sausage.

Robots that see underpin the future of self-driving cars, humanoid robots and autonomous drones.

Right now, they’re serving their apprenticeship sizing up sausages.

Food manufacturers are combining advances in laser vision with artificial-intelligence software so that automated arms can carry out more-complex tasks, such as slicing chicken cutlets precisely or inspecting toppings on machine-made pizzas. At a sausage factory, more-powerful cameras and quicker processors enable robots to detect the twisted point between two cylindrical wieners fast enough that they can be cut apart at the rate of 200 a minute. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is it time to automate politicians?

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2018

When I watch few of them it looks as if they were already automated (Strache, Kickl, …) And – unfortunately – more often Sebastian Kurz!(hfk)

Date: 01-08-2018
Source: The Economist

Robotic representation has some merits, says Alvin Carpio of The Fourth Group

A poll of British consumers conducted by software firm OpenText found that one in four Brits think robots would do a better job than humans as politicians. Years ago, The Muppet Show ran a segment mocking politicians for their stereotypical robotic behaviour. Last April a robot was nominated to run to be Tokyo’s mayor, promising fair and balanced representation.

In a world where reality is sometimes more bizarre than an episode of Black Mirror, what if we replaced our current politicians with algorithms? In a period where trust in politicians is low and government efficiency is questionable, might we be better off?

In 2017 The Fourth Group, an organisation I lead to shape technology for social good, ran a hackathon to automate politicians’ tasks. Coders, designers, politicians and policy experts gathered for two days and built new technologies. The winning team, Civic Triage, developed a chatbot to communicate with constituents. It aimed to replace weekly public meetings (known in Britain as “surgeries”) by texting people, acknowledging their concerns and pointing them to relevant local service providers. It’s not just hypothetical: Liam Byrne, a Labour Party MP, has met with other MPs to discuss using chatbots to engage with British citizens. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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