Tagged With Robots

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With each passing breakthrough in artificial intelligence, we're asking our machines to make increasingly complex and weighty decisions. The trouble is, AIs are starting to act beyond our levels of comprehension. In high frequency stock trading, for example, this had led to so-called flash crashes, in which algorithms make lightning-quick decisions for reasons we can't quite grasp. In an effort to bridge the growing gap between man and machine, the Pentagon is launching a new program to create machines that can explain their actions in a way we puny humans can understand.

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Like maintaining a zen garden, or pruning a bonsai tree, some people stack and balance rocks as a way to relax. But robots don't really experience emotional stress, so why bother teaching a bot to balance rocks? One day, this robot's skills could prove invaluable when it comes to building structures on distant worlds we're trying to colonise.

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Films and TV shows like Blade Runner, Humans and Westworld, where highly advanced robots have no rights, trouble our conscience. They show us that our behaviours are not just harmful to robots — they also demean and diminish us as a species. We like to think we're better than the characters on the screen, and that when the time comes, we'll do the right thing, and treat our intelligent machines with a little more dignity and respect.

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Unlike many of today's workers, priests probably thought their jobs were safe from automation. Well, they thought wrong. In Wittenberg, Germany, one church has taken to automating spiritual guidance, creating a new robot, called the Bless U-2, that offers robotic benedictions to its fleshy parishioners.

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Robots are coming. Those goddamn robots. Will they enslave humanity and breed us in flesh farms for energy purposes? Probably not. Will they take our jerbs? Maybe.

This nifty little site allows you to search for your job and find out the likelihood of a goddamn metal machine stealing your job in the near future.

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The best part about science fiction, besides the explosions, space explorations and psychotic aliens, is the fact that it reveals our most human fears. While they aren't flesh and bone, robots are arguably most emblematic of our anxieties: Besides being smarter, faster and (sometimes) shinier than us, "bad robots" are a sci-fi favourite because they reveal how obsolete we might be becoming — or already are.

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Released last year, Google Assistant hasn't really proven itself useful outside of checking the weather, searching Google, or setting an alarm using voice commands. So far it's been limited to basic features that are more than matched by other smart assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. But Google is trying to change that.

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Do you ever wonder what tomorrow holds? Some people are pretty convinced that the future will be filled with flying cars and jetpacks and robot butlers. But here in the year 2017, I'm not so sure any more. I have a suspicion that our future might be filled with more machine gun-toting robots, like the one seen above, than robotic butlers.

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Ever wondered what sailing down the River Styx would be like? Taking a boat into a scary and unknown world, only to be greeted by a terrifying figure signalling your impending fate? Thanks, Disney!

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Advertisers have found ways to bombard us with promotions no matter what we're doing: watching TV, checking social media, and even when streaming music. But the future of advertising could be even more invasive when the next public event you attend is full of flying video drones projecting inescapable video everywhere you look.

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Geckos are really, really good at one thing in particular - running all around, even upside down, even when everything is wet.

Now scientists have created a double-sided adhesive that copies this ability to stick and unstick to slippery surfaces, and are looking at using it for underwater robots (presumably because underwater robots are exceedingly cool) but there's another potential use, too.

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Video: We've all seen footage of giant factory robots hoisting and placing heavy parts with perfect precision, so it should come as no surprise that a robot arm can adeptly play the knife game without lopping off someone's finger. But even with that in mind, you'll still be stressed watching this stabby robot in action.