Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella (robotics)

This week we speak with CEO and Founder of Nexar Inc., Eran Shir, whose company has created a dashboard app that allows drivers to mount a smartphone, which then collects visual information and other data, such as speed from your accelerometer, in order to help detect and prevent accidents. The app also serves as a way to reconstruct what happens in a collision - a unique solution in a big and untapped market. In this episode, Shir gives his vision of a world where the roads are filled with cyborgs, rather than autonomous robots, i.e. people augmented with new sensory information that trigger notifications, warnings or prompts for safer driving behavior, amongst a network of cloud-connected cars.  He also touches on what the transition might look like in response to the question - when will autonomous cars be mainstream?

Direct download: TEP-Eran_Shir-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

A Global Call to Ban Autonomous Killer Robots for Good

Over the last decade, many first-world militaries have developed, and in some cases deployed, autonomous “killer”  robots. Some proponents believe that such robots will save human lives, but another side believes that an accidental arms race of this type would yield long-term detriments that outweigh any good. University of Sheffield’s Dr. Noel Sharkey stands by the latter argument.

As Cofounder for the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, he has spent a good part of the last decade trying to create an international ban on such robots. In this episode, he speaks about the developments in the domain of autonomous killer robots, as well as how groups of global leaders might come together to convince nations and other global policy platforms to adhere to such an agreement for the benefit of all humankind.

 

Direct download: NoelSharkey-_11616_2.10_PM.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Have you ever seen a humanoid robot and felt creeped out? In this episode, we talk with Robotics Engineer Derek Scherer about the psychology of the uncanny valley and our relationships with robots. Scherer talks about the factors in robotics that tend to spook people and provoke a feeling of disgust, and how we might be able to move beyond this resistance as they become a more active part of the social fabric of our society.

Direct download: Derek_Scherer.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Welcome to AI Kindergarten

Dr. Danko Nikolic, a scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, asks and works to answer questions about how our physical neuronal connections create the mind's perceptions. In the realm of AI, Danko zones in on learning in a newborn human and compares that to a robot. He asks how we can take human lessons, what’s built into our genome, and apply that to construct a more generally intelligent AI, in a way that is not being done today.

Direct download: Danko_Nikolic_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

Do you need a body to think? This is a worthwhile (and also a perplexing) question, and an ongoing debate amongst roboticists. Cognitive Roboticist Dr. Mark Bickhard is part of a field of belief that cognition and intelligence - and maybe consciousness itself - requires embodiment and direct interaction with the world. In this interview, he discusses the concept of normative function and self maintenance in entities, and why this matters when it comes to thinking.

Direct download: Mark_Bickhard_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

How Humans Do, and Will, Relate to Robots

Stephan Vladimir Bugaj is a modern visionary with extensive experience in screenwriting, technical artistry and directing in animation and games. He is the Creative Director at Hanson Robotics, where he specializes in robot personality and functional design. He is also a writer-director for WakingUp media and Visioneer studios, two screenwriting and production companies, and part of the story "brain trust" for Limitless VR. Stephan worked for over 10 years as a screenwriter and technical director with Pixar Animation Studios, and before that was a multimedia researcher at Bell Labs and artificial intelligence developer at Intelligenesis/Webmind.

In this episode, Stephan draws on his robotics background to articulate what it takes to give a humanoid robot a "personality", and explains the differences between responses and propensities. Androids are already making news in the entertainment and retail industries, but we delve into why the health sector is next, and how culture might influence social acceptance.

Direct download: StephanVladamir_1.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

RoboLobsters Have What It Takes to Open Up New Dimensions in AI - with Dr. Joseph Ayers

Do lobsters really have something to teach us about developing AI and robotics?

Dr. Joseph Ayers, a professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University,  has dedicated his research and work to the subject and has paved new directions for the future of AI and robotics in the domain of biomimetics.

In this episode, Dr. Ayers provides a comprehensive overview of his development of autonomous underwater robots that help discover and destroy dangerous underwater land mines, and the potential for other animal-like robots to perform other “dull and dangerous” services for humankind. He provides a concluding perspective on two major obstacles facing robotics, one of which is the concept of autonomy, providing valuable insight in light of the current events around autonomous AI.

Direct download: JosephAyers.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Public Opinion Around Artificial Intelligence, is the Media Helping or Hurting? - with Dr. Joanne Pransky

Dr. Joanne Pransky received her doctorate from Tufts University in the mid 1980’s, and began championing public awareness and exposure to robotics and AI technology, playfully calling herself the “first robot psychiatrist.” Since then, she’s been featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel, and even the Tonight Show with Jay Leno - aiming to expose the world to technology and it’s ethical implications.


In this interview, Dr. Joanne speaks with me about the virtues and vices of how the media portrays AI to the public… and why she likes recent AI movies like “Her” and “Ex Machina,” but questions scandalous newspaper headlines about industrial robots “killing people”, as well as her thoughts about the types of conversations that she believes America (and world) should be having in order to move technology forward safely and fruitfully.

Direct download: Joanne_Pranksy_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Swarm Robots - When Will They Enter Society? With Dr. James McLurkin

Dr. James McLurkin works with swarm robots at Rice University, and his unique work on robot communication has landed him on PBS’s “Nova,” in addition to speaking engagements at events like TED and Singularity Summit.

In this episode, Dr. McLurkin discusses how swarm robots have been inspired by insect behavior - and exactly swamp robots are best suited for. In many cases, argues McLurkin, a group of smaller, inexpensive robots can perform a job much better than a single, more capable robot. Dr. James also sheds light on when and how swarm robots might become a part of everyday life and industry in the coming decades.

Direct download: James_McLurkin_Use.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

A task doesn't need to be completed by a robot perfectly suited for that task. Instead, it can be completed by a team of robots with a mission, and an ability to learn. This notion could change the course of development in robotics - from lunar exploration to excavation.

By programming different teams of robots with different sensors access and different "libraries" of behavior patterns, ASU's Dr. Jekan Thanga is able to "evolve" the proper set of inputs and behaviors that make a team complete a complex job right. How might this apply to the future of clean energy? Tune into this week's podcast to find out.

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Interested in the Future of Humanity and the Ramifications of Emerging Tech? Sentient Potential Covers the Ethical Considerations and Future Projections at the Crossroads of Technology and Consciousness:

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Direct download: Thanga.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 3:11pm PDT