Robots and other mechanical beings are cropping up in the most unexpected places. Case in point: Pay a visit to the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and you'll find yourself greeted in the lobby by a human mechanical surrogate
. Operated by a human in a remote location, the surrogate is not intended to put Walmart greeters out of a job, but is part of a program by the Office of naval research (ONR) to create robots, avatars, and animatronic surrogates for military training.
New York startup Robotbase is turning to Kickstarter to build a highly ambitious robot that would serve as a smart personal assistant for your home. Referred to simply as "Personal Robot," this device is set to combine image recognition, natural language comprehension and other advances in artificial intelligence into a single device that can converse with you, serve as a personal stylist, and even tell bedtime stories to your kids.
Owing perhaps to the difficulty and extreme cost of building virtual worlds that can be seen, heard, explored, and interacted with in multitudes of other ways, video games have long made use of procedural content generation and computation creativity. Epic space-faring BBC Micro game Elite
generated its own star systems on the fly way back in 1984, for instance, while the likes of Minecraft
, and the SimCity
series all similarly sport environments sculpted by algorithms. But artificial intelligence research is opening new avenues in the ever-evolving dance between human game developers and their algorithmically-intelligent tools. AIs can now create entire 2D and 3D games from scratch, unassisted, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg.
You've probably heard music composed by a computer algorithm, though you may not realize it. Artificial intelligence researchers have made huge gains in computational – or algorithmic – creativity over the past decade or two, and in music especially these advances are now filtering through to the real world. AI programs have produced albums in multiple genres. They've scored films and advertisements. And they've also generated mood music in games and smartphone apps. But what does computer-authored music sound like? Why do it? And how is it changing music creation? Join us, in this first entry in a series of features on creative AI, as we find out.
Among his many achievements, British computer science pioneer Alan Turing
created one of the first theoretical models of a general-purpose computer, helped develop the concept of artificial intelligence
, and was in charge of breaking the German Enigma cypher
during World War II. With the recent release of the film The Imitation Game
, he's now becoming known to a whole new generation. It's only fitting, therefore, that a rare collection of his scientific notes is about to head to auction.
New research has found that computers can "judge" personality traits far more precisely than previously thought. The study found that it is possible for computers to draw inferences about a person as accurately as their spouse can. Even then, the judgements were based only on Facebook "likes."
Every poker player will have wished they had just a little more insight into a hand at some point. A new piece of software created by the Computer Poker Research Group at the University of Alberta, however, has no such crises of confidence. Cepheus has "solved" heads-up limit Texas hold 'em.
A Russian company is working to perfect an interesting new digital personal assistant that could bridge the gap between Google Now and Siri and more futuristic artificial intelligence concepts like Samantha, Joaquin Phoenix's digital companion in the movie Her
The sinking feeling of calling a help line and discovering that there’s a robot at the other end may not be as sinky in the future. IPsoft’s "virtual service-desk employee" Amelia is designed to bring advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to help desks and other interactive operations by engaging callers in more intuitive and natural conversations.
Artificial intelligence programs may already be capable of specialized tasks like flying planes, winning Jeopardy
, and giving you a hard time in your favorite video games, but even the most advanced offerings are no smarter than a typical four-year-old child
when it comes to broader insights and comprehension. It makes sense, then, that researchers at the University of Gothenburg have developed a program that imitates a child's cognitive development.