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Artificial Intelligence

The Optisort battery-sorting machine

While it’s definitely important to keep the heavy metals in discarded batteries out of the environment, the sorting of all of the different types of batteries that arrive at a recycling depot could no doubt get extremely tedious. It’s the type of job that often goes to a machine. Well, such a machine has been invented. Called the Optisort, it can recognize about 2,000 types of batteries, and is currently being used to sort one third of those recycled in the UK.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have built what they claim is the most accurate ...

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have built what they claim is the most accurate simulation of a functioning brain to date. Despite a seemingly unimpressive count of only 2.5 million neurons, Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network) is able to process visual inputs, compute answers and write them down using a robotic arm, performing feats of intelligence that up to this point had only been attributed to humans.  Read More

The Cambridge team will work to assess technology-borne risks to humanity (Image: Shutters...

A team of scientists, philosophers and engineers will form the new Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The team will study key developments in technology, assessing “extinction-level” threats to humanity. Key among those threats is the possibility of the creation of an artificial general intelligence, an event that has the theoretical potential to leave humanity behind forever.  Read More

Honda's HEARBO can distinguish between four different types of sound simultaneously

A team led by Kazuhiro Nakadai at Honda Research Institute-Japan (HRI-JP) is improving how robots process and understand sound. The robot, aptly called HEARBO (HEARing roBOt), can parse four sounds (including voices) at once, and can tell where the sounds are coming from. The system, called HARK, could allow future robot servants to better understand verbal commands from several meters away.  Read More

CIROS intelligently slices a cucumber with a kitchen knife

Researchers from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology's (KIST) Center for Intelligent Robotics (CIR) demonstrated their household service robot, CIROS, at Robot World 2012. CIROS, the third version of the robot since development began in 2005, is intended to help out around the home by performing simple chores. You can watch it prepare a salad by slicing a cucumber and adding dressing in the video after the break.  Read More

IURO, the Interactive Urban Robot, will ask people for directions in an unfamiliar world (...

The IURO (short for Interactive Urban Robot) is a new humanoid service robot built by Accrea Engineering, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Researchers at TUM as well as ETH Zurich and the University of Salzburg are collaborating on an EU-funded research project that seeks to teach robots directions—the human way.  Read More

Harvard researchers are developing a feedback controller that should allow the Robobee to ...

Harvard researchers are getting closer to their goal of developing a controllable micro air vehicle called the Robobee. The tiny robot was already capable of taking off under its own power, but until now it was completely out of control. By adding two control actuators beneath its wings, the robot can be programmed to pitch and roll.  Read More

Team NimbRo hopes that by providing an open-source hardware platform, more universities wi...

RoboCup soccer provides a fascinating window into the current state-of-the-art in robotics and artificial intelligence. However, building robots much taller than a garden gnome has proven a daunting requirement for university labs with limited budgets and experience. Just five teams qualified to compete in the mid-range TeenSize category this year, for robots three to four feet (95-120 cm) tall. A new open-source hardware platform from the University of Bonn's Team NimbRo fills the gap for newcomers and veterans alike.  Read More

The UT^2 bot faces off against an opponent in the BotPrize

For five years, the annual BotPrize competition has been using a variant of the Turing Test known as a "Computer game bot Turing Test" to challenge programmers, researchers and hobbyists to create a bot for Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2004) that is indistinguishable from a human player. Fittingly, in the centenary year of Turing’s birth, not one but two teams have finally claimed the prize by achieving “humanness ratings” of over 50 percent. In comparison, human players received an average humanness rating of just over 40 percent.  Read More

Can the crowd trump artificial intelligence? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Computer scientists are looking to improve on the performance of artificially intelligent personal assistants by devising a way to use the power of a human crowd to chat you instead. The system, known as Chorus, was designed by researchers at the University of Rochester to allow a number of users to act as a single agent that converses with a single end user in real time.  Read More

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