HAL 9000 Artificial Intelligence (from movie 2001)

“Robotics and AI have become one of the most prominent technological trends of our century.
The fast increase of their use and development brings new and difficult challenges to our society”, writes Delvaux. Therefore, the reasoning goes, “robots and artificial intelligence (AI) would increase their interaction with humans”, raising “legal and ethical issues which require a prompt intervention at EU level”.

I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That*

Science fiction meets science fact and thee three laws of robots just appeared in a draft European Parliament committee report on robots and artificial intelligence titled: Workshop on Robotics & Artificial Intelligence.

While it is a non-binding document, these rules could be adopted by the EU this month.

Read the full article: http://delano.lu/d/detail/news/im-afraid-i-cant-do/132457

IF you’re not familiar with where the title of the article comes from, you MUST watch the historical scene (2:11 min)  from the ground-breaking 1968 movie 2001.
The movie is partially based on Arthur C. Clarke’s short story The Sentinal, first published in a fantasy magazine (1951).

In the clip, astronaut Dave argues with HAL9000 AI:

3 Laws For Robots

The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or known as Asimov’s Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov involving artificial intelligence and explained by him in the archived video below.

The rules were first introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround“, although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws, quoted as being from the “Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.”, are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

SAN FRANCISCO — Until recently, Robyn Ewing was a writer in Hollywood, developing TV scripts and pitching pilots to film studios.

Now she’s applying her creative talents toward building the personality of a different type of character — a virtual assistant, animated by artifical intelligence, that interacts with sick patients.

Ewing works with engineers on the software program, called Sophie, which can be downloaded to a smartphone. The virtual nurse gently reminds users to check their medication, asks them how they are feeling or if they are in pain, and then sends the data to a real doctor.

As tech behemoths and a wave of start-ups double down on virtual assistants that can chat with human beings, writing for AI is becoming a hot job in Silicon Valley. Behind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools.

“Maybe this will help pay back all the student loans,” joked Ewing, who has master’s degrees from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and film school.

Unlike the fictional characters that Ewing developed in Hollywood, who are put through adventures, personal trials and plot twists, most virtual assistants today are designed to perform largely prosaic tasks, such as reading through email, sending meetings reminders or turning off the lights as you shout across the room.

But a new crop of virtual assistant start-ups, whose products will soon flood the market, have in mind more ambitious bots that can interact seamlessly with human beings.

Continue Reading…


The Future of Employment Research Report from Oxford University

In this report, Oxford University addresses the question: How susceptible are jobs to computerization?

Doing so, they build on the existing literature in two ways. First, drawing upon recent advances in Machine Learning (ML) and Mobile Robotics (MR), they develop a novel methodology to categorize occupations according to their susceptibility to computerization.

702 Occupations Examined

Second, they implement this methodology to estimate the probability of computerization for 702 detailed occupations, and examine expected impacts of future computerization on US labor market outcomes.

Continue Reading…

by JOSHUA OGAWA, Nikkei staff writer

The game of GO is considered more complex than either chess or shogi.

Google has developed a computer program capable of beating professional go players, opening the door to new applications — and new ethical concerns — as artificial intelligence draws closer to matching human thinking.

The U.S. tech giant presented its results in the Jan. 27 issue of Nature. Though a computer managed to topple the world chess champion in 1997 and defeat the top women’s shogi (Japanese chess) player in 2010, Google’s AlphaGo program (official blog site) is the first to triumph over professional go players under official rules.

TOUGHER THAN CHESS The go board is larger than that used in chess or shogi, with total possible gameplay scenarios numbering 10 to the 360th power. Anticipating and solving all possible board combinations is impossible even for today’s most advanced computers, and many researchers had predicted that a program capable of besting pro players was at least 10 years away.

Google’s go AI bypassed that problem with deep learning, a technology that mimics human neural pathways and learning processes. Rather than working through the possible scenarios by brute force, the program considers the board as a whole and draws on accumulated experience to choose its next move. The company has used such technology before. Last year, it presented its deep Q-network algorithm, which let computers master electronic games by analyzing pixel and score data over repeated plays.

For its go project, Google collaborated with pro players to teach the computer 30 million plays, eventually enabling it to predict humans’ moves with 57% accuracy. The AI then was put through several million matches against itself, forcing it to work out winning strategies by experience. Its ability to select the best move by analyzing the state of the board is now nearly equal to a human’s ability to do the same based on skill and intuition.

The program can beat existing go software 99.8% of the time, and it won all five games against reigning European champion Fan Hui in October. The AI will face another five-game challenge in March, when it goes up against Lee Se-dol, one of the world’s top players.

WAY FORWARD The question now is where Google will direct its AI efforts next. Games are an excellent arena in which to develop and test AI, but the goal is to turn such technology toward solving real-world problems, said Demis Hassabis, Google’s AI chief. The priority, he indicated, is on developing robust multipurpose AI tech.

Deep learning is particularly promising, given its ability to process visual and audio information in a manner resembling human perception byGoogle Deep Mind LOGO finding patterns in large data sets. Recent research has sought to apply the technology in diverse fields, such as using it to control robots’ movements or to analyze medical image data to help diagnose patients. Simple forms are already at work in today’s tech, such as voice recognition software on smartphones. The dawn of AI capable of replicating the intuition of human professionals would drastically expand the current slate of applications.

Yet researchers also are growing more cautious as AI advances. Though Google is pleased to have overcome a major challenge for AI, Hassabis said, the company is aware of the ethical issues surrounding the technology. Academics and other public figures have warned that unchecked development could lead to AI programs that are hostile to society as a whole.

As with “any powerful new technology,” developers of AI must “take seriously our responsibilities” and “have ethical concerns at the top of our minds,” Hassabis told the BBC last year. Google has established an AI ethics board to address those concerns. Now that technology has won out against humanity in one of the ultimate game-based challenges, the focus of research should turn to cooperation between man and machine.