• AI program could check blood for signs of lung cancer

    AI program could check blood for signs of lung cancer
    Scientists hope that if software passes trials it could boost screening ratesScientists have developed an artificial intelligence program that can screen people for lung cancer by analysing their blood for DNA mutations that drive the disease.The software is experimental and needs to be verified in a clinical trial, but doctors are hopeful that if it proves its worth at scale, it will boost lung cancer screening rates by making the procedure as simple as a routine blood test. Continue reading...
  • Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots

    Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots
    Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AIDozens of journalists have been sacked after Microsoft decided to replace with them with artificial intelligence software.Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser – used by millions of Britons every day – have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs. Continue reading...
  • Video Friday: Robot vs. Human Workout Challenge

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!):ICRA 2020 – May 31, 2020 – [Virtual Conference]  * * * STARTS SUNDAY!  REGISTER NOW! * * *RSS 2020 – July 12-16, 2020 – [Virtual Conference]CLAWAR 2020 – August 24-26, 2020
  • Some AI Advances in the Last Decade May Have Been Illusory

    Some AI Advances in the Last Decade May Have Been Illusory
    Digital Human Brain Covered with Networks Over the past decade, artificial intelligence and machine learning have emerged as major hotbeds of research, driven by advances in GPU computing, software algorithms, and specialized hardware design. New data suggests that at least some of the algorithmic improvements of the past decade may have been smaller than previously thought.Researchers working to validate long-term improvements in various AI algorithms have found multiple situations where modes
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  • The Biggest Robotics Research Conference Is Now More Accessible Than Ever

    If it wasn’t for COVID-19, we’d probably be in Paris right now, enjoying the beautiful weather, stuffing ourselves with pastries, and getting ready for another amazing edition of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), the world’s largest robotics research gathering. We’re not doing any of that, of course. Personally, I’ve barely left my house since March, and the in-person ICRA conference in Paris was quite sensibly cancelled a while ag
  • Giving soft robots feeling

    Giving soft robots feeling
    One of the hottest topics in robotics is the field of soft robots, which utilizes squishy and flexible materials rather than traditional rigid materials. But soft robots have been limited due to their lack of good sensing. A good robotic gripper needs to feel what it is touching (tactile sensing), and it needs to sense the positions of its fingers (proprioception). Such sensing has been missing from most soft robots.In a new pair of papers, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artif
  • Computer vision and uncertainty in AI for robotic prosthetics

    Researchers have developed new software that can be integrated with existing hardware to enable people using robotic prosthetics or exoskeletons to walk in a safer, more natural manner on different types of terrain. The new framework incorporates computer vision into prosthetic leg control, and includes robust artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that allow the software to better account for uncertainty.
  • Clearpath Robotics Now Supporting ROS on Windows

    Part of the appeal of the Robot Operating System, or ROS, is that it’s much faster and easier to get started with robots because so much of the difficult and annoying groundwork is already done for you. This is totally true, but for many people, getting started with ROS adds a bunch of difficult and annoying groundwork of its own, in the form of Linux. All kinds of people will tell you, “Oh just learn Linux, it’s not so bad!” But sometimes, it really kind of is so ba
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  • Zipline Launches Long Distance Drone Delivery of COVID-19 Supplies in the U.S.

    Eighteen months ago, we traveled to Rwanda to see how Zipline had made fast, dependable drone delivery a critical part of medical supply infrastructure on a national scale. But outside of Africa, Zipline’s long-distance delivery drones have had to contend with complex and crowded airspace, decades of stale regulation, and a healthcare system that’s at least (sort of) functional, if not particularly agile. Along with several other drone delivery companies, Zipline has been workin
  • Controlling artificial cilia with magnetic fields and light

    Researchers have made artificial cilia, or hair-like structures, that can bend into new shapes in response to a magnetic field, then return to their original shape when exposed to the proper light source.
  • Undergraduates develop next-generation intelligence tools

    Undergraduates develop next-generation intelligence tools
    The coronavirus pandemic has driven us apart physically while reminding us of the power of technology to connect. When MIT shut its doors in March, much of campus moved online, to virtual classes, labs, and chatrooms. Among those making the pivot were students engaged in independent research under MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). With regular check-ins with their advisors via Slack and Zoom, many students succeeded in pushing through to the end. One even carr
  • World Turtle Day Celebrates Final Release of ROS 1

    This past Saturday, May 23, was World Turtle Day, the day that celebrates the newest release of the turtle-themed Robot Operating System (ROS)—and also probably some actual turtles—and so we reached out to Open Robotics CEO Brian Gerkey and developer advocate Katherine Scott. We wanted to talk to them because this particular World Turtle Day also marked the release of the very last version of ROS 1: Noetic Ninjemys. From here on out, if you want some new ROS, it&r
  • U.S. Blacklists Dozens of Chinese Companies Working on AI, Face Recognition Tech

    U.S. Blacklists Dozens of Chinese Companies Working on AI, Face Recognition Tech
    The U.S. Commerce Department has put another 33 Chinese businesses—many of which develop artificial intelligence and face recognition tech—on its economic blacklist as a punitive measure for purportedly conspiring with Beijing and the government’s brutal crackdown on Muslim minorities.
    Read more...
  • Video Friday: This Robot Wants to Talk to You

    Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!):ICRA 2020 – June 01, 2020 – [Virtual Conference]RSS 2020 – July 12-16, 2020 – [Virtual Conference]CLAWAR 2020 – August 24-26, 2020 – Moscow, RussiaICUAS 2020 – Sept
  • Level Up: Nvidia’s GameGAN AI Creates Pac-Man Without an Underlying Game Engine

    Level Up: Nvidia’s GameGAN AI Creates Pac-Man Without an Underlying Game Engine
    Nvidia has created the first generative network capable of creating a fully functional video game without an underlying game engine. The project was begun to test a theory: Could an AI learn how to imitate a game well enough to duplicate it, without access to any of the underlying game logic?The answer is yes, at least for a classic title like Pac-Man — and that’s an impressive leap forward in overall AI capability.GameGAN uses a type of AI known as a Generative Adversarial Network.
  • How a robotic dog is herding sheep in New Zealand – video

    How a robotic dog is herding sheep in New Zealand – video
    A herd of New Zealand sheep are being watched over by a robotic dog called Spot. The New Zealand software company Rocos is training the Boston Dynamics-designed robot to work on farms to help ‘relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming’. Another Boston Dynamics robot is also undergoing testing in Singapore, reminding members of the public to maintain physical distancing in a public park Continue reading...
  • High-Speed Robot Arm Hands Off Package to Delivery Drone

    Urban delivery drones have their work cut out for them. We’re not really sure whether the whole business model for urban delivery by drone will ultimately make sense, but for it to have a chance at working, drones will certainly benefit from being as energy efficient and time efficient as possible. The biggest waste of time and energy happens during pickup and delivery, where the drone is hovering rather than moving. Hovering is necessary since these drones may be often delivering thi
  • Microsoft President Brad Smith talks data, Covid-19, and a potential “digital 9/11”

    Microsoft President Brad Smith talks data, Covid-19, and a potential “digital 9/11”
    In a virtual discussion hosted by MIT last week, viewers learned that there are many problems that concern Microsoft President Brad Smith: things like climate change, Covid-19, and the work of the future.Attendees also learned how seriously he takes the issue of computer security: 45 minutes into the event, his Windows system automatically rebooted for a lightning-quick software update.“There are a lot of benefits to working from home,” he said with a laugh after rejoining, “bu
  • Fireflies helps companies get more out of meetings

    Fireflies helps companies get more out of meetings
    Many decisions are made and details sorted out in a productive business meeting. But in order for that meeting to translate into results, participants have to remember all those details, understand their assignments, and follow through on commitments.The startup Fireflies.ai is helping people get the most out of their meetings with a note-taking, information-organizing virtual assistant named Fred. Fred transcribes every word of meetings and then uses artificial intelligence to help people sort
  • The Short, Strange Life of the First Friendly Robot

    Photo: Kagaku Chishiki Face Time: Makoto Nishimura [left] and his team designed Gakutensoku’s head so that it could express human affect.In 1923, a play featuring artificial humans opened in Tokyo. Rossum’s Universal Robots—or R.U.R., as it had become known—had premiered two years earlier in Prague and had already become a worldwide sensation. The play, written by Karel Čapek, describes the creation of enslaved synthetic humans, or robots—a term derived f
  • Swiss Startup Developing UV Disinfection Robot for Offices and Commercial Spaces

    When Rovenso’s co-founder and CEO Thomas Estier started thinking about how autonomous security and monitoring robots could be helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting them for UV-C disinfection seemed like it made a lot of sense—while you patrol at night, why not also lower the viral load of shared areas? But arguably the first question that a company has to ask when considering a new application, Estier tells us, is whether they can offer something unique.“For me, what w
  • Next generation of soft robots inspired by a children's toy

    Buckling, the sudden loss of structural stability, is usually the stuff of engineering nightmares. But, as anyone who has ever played with a toy popper knows, buckling also releases a lot of energy. When the structure of a popper buckles, the energy released by the instability sends the toy flying through the air. Researchers have harnessed that energy and used buckling to their advantage to build a fast-moving, inflatable soft actuator.
  • Microsoft Built One of the Most Powerful Supercomputers in the World to Develop Human-Like AI

    Microsoft Built One of the Most Powerful Supercomputers in the World to Develop Human-Like AI
    Microsoft and OpenAI announced a partnership last year to develop new artificial intelligence technologies, and Microsoft just revealed the first product of this deal: a massively powerful supercomputer. The system is one of the top five most powerful computers in the world, and it’s exclusively for training AI models. The companies hope this supercomputer will be able to create more human-like intelligences. We just hope those intelligences will not exterminate humanity. Microsoft di
  • Machine-learning tool could help develop tougher materials

    Machine-learning tool could help develop tougher materials
    For engineers developing new materials or protective coatings, there are billions of different possibilities to sort through. Lab tests or even detailed computer simulations to determine their exact properties, such as toughness, can take hours, days, or more for each variation. Now, a new artificial intelligence-based approach developed at MIT could reduce that to a matter of milliseconds, making it practical to screen vast arrays of candidate materials.The system, which MIT researchers hope co
  • Sony, Microsoft Partner to Deploy AI Analytics in New Image Sensors

    Sony, Microsoft Partner to Deploy AI Analytics in New Image Sensors
    Last week, Sony announced its IMX500, the first image sensor with an onboard DSP specifically intended for AI processing. Today, it announced the next step in that process — partnering with Microsoft to provide an edge processing model.The two firms signed an MOU (Memo of Understanding) last week to jointly develop new cloud solutions to support their respective game and content-streaming services, as well as potentially using Azure to host Sony’s offerings. Now, they’ve announ
  • Marshaling artificial intelligence in the fight against Covid-19

    Marshaling artificial intelligence in the fight against Covid-19
    Artificial intelligence could play a decisive role in stopping the Covid-19 pandemic. To give the technology a push, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is funding 10 projects at MIT aimed at advancing AI’s transformative potential for society. The research will target the immediate public health and economic challenges of this moment. But it could have a lasting impact on how we evaluate and respond to risk long after the crisis has passed. The 10 research project
  • Artificial pieces of brain use light to communicate with real neurons

    Researchers have created a way for artificial neuronal networks to communicate with biological neuronal networks. The new system converts artificial electrical spiking signals to a visual pattern than is then used to entrain the real neurons via optogenetic stimulation of the network. This advance will be important for future neuroprosthetic devices that replace damages neurons with artificial neuronal circuitry.
  • Comedy club performances provide insights on how robots, humans connect via humor

    A robot comic is more funny when it has good timing.
  • Early Bird uses 10 times less energy to train deep neural networks

    Engineers have found a way to train deep neural networks for a fraction of the energy required today. Their Early Bird method finds key network connectivity patterns early in training, reducing the computations and carbon footprint for training deep learning.
  • What can your microwave tell you about your health?

    What can your microwave tell you about your health?
    For many of us, our microwaves and dishwashers aren’t the first thing that come to mind when trying to glean health information, beyond that we should (maybe) lay off the Hot Pockets and empty the dishes in a timely way.But we may soon be rethinking that, thanks to new research from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). The system, called “Sapple,” analyzes in-home appliance usage to better understand our health patterns, using just radio