Age of Robots

Age of Robots Mar-18

Age of Robots magazine is dedicated to reporting on the technology of the Second Machine Age and how it is impacting our society and psychology. We aim to keep readers abreast of the many advances taking place in artificial intelligence, robotics, and associated fields.

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in this issue

2 min.
the editor matthew dahlitz

Welcome to our 4th Age of Robots magazine and another roundup of news and opinions about technology, psychology and our society. This month we hear from Nita Patel of L-3 Warrior Systems and the IEEE Women in Engineering who reports on disturbing traits that AI is picking up from us as it learns—namely racist and sexist biases. Does this mean learning machines are just holding up a mirror to it's creators and we don't like what we see? Something needs to change otherwise future AI will be making choices in the world with biases that we have been trying to stamp out for generations. Also in relationship to ethics we hear from Nayef Al-Rodhan, an honorary fellow at University of Oxford, and Senior Fellow and Head of the Geopolitics and Global Futures…

2 min.
in brief

2D Materials Growing high-quality, crystalline 2-D materials at scale for electronics has proven a significant challenge. Penn State researchers have developed a multistep process to make single crystal, automatically thin, films of tungsten diselenide across large-area sapphire substrates. Growing such 2D materials is important for future electronic devices. Source: Penn State University Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things MIT researchers have built a new chip, hardwired to perform public-key encryption, that consumes only 1/400 as much power as software execution of the same protocols would. It also uses about 1/10 as much memory and executes 500 times faster. Like most modern public-key encryption systems, the researchers’ chip uses a technique called elliptic-curve encryption. As its name suggests, elliptic-curve encryption relies on a type of mathematical function called an elliptic curve. In the past, researchers — including…

4 min.
how old biases are infiltrating

Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to show racist and sexist associations, and it learned them by watching us. In a world where technology leadership is skewed 80% men and 83% white, itis clearlytime that the global technical communitystarts confronting how unconscious biases might well be penetrating autonomous systems. Evidence, in fact, is growing that AI’s algorithms are reliant on data and benchmarks based on biases that much of the world has been trying to move away from for decades. We face a choice today. Either we recognize the biases that haunt our daily culture and work to counteract their further proliferation throughout AI. Or we relive our past mistakes. Representative of the Real World The Not-So-Good Old Days The reality is that technology leadership remains predominantly white and male, and AI is reflective of…

11 min.
artificial intelligent agent

IBM’s playing Deep Blue computer was a chess that - achieved remarkable success in 1997 when it defeated the world champion Gary Kasparov in 19 moves. Kasparov had never lost a match to a human in under 20 moves. He managed to beat Deep Blue in the next games but was again defeated the following year after Deep Blue received an upgrade—and the unofficial nickname “Deeper Blue”. This was a landmark moment in artificial intelligence, but at no point was the genius chess machine deemed worthy of “rights”. Although theoretically able to visualize 200 million chess positions per second, Deep Blue had limited general abilities and could not work on other tasks beyond what it was programmed to do—such as playing chess, in this case. “One Increasingly, the question is no…

6 min.
considering ethical and societal implications of robotics and ai: in reality and science fiction there is no easy answer

Robert Venditti, a novelist and writer of comic books, is best known for his graphic novel The Surrogates, where robotic surrogates deal with life’s obligations while the characters’ real selves experience life virtually from the safety of home. Ryan Jenkins is an assistant professor of philosophy at California Polytechnic State in San Luis Obispo, who studies the ethics of emerging technologies like driverless cars and killer robots. Lynne Parker is associate dean of engineering at University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and co-led a White House-commissioned task force that created the U.S. National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan. “Industry alone isn’t going to solve all the issues raised by robotics and AI, because related societal challenges don’t always have a market driver.” Question: Lynne, at a high level, what do you advise policy makers on…

3 min.
by studying cockroach locomotion, scientists learn how to build better, more mobile robots

When they turn up in pantries or restaurant kitchens, cockroaches are commonly despised as ugly, unhealthy pests. But in the name of science, Johns Hopkins researchers have put these unwanted bugs to work. In a crowded, windowless lab, scholars and students are coaxing the insects to share some crucial locomotion tips that could help future robotic vehicles traverse treacherous terrain. In the aftermath of an earthquake or on the unexplored, alien surface of another planet, for example, a cockroach could persist where humans hesitate to go. For missions like these, the Johns Hopkins researchers want to build robots that behave more like cockroaches. The team’s early findings are the subject of two related research papers published February 2018 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. Sean W. Gart, a postdoctoral fellow who puts the…