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Artificial intelligence

This robot watches you flex to learn to be a better teammate

An MIT robot collaborates with a person by tracking his or her muscles.

Welcome to the “gun show,” robot.

Flex it: Researchers at MIT have created a robot that closely monitors your biceps as you lift and move things around. It isn’t just admiring your guns, though. The idea is to develop a system capable of collaborating with people more effectively.

Muscle monitor: The robot, dubbed RoboRaise, monitors a person’s muscles using attached electromyography sensors. Machine learning matches the signals picked up by those sensors with a representation of the arm movement a person is performing. The robot can then match that action.

Teamwork! Most workplace robots are so dumb and dangerous that they work in isolation from humans, but there is growing interest in having robots collaborate with human workers, using advances in sensors and computer algorithms to make them safer and smarter.

Watch carefully: It's a fascinating approach, and it shows how, in theory, robots might be able to pick up far more subtle cues about a person’s behavior. This might lead to machines that are better attuned to our actions and intentions. 

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

Conceptual illustration of a therapy session
Conceptual illustration of a therapy session

The therapists using AI to make therapy better

Researchers are learning more about how therapy works by examining the language therapists use with clients. It could lead to more people getting better, and staying better.

a Chichuahua standing on a Great Dane
a Chichuahua standing on a Great Dane

DeepMind says its new language model can beat others 25 times its size

RETRO uses an external memory to look up passages of text on the fly, avoiding some of the costs of training a vast neural network

fake person rewind to real person
fake person rewind to real person

AI fake-face generators can be rewound to reveal the real faces they trained on

Researchers are calling into doubt the popular idea that deep-learning models are “black boxes” that reveal nothing about what goes on inside

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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