Intelligent Machines

Recommended Robot and AI Reads This Week

A roundup of interesting stories on robotics and artificial intelligence from other sites, collected by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for AI.

Oct 21, 2015

Jobs for the Droids
A nice piece in the Financial Times looks at four recent books that touch on automation and the future of work.

Yelp is Using Image Search to Change How It Finds You a Bar
Here’s an interesting example of how deep learning could change the way we access information online. Yelp is using the AI technique to recognize the contents of photographs of bars and restaurants to help customers find the right place to have a beer or a bite.

Farm Robot Learns What Weeds Look Like, Smashes Them
A device developed by Bosch can be trained to recognize weeds and then crush them using what is described, rather ominously, as “a ramming rod.” It’s all part of a broader trend of robots moving into new, more complex areas of agriculture.

Humans Prefer Flawed Robots, Study Finds
In work that could perhaps help shape the personalities of future robotic helpers, a team at the University of Lincoln in the U.K. found that people prefer robots that display forgetfulness or emotions to ones that are impassive and infallable. 

This News Writing Bot Is Now Free for Everyone
Automated Insights, a company that provides robot-written reports for AP and Yahoo, has now made its service available to anyone. Thankfully the prose created by its system is still rather basic, but it’ll be interesting to see how it is used.