Intelligent Machines

Recommended Reads on the Robot and AI Beat 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.

Jan 12, 2016

Taskmaster Robots Watch While You Work In Case You Miss a Step
A good story in New Scientist describes how companies are using AI to monitor workplace productivity. We can probably expect this story of analytics to become more common, and more sophisticated. One important question, however, is whether such technologies miss the subtle differences in the way people work.

Apple Buys AI Startup Emotient
Emotional intelligence isn’t something we normally associate with AI. So perhaps this recent acquisition by Apple suggests that this oversight could also be an opportunity. Just imagine if Siri knew how frustrating her replies sometimes were and did her best to apologize and make ammends?

Drone Swarms Will Change the Face of Modern Warfare
Forget package delivery. Wired UK looks at a U.S. Navy project that will explore ways for swarms of drone aircraft to communicate and coördinate. As the article points out, the technology might have a significant effect on future military conflicts.

Artificial Intelligence: A Force for Good or Evil?
Oxford University recently set up a new center to explore the long-term implications on AI. In an interesting interview, a leading figure at the center (who also consulted on the recent sci-fi movie Ex Machina), tries to separate the fact from the fiction in the current debate over AI’s future.

The Best Robot “Butlers” at CES
It’s nice to know you don’t need Mark Zuckerberg’s billions to have your very own robot butler. That said, the various robot helpers on display at this year’s CES show in Vegas seem to fall a long way short of Iron Man’s J.A.R.V.I.S.