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I'm sorry, Dave.

Dialled in

If you’re a tech geek worth your salt, you’ll know there are some pretty awesome robots out there, you’ll see the gradual progression in AI technology and probably have come to one conclusion: We’re not too far away from machines becoming smarter and more able than we are.

How close exactly is hard to put a number on, but some estimate advanced machines helping us out, walking our dogs and doing our washing by as early as 2025.

Sound like science fiction? You’re not wrong; though remember aeroplanes seemed a preposterous idea in 1900. As Tim Peake took his very own spacewalk last week science fiction is becoming science fact and hopefully this look at just how advanced our machines are becoming will transport you dead-set into the middle of a sci-fi blockbuster.

First up, let’s look at Pepper, the household assistant with the ability to recognise emotions, play games and entertain the family (It’s been on sale in Japan for around six months). Pepper’s 20 motors all with highly articulated arms make its display of human emotion fairly impressive.

Priced at £1000 (198,000 yen) it becomes a rather expensive toy, but a good step forward in the way of consumer robotics.

Now for the most famous humanoid robot in the World, Asimo who has frankly mind blowing features. His/her hardware uses sensors to replicate each of our senses, with two cameras as eyes that allow it to recognise and remember faces, eight microphones that allow it to understand three requests for different drinks at once and touch sensors in its fingers so it can gauge the density of objects. Its intelligence and advanced kinetic tech will then allow it to run along to the coffee machine for you without bumping into co-workers. Asimo truly is a piece of engineering genius; good luck getting one though, Honda’s been working on this bot in secret since 1986!

As advanced as these may appear the one thing missing so far is the ability to think like a human. Machines think how we programme them to think, and by that logic, they can only ever be as smart as we are. That is until we can develop a robotic brain. IBM has been trying with their answer to C-3PO – Watson.

Watson is computer software like none other; it uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. You can ‘tell’ it to learn something, or perform a complex data task and it’ll do it in a fraction of the time it would take one of us. It can be a cognitive aid, it can analyse medical data in seconds and it can even manifest itself in robotic technology, and it’s done just that by teaming up with Pepper to learn Japanese.

 

Interested? Check out Pepper, Asimo, Watson and let us know what you think about AI and robo-tech in the comments below.

 

Alessandro Volta
We can only hope VM give Watson some "Deep Thought" when renegotiating their Offshore Callcentre support contracts? Apparently they reckon there's nothing wrong with them? Perhaps they should take a lesson from Watsons great great grandfather (Thomas J Sr) who once quoted: "It's better to seek perfection and miss it than to aim for imperfection and hit it" 😉
Dialled in

Thanks for the comment horseman - I love that quote, it's a personal fave of mine. Who needs a telephone when we have a community as good as this eh 😉

Superfast

 


This is such a great post! Since reading it I've become almost addicted to watching video's of the latest robo-technology and OMG there are so many that are freakin AWESOME!  I think Asimo is my favourite, but there are so many others that astound me..I had no idea that they had come so far

Some of the humanoid ones are so realistic that I can see why people get nervous .. ever watch Humans the series?  WAAH HAHA!! 😄

Honestly, I am fascinated by them and find myself in a constant state of awe at not only the technology, but the genius and creativity behind it!  Some people are awesome!  Having said that, there are a sordid few, unfortunately, that  make me cringe and dismay at human nature.. but UGH!  what can you say? ce la vie!! On the whole I'm pretty impressed and very excited with the whole concept behind Watson.. In the right hands, it could evolve into a miraculous oracle,  answering questions that we thought were impossible to answer, finding cures for all diseases and solving just about every problem we have and giving us more than we ever imagined 😄 I don't want to imagine it evolving any other way!

 

Alessandro Volta
"Some of the humanoid ones are so realistic that I can see why people get nervous .. ever watch Humans the series? WAAH HAHA!! Smiley Very Happy" @Curly - Rumour has it that Social Media/Forum Team actually used these to supplement their skilled resource gap last year as we still haven't seen all the Teams photo's yet. (Albeit some do appear to be wearing very plastic expressions so not sure they're all human?) 😛
Superfast

LOL! Smiley Very Happy   Oh well, being human isn't all it's cracked up to be! 🙂

Alessandro Volta
My positronic presence cannot dispute the logic of your latest revelation....
Superfast

Data? is that you??  😄

Up to speed

I met a very friendly robot yesterday in the Manchester Art Gallery. While it wasn't conversant, it did seem to acknowledge visitors as they entered the gallery. Now, would love to see what it can do with a Hoover!

Wonderful exhibit if you haven't seen it yet.

http://manchesterartgallery.org/exhibitions-and-events/exhibition/the-imitation-game/

Alessandro Volta
"I met a very friendly robot yesterday in the Manchester Art Gallery. While it wasn't conversant, it did seem to acknowledge visitors as they entered the gallery. Now, would love to see what it can do with a Hoover!" I'd be more interested to see what it can do with a paintbrush! 😛
Superfast

Thank you for the link hackneydave , what an awesomed exhibit!! I'd love to see that! 🙂  Did the robot interact with you in any way? The article says it interacts in some suprising and intriguing ways..  very tantalizing! 😄  Did you have the opportunity to have a conversation with Agent Ruby?  Sounds fantastic!  😄