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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Contextual Robotics

From NBC - The University of California, San Diego has announced plans to start a Contextual Robotics Institute, bringing together top academics from its schools of engineering and social science.
With the institute, the university hopes to design machines that function better with, and act friendlier toward, human beings.
The goal is to make robotic systems that function in the real world based on the contextual information they perceive, in real time.
San Diego is making new inroads as a robotics hub. You might want to also peruse this article from the Union Tribune from three days past, UCSD to create robots that see, think and do.
UC San Diego is creating a robotics institute that will develop machines that can interpret everything from subtle facial expressions to walking styles to size up what people are thinking, doing and feeling.
The “See-Think-Do” technology is largely meant to anticipate and fulfill people’s everyday needs, especially the soaring number of older Americans who want to live out their lives in their own homes.
In particular, UC San Diego has been developing the sort of software and sensors that would be needed to unobtrusively monitor the health and well-being of an elderly or disabled person living in their home. The goal: allow people to “age in place” — a place they desire.
Researchers have created facial recognition programs that can detect an array of emotions, from joy and sadness to surprise, disgust and contempt. The campus also developed software that assesses how much pain a person is feeling.
The software has emerged at the same time that researchers nationwide have been developing wireless sensors that can detect everything from whether a person is moving normally to whether they’re taking prescription pills and making it to the bathroom. Some of the sensors are wearable. Others can be embedded in things like household appliances, furniture, and flooring.
These are exciting times and I can see the value in robotic friends that can both sense and dole out emotion, maybe even laugh at my jokes. I have long envisioned an auto gps system that gets a little bitchier if it has to tell you a second time. And if my sexy robotic playmate wants to tell me how handsome I am looking, I say, what's the harm in that?

Seriously, the advent of machines that both sense and react to human emotion is a game changer. Invent one with a dark sense of humor and I will plotz.

A very interesting comment on the U-T article from one Gary Reber. Taxpayers fund these things but private parties reap the benefits. Hmmm. Follow the $.


Here is an earlier article that introduces you to some of the principals involved at the new Robotics hub.

Stemming and hummingbird - Google's RankBrain algorithm.

An article and edited interview with Ramesh Rao, director of the UC San Diego division of Calit2.

Roxxxy

Intelligent machines: Call for a ban on robots designed as sex toys

The following is from one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, The Lonely, with Jack Warden playing Corrie and Jean Marsh as Alicia. A prisoner on a distant planet is reluctant to leave without his distaff robotic companion. Who wouldn't fall for such a gorgeous package of diodes and resistors?

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

Roxxy is coming, run away! Run away!