Robotics

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Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of automated machines known as robots. It also involves the computers systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.

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Subject of the week | Tell us about a technology you'd like to learn.
I'm fascinated by developments in Machine Learning and want to, heh, learn more about it. Not so much because I want to create Machine Learning systems myself—I have very little interest in the math involved—but so I can know how to leverage the sort of things that are being built. I easily envision the future of most work being about managing various bots and knowing how to apply them to higher level problem solving.

To get started on that path, I'm currently teaching myself Python (via several books on the subject) and would then transition into the use of it to dig deeper into the Machine Learning libraries. (And if I have to, even some refresher on the math... I did pass the AP calculus test, but that was 20 years ago!)

Any of you out there with more knowledge in these areas have some advice on this?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
Reminded me of this poignant note from XKCD
Thanks guys
Go out in style Cassini :)
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by:Phil M
Those NASA bods are so cruel.
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by:Brian Matis
Fascinating stuff! One wonders if we'll see movements like the Luddite rebellion again, or if we can do better about avoiding the sorts of economic problems & fears that gave rise to it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite
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2017ScholarshipWinners-SocialMedia-O.pngIntroducing our Summer 2017 Scholarship Winners announced by Experts Exchange owner, Randy! Check out their winning articles and videos.
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Trending Tech Everyone Should Know About - My Thoughts
I've been thinking about this subject for a few days now, trying to come up with something unusual. But the thing that keeps coming to mind—even though I feel it's an obvious answer that everyone already does know about—is Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning.

Why? Well first, it's technology that impacts everyone, regardless of how involved you are in the tech industry. I've got little doubt that we're right on the cusp of major social change as a result of machine learning—change as significant as the Industrial Revolution. We've got self-driving cars inevitably hitting the mainstream in the near future. There's cancer detection systems that are faster and more accurate than human analysts. AI systems being trained to defend against cyberattacks. Movie dialog being written by algorithms. The list goes on and on...

And second, while these advancements will absolutely push us forward in exciting new ways, they'll also destroy many jobs. And while that job loss can be terrifying, AI opens us up for entirely new sorts of jobs, major changes to the way work is done, and more that we can't even fully conceive of yet.

Will most knowledge workers of the future become "bot wranglers"? Will some sort of universal basic income
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You need to assemble a crack AI team: Where do you even start?

lego_heads_photo_via_shutterstock.jpg
AI is finding its way into every day business and government. The idea of AI is not a new, but what is different is that today's hardware and software is bringing the various concepts underpinning AI to a mass market.

What’s new, too, is the driver: from bots and digital assistants to autonomous vehicles Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Nvidia and others in Silicon Valley are setting a drum beat to which the rest of are marching.

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How machine learning enables your best employees to work 24/7

A recent incent industry report states that artificial intelligence and machine learning have great potential, but can’t yet match the breadth of human intelligence. While I would argue you can’t have one without the other, meaning humans are an integral part of both AI and machine learning, both of these technologies have the power to be better than any single employee.

Our CTO, Hal Lonas, talks Artificial Intelligence and machine learning with Information-Management.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
<  shhh .... we're not meant to talk about Fight Club ... ;)  >
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Came across this on Wired today:
https://www.wired.com/story/ai-will-make-forging-anything-entirely-too-easy
I highly recommend following the "Watch" link within; it leads to a video on YouTube of one of the researchers from Stanford editing a video of George W. Bush to insert new facial and speech expression in real time using an off-the-shelf webcam.
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by:Brian Matis
Yep... We're going to need entirely new techniques for determining and maintaining authenticity for things like this. Hey, maybe that can be one of those uses for quantum computing somehow... I'm also thinking blockchain solutions too (even though I really have a pretty weak grasp on blockchain, it does seem like a primary purpose is to help with data integrity.)

Photoshop brought about many similar problems for photography and all sorts of techniques have had to be created to detect when things are doctored.

But really, it's most important to always have a healthy level of skepticism... Even without any sort of editing of a photograph, it's easy to bend the truth just by what you choose to show in the frame!
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by:Ryan
This technology is scary, but it's coming whether we like it or not.
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Anyone else find it amusingly ironic that the spell check software in my browser doesn't recognize the word driverless?

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by:Craig Kehler
I'm a weird hybrid, probably due to author's I read and working internationally. Not worth any real concerted effort though with Typoglycemia and all. :)
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by:Jim Horn
Maybe there's some kind of 'MBA Buzzword Bingo' dictionary file that needs to be loaded.
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Curious where technology will take us in five years? This IBM infographic forecasts the top five innovations that may change the way live and interact with the world.

https://futurism.com/images/life-in-2022/
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This is one example of why driving cars is so complicated. There are huge amounts of variables to account for.
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by:Lucas Bishop
From what I've seen, Drop Bears confuse driverless cars as well.
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by:Brian Matis
@Lucas - I had never heard of Drop Bears before... Had to go look it up. I can certainly see why driverless cars get confused!
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This is so cool! I've already gone through some of the sections in Apple's Swift Playgrounds app and loved it, but this new support for programming robotic toys looks even more amazing and fun. Great way to get kids learning programming at an early age. (Ok, who am I kidding... I want this for myself!)

Any of you check out the Swift Playgrounds app or have any of these robots? Are you teaching your kids to program?
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by:Juana Villa
That is awesome! I did not know about it. I will definitely learn more about it to show it to my nephews and nieces.
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by:Dustin Saunders
But... does it come with a data spike?
dataSpike.jpg
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Has anyone checked out Judah vs. the Machines? As a 30 Rock fan, I enjoyed watching him go head-to-head against some pretty incredible and interesting AI systems.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/22/judah-vs-the-machines/
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by:Brian Matis
Looks interesting! He was great in 30 Rock, and this concept is right up my alley. I'll have to check it out; thanks for sharing!
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The role of marketing has made dramatic shifts over the last decade. With the prevalence of AI and more sophisticated business intelligence, the role of Chief Marketing Technologist has emerged to manage it all. Here's why the position matters, and how their expertise impacts the world of tech:
http://blog.experts-exchange.com/martech/chief-marketing-technologist-what-this-role-means-for-tech/
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by:Juana Villa
Interesting video!
I think that giving a human personality to a mission makes the public more interested on the mission, more likely to follow the mission and keep themselves up to date on the mission status. Unfortunately, this also shows how our society works and their lack of interest on reading a news article about it. Anyway, I don't think it is a bad thing because thanks to this new approach the public is aware of what scientists are doing.
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Ever had a chance to play around with a neural network? The TensorFlow team from Google put together a demo site that lets you mess around and get a feel for them without having to code anything. I like that your able to see what "feature" each group of neurons is learning and then composing together in order to achieve the output.
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Thought for the day: if you have an autonomous car and get pulled over for speeding, who pays the ticket? You or the car manufacturer?
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by:Dustin Saunders
@brian - That's an interesting question, I would assume that the cars actively can process a speed limit sign and then that data gets relayed back to Google after x number of verifications and the database gets changed permanently.

There are some other interesting problems to, come to think of it- for example, I wonder how the car would react to something like a construction worker either waving you on to move forward or holding up his hand to stop you.  

For a lot of things, there's going to need to be manual interaction- and I think the variable of liability will be in who the car's black box says was in control at the time.
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by:Justin Pierce, CEH
@Brian

Maybe car companies will work with the state to help pay for electronic signs that interact with their cars. The German automakers did this for the autobahn, making it a super safe place to drive. I was astonished when my rental car automatically pulled the speed limit from the passing signs, and put it on my HUD.
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We've got AI winning at poker, driving cars, and detecting cancer. And now, there's even one that just wrote all of David Hasslehoff's lines in a short sci-fi film about AI writing movies... Haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but posting here for later viewing.

https://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2017/04/an-ai-wrote-all-of-david-hasselhoffs-lines-in-this-demented-short-film/
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by:Brian Matis
Ok... had a chance to watch this last night. Was pretty darn weird... Had a bit of a "student film" vibe to it, but it was pretty entertaining to see the performances of the AI written dialog. I really would like to read through the script on its own, as the actors did a great job of selling the lines and I wonder if it would seem more like gibberish without the acting...
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In this poll of 158,000 people on how they felt about self-driving cars, ~30% said they’d "be very or extremely concerned about riding in a self-driving car" - unsure if the risks outweigh the benefits and cost.

Curious: does our community share that reservation?
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by:Brian Matis
What gets really interesting about all this is when you start to consider the classic philosophical / ethical issue of "the trolley problem". Are you ok with your robot car making a decision that puts you in danger in order to save more lives (like if you're on a collision course with a bunch of kids crossing the road and the car swerves to take you off the road...)
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by:Erin Wooddell
That's a really interesting and scary perspective to consider. I think it plays a lot into the human desire to control our own fate and outcome, even though when we're on the road with other drivers, our fate is oftentimes already not in our own hands.
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by:Brian Matis
Wow! That's awesome!
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by:Brian Matis
Also, if you want to see Machine Learning as an official topic on EE, go vote for it!
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Robotics

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Solutions

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Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of automated machines known as robots. It also involves the computers systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.

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