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We're doomed, all of us
China seems to have beat us to the punch when it comes to enlisting robots and AI to help fight crime. It's not quite on the level of Robo Cop, but the autonomous machine is still slightly deadly.
The Chinese National University of Defense has created a low-cost slightly intelligent robot that can patrol streets all on it's own. the 1.49-meter tall and 78kg robot can patrol the mean streets of China for about a maximum of 8 hours on battery at a speed of 18km/hour. It has a suite of sensors that can detect dangers so that it can even make actual arrests.
It's not just to patrol, either. In case of even greater threats, they've added a taser device to provide some electrical assistance to get people to comply. Thankfully, just in case it made the wrong choice, you can press the SOS button that's on the robot itself to get actual human assistance. I can't be the only one that sees a resemblance with the Dalek, right?
The researchers at CERN have just released an insane 300TB of data from the Large Hadron Collider, with the data itself from 2011.
A physicist who works on the Compact Muon Solenoid detector, Kati Lassila-Perini explains: "Once we've exhausted our exploration of the data, we see no reason not to make them available publicly. The benefits are numerous, from inspiring high school students to the training of the particle physicists of tomorrow. And personally, as CMS's data preservation coordinator, this is a crucial part of ensuring the long-term availability of our research data".
The raw data from the detectors, as well as the "derived" data sets can be used with tools released by CERN. There's even an entire CERN Linux environment, where you can boot up a virtual machine and start playing with scripts and apps.
China's National Space Administration officially began planning its mission to send a Martian rover into space back in January. In the three months since, the project has been picking up more and more steam, and now it's ahead of schedule with a projected launch of 2020.
If successful, China would join the US and Europe as the only countries to land an object on the Red Planet, assuming Europe is also successful with its ExoMars rover landing in 2019.
China is no stranger to space: it landed a rover on the Moon two years ago, attempted to orbit Mars with a spacecraft in 2011 (but failed), and sent astronaut Yang Liwei into space for a day in 2003.
DJI has been making some seriously good professional drones over the years, with its impressive Phantom series, but has just unveiled its latest is the Matrice 600, a hexacopter that is capable of adjusting how it flies automatically, depending on what camera is attached.
The M600 costs $4599, and is the latest drone in DJI's huge professional lineup that is a successor to its current "Spreading Wings" series, which are higher-end craft that include retractable landing gear, and a foldable design. The new M600 features dust-proof propellers, as well as self-cooling motors.
DJI's new M600 launches with an improved, robust A3 flight controller that will change flight parameters depending on what it's carrying, and the amazing Lightbridge 2 camera link. Lightbridge 2 delivers higher frame rates over 1080p live-streamed video back to the pilot, at up to 3 miles away.
We all know the future is filled with robots, so it should come as no surprise that the University of Science and Technology of China is showing off its impressively realistic robot, Jia Jia.
Jia Jia looks more human than previous robots, and is capable of interacting with real humans, and can make realistic facial impressions. Jia Jia can tell you if she senses that you're taking unflattering pictures of her, where she'll say: "Don't come too close to me when you are taking a picture. It will make my face look fat".
The researchers spent three years designing Jia Jia to make sure that her mouth moves when she speaks, and that her eyes glance around the room naturally. Jia Jia can't laugh or cry just yet, and her hands still don't look super realistic, yet. The next version of Jia Jia will look better, with the researchers continuing to work on the robot without any plans of mass production. Team leader Chen Xiaoping said they hope to give her deep learning and facial recognition in the near future.
I didn't think we'd see this for at least another 10 years, but the world's first cyborg Olympics (or Cybathlon) will happen in Zurich in October, this year. The event was created as a way of creating innovation in the industry, where only a few eligible for prostheses actually use them. A trial event took place last year, and was a success.
The Cybathlon will measure the performance of the latest developments in technology that assist people with disabilities in everyday tasks. The modifications done to humans are encouraged at the Cybathlon, compared to the normal Olympics where athletes with enhancements are considered to have an unfair advantage - and as I write this, it feels like I'm explaining some future DLC of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) is organizing the event where in a cycling race (as an example) paraplegics will be pushed forward using electrical stimulation systems that will move their legs by stimulating the muscles. If competitors have prosthetic arms, contests will see them slicing loaves of bread and opening jars of jam. Other events will include people climbing up and down stairs, or walking across stepping stones.
Skynet has begun its takeover, of the library. Future University of Hakodate researchers have announced that their artificial intelligence has co-written a short-form novel, and it's been accepted by a Japanese story competition.
The short-form novel co-written by the AI has been accepted by the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award, and while the story didn't win the competition, its acceptance is a huge win for AI systems becoming more capable of reaching human-like creativity.
The team was led by computer science professor Hitoshi Matsubara, who worked closely with their AI during the writing process. The team assigned a gender to the protagonist in the novel, and then developed a rough outline of the plot. The team created a list of words, phrases, and sentences to be included with the story. The AI has the job of assembling the distinct assets into a unified text that was just intelligible, but compelling, as well.
New Zealand robotics company Rex Bionics is on a mission to make wheelchairs a thing of the past. Its 'Rex' project -- which lets disabled persons walk with the use of a robotic leg device -- is already in the prototype stage and is impressive.
It does more than simply let you walk, too: sitting in a wheelchair so often on a daily basis is a lot of pressure on the body and reduces bone density, but due to its design, none of this is an issue with the Rex.
The device is slow and somewhat bulky, but represents a remarkable feat and a great starting point for the company and others in the industry to work from.
Yesterday Microsoft launched its teen girl 'Tay' Twitter AI. It's designed to interact with followers and become smarter for it, so naturally it was doomed to fail. Within 24 hours, the Internet transformed it into a pro-Hitler sex robot, as the Internet is wont to do.
The tweets in question are deleted now, but screencaps like those below give you a healthy idea of what occurred. Warning: they're not for the easily offended.
Google parent company Alphabet Inc. have decided its robotics outfit Boston Dynamics isn't likely to produce marketable products anytime soon and as such, have put it up for sale, two sources familiar with the matter say.
The rumor is in line with accidentally leaked e-mails which indicate Google's concern with the viability of the company. The public reaction to the Atlas robot revealed last month could be a factor in the decision as well; the e-mails do well to show Google's worry.
"There's excitement from the tech press, but we're also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans' jobs," wrote Courtney Hohne, a director of communications at Google and the spokeswoman for advanced research group Google X.