It looks like Facebook's investments into artificial intelligence are going to be quite important in the years to come, with Mark Zuckerberg confirming that Facebook's AI could outperform humans within 10 years. Facebook's AI system has been dubbed M, after James Bond's secretary, Moneypenny.
During an interview with Fast Company, the Facebook CEO and founder said that the social network's investments into AI are extensive. Zuckerberg hoped that the AI would eventually organize diaries, and recognize pictures of friends and family automatically. Zuckerberg said: "One of our goals for the next five to 10 years. is to basically get better than human level at all of the primary human senses: vision, hearing, language, general cognition". Zuckerberg added: "Taste and smell, we're not that worried about".
Facebook wants to take advantage of the huge amount of data that people producing every day, with Facebook's VP of Engineering Jay Parikh adding: "There's just going to be a lot more data generated about what's happening in the world, and the conventional models and systems that we have today won't scale. If there's 10x or 20x or 50x more things happening around you in the world, then you're going to need these really, really intelligent systems like".
Japan wants to show off the latest in its lander technology, so the Japanese government's space agency has announced plans for an unmanned mission to the moon for 2019.
Once it touches down on the moon, Japan will be the fourth country to have conducted an unmanned moon landing. Before them, China touched down in 2013, and before that we saw the US and Russia with missions to our moon. Japan's lunar lander will be developed with brand new technology that will allow it to land within 100m of its initial mark. Previous missions from competing countries have a much wider margin.
Japan will also use other technologies to improve the accuracy, with a facial recognition system that will observe the surface of the moon to help make its required adjustments. The development of the new lander will begin next year.
A little more than a year ago, Orbital Sciences and NASA teamed up to launch the Antares rocket from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The unmanned mission -- intended to deliver food and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS) -- was not successful: the rocket exploded within seconds of launching. The ISS was said to be "in no danger of running out of food or other critical supplies", however.
While unfortunate, the event did produce some stunning photographs, which NASA released last week. Our choice favourites are below; you can see the full batch of photos in extremely high resolution here.
The NFL is an impressively progressive organization technology-wise, recently implementing the use of sensors in shoulder pads to deliver player data, tiny digital cameras, Surface tablets, and Internet feeds are now used for replays instead of the slower tape and radio technology, and virtual reality is being tested for player training and looked into for broadcasting.
Now the NFL -- specifically, its head of football technology John Cave -- is thinking about even more strides. That is, a future where ball sensors determine whether a player had possession prior to a fumble, or whether his foot was out of bounds -- calls like these are among the most contentious in the league. He sees this possibly happening within five to 10 years.
Scientists at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science have created a new type of glass that is insanely strong, where it is almost as hard as steel.
Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo, Atsunobu Masuno, said: "We will establish a way to mass-produce the new material shortly. We are looking to commercialize the technique within five years". This breakthrough is significant, as it could, and most likely will lead to the development of much tougher windows, and so much more.
How does the new glass work? The Asahi Shimbun reports: "Oxide glass mainly consists of silicon dioxide, with its strength boosted by mixing in alumina, an oxide of aluminum. But it had been difficult for scientists to form glass containing a large amount of alumina because the oxide causes crystallization when the glass comes into contact with its container".
The scientists went around this problem by using a containerless processing technique. The scientists used gas to push the chemical components into the air, where they were then able to synthesize it to form the glass. From there, the glass was colorless, transparent, super touch, with 50% of it being composed of alumina. The modulus of the new glass, the indicator of rigidity, was twice as high compared to typical oxide glass and nearly the same level as steel and iron.
Yamaha doesn't just build guitars, it also builds robots riding motorcycles, apparently. That's the case with its "Motobot" which it showed off at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.
The long-term goal is to have Motobot ride an unmodified motorcycle autonomously at over 200 km/h. As you can see in the video above, much progress has been made.
The second annual Love and Sex with Robots conference was scheduled to be held in Malayasia this year, a conscious choice related to the Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE) conference being held there as well. But Malayasian authorities were much less welcoming to the former, and shut it down and banned it before it began.
Topics that were to be discussed include "teledildonics," "intelligent electronic sex hardware," and "roboethics."
While its organizers defend the conference as academic, authorities were put off by the title, saying, "It is an offense to have anal sex in Malaysia, what more with robots." Public backlash encouraged in part by media was abound, which in part, provoked the police response. It should be noted Malaysia is a deeply religious country.
It looks like the US government wants to put its stamp of approval on any drones you own, with a report from NBC News indicating that the Obama administration is ready to announce new plans for drones.
The new plans would see drone owners needing to register their drones with the Department of Transport, so that they can make sure you don't fly your drone into any aircraft coming in, and out of airports. I don't know how registering your drone would stop that, apart from the government being able to better identify who owns the drone, but what do I know.
The new plan is expected to be announced as soon as Monday, with the DoT wanting to get drone registration happening by Christmas - just in time for those aerial drones wrapped up under the tree.
Low-cost robotic hands maker Open Bionics has teamed up with Disney to create Disney-themed robotic hands for kids. The current designs are based on Iron Man, Frozen, and Star Wars, with more planned.
The idea here, of course, is to turn a disability into something empowering, even moreso than a standard prosthetic. By the looks of the designs, it should succeed wildly.
It should be noted Disney has very generously providing royalty free licenses and donating the free time of its creative teams to help the project.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) isn't your ordinary school: the final assignment for students of Sertac Karaman's Rapid Autonomous Complex-Environment Competing Ackermann-steering Robot (RACECAR) class is building robots and racing them one by one in a competition for the best time.
The cars, NVIDIA is happy to note, are designed with the company's Jetson TK1 embededded computer, which "helps the 1:10-scale cars deploy the open-source Robot Operating System, assess their environment and develop a language to help them race the fastest while careening around the course."
Karaman, who is the assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, has extensive education on embedded computer systems found in airplanes, drones, autonomous cars, and other vehicles, so he thought he'd try his hand at robots, too. The results have been a wild success among students, and as such, he'll be putting off an even bigger event next year that will pit cars with GPU-powered stereo cameras and feature detection against each other in a proper Formula 1-style race.