Rodney Brooks

27 results back to index


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Singer, November 17, 2006. 130 Special forces roles were felt Robert Finkelstein and James Albus, “Technology Assessment of Autonomous Intelligent Bipedal and Other Legged Robots” (DARPA, 2004). 130 “As technology advances” Ibid. 130 “2035 [that] we will have robots” Ibid. 131 “Common sense is not a simple thing” Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York: Viking, 2005), 177. 131 our “emotional intelligence” Ibid., 191. 131 Rod Brooks of MIT and iRobot predicts Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 22. 131 “My job will be eliminated” As quoted by David Bruemmer, “Intelligent Autonomy for Unmanned Vehicles,” paper presented at the Military Robotics Conference, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, Washington, DC, April 10-12, 2006. 131 “Asking whether robots” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, Washington, DC, October 30, 2006. 132 Haile, a robot musician Gil Weinberg and Scott Driscoll, “Haile,” 2006 (cited July 7, 2007); available at http://www-static.cc.gatech.edu/~gilwein/Haile.htm 132 understand and interact with human musicians Matthew Abshire, “Musical Robot Composes, Performs and Teaches,” CNN.com, October 3, 2006 (cited October 3 2006); available at http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/10/03/musical.robot/index.html 132 “I firmly believe” H.

Eric Drexler, “Nanotechnology: Six Lessons from Sept. 11,” Open Letter, Foresight Institute, December 2001. 422 “We’ve got to be pro-active” Ibid. 422 “We have to manage the ethics” Habershon and Woods, “No Sex Please, Robot, Just Clean the Floor.” 422 “Ethicists have written at length” Nick Bostrom, “Nanotechnology Perceptions: A Review of Ultraprecision,” Nanotechnology Perceptions: A Review of Ultraprecision Engineering and Nanotechnology 2, no. 2 (2006). 423 “People ask me about” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 30, 2006. 423 “Asimov’s rules are neat” Daniel Wilson, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 19, 2006. 423 “realized during a robot exhibition” “Trust Me, I’m a Robot,” Economist 379, no. 8481 (2006): 20. 423 “You don’t want to tell” Mark Barber, “Force Protection Robotics,” paper presented at the Military Robotics Conference, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, Washington, DC, April 10-12, 2006. 423 “There is a lot of push” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 30, 2006. 424 “Businesses are notoriously uninterested” Robert Sawyer, “On Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics,” 1994 (cited November 1, 2007); available at http://www.sfwriter.com/rmasilaw.htm 424 “We can’t simply do our science” Bill Joy, “Forfeiting the Future,” Resurgence no. 208 (2001), http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/issues/joy208.htm 424 “I gave him a six-foot extension cord” Roger Nygard, “Grief Counseling,” The Office, produced by B.

The difference at iRobot is that the obligatory corporate board-room doubles as a small museum of robots and every so often a loud thump comes from a robot crashing into the wall. When I arrive for my visit, some of the employees are testing out a tracked robot, driving it down the hallway with a jury-rigged Xbox video game controller. Think Office Space crossed with Asimov. iRobot was founded in 1990 by three MIT computer geeks, Colin Angle, the CEO, Helen Greiner, the chairman of the board, and Rodney Brooks, their former professor, who doubled as chief technical officer. Brooks was already considered one of the world’s leading experts on robotics and artificial intelligence, Greiner would eventually be named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and Angle’s work would become so influential that his undergrad thesis paper ended up at the Smithsonian. iRobot, though, was no sure thing at the start.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Sutton, “Knowing ‘What’ to Do Is Not Enough: Turning Knowledge into Action,” California Management Review 42, no. 1 (1999). 22.Ben Shneiderman, “List of Influences: Ben Shneiderman,” eagereyes, December 16, 2011, http://eagereyes.org/influences/ben-shneiderman. 23.Tandy Trower, “A Parting Salute to Cliff Nass—Social Interface Pioneer and Good Friend,” Hoaloha Robotics, November 19, 2013, http://blog.hoaloharobotics.com/2013/11/19/a-parting-salute-to-cliff-nass-social-interface-pioneer-and-good-friend. 24.Tandy Trower, “Bob and Beyond: A Microsoft Insider Remembers,” Technologizer, March 29, 2010, http://www.technologizer.com/2010/03/29/bob-and-beyond-a-microsoft-insider-remembers. 25.Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Vintage, 1996), 101. 26.Ben Shneiderman and Pattie Maes, “Direct Manipulation vs. Interface Agents: Excerpts from Debates at IUI 97 and CHI 97,” Association for Computing Machinery Interactions, November-December 1997, http://ritter.ist.psu.edu/misc/dirk-files/Papers/HRI-papers/User%20interface%20design%20issues/Direct%20manipulation%20vs.%20interface%20agents.pdf. 27.Ibid. 6|COLLABORATION 1.Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 28. 2.Ibid., 29. 3.Ibid., 31. 4.Rodney Brooks, “Elephants Don’t Play Chess,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 6 (1990): 3–15, people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/elephants.ps.Z. 5.Ibid. 6.Brooks, Flesh and Machines, 31. 7.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), 132. 8.R. H. MacMillan, Automation: Friend or Foe, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956), 1. 9.Levy, Hackers, 130. 10.Lee Felsenstein, “The Golemic Approach,” LeeFelsenstein.com, http://www.leefelsenstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Golemic_Approach_MS.pdf. 11.Ibid., 4. 12.Evgeny Morozov, “Making It,” New Yorker, January 13, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2014/01/13/140113crat_atlarge_morozov?

In one sense it is the ultimate religious belief in the power of technology-driven exponential curves, an idea that has been explored by Robert Geraci in Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. There he finds fascinating sociological parallels between singularity thinking and a variety of messianic religious traditions.39 The singularity hypothesis also builds on the emergent AI research pioneered by Rodney Brooks, who first developed a robotics approach based on building complex systems out of collections of simpler parts. Both Kurzweil in How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed and Jeff Hawkins in his earlier On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines attempt to make the case that because the simple biological “algorithms” that are the basis for human intelligence have been discovered, it is largely a matter of “scaling up” to engineer intelligent machines.

That conversation led to Beckman funding Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as a Beckman Instruments subsidiary, but passing on the opportunity to purchase Shockley’s robotic eye. Shockley had written his proposal to replace workers with robots amid the nation’s original debate over “automation,” a term popularized by John Diebold in his 1952 book Automation: The Advent of the Automatic Factory. Shockley’s prescience was so striking that when Rodney Brooks, himself a pioneering roboticist at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the 1970s, read Brock’s article in IEEE Spectrum in 2013, he passed Shockley’s original 1951 memo around his company, Rethink Robotics, and asked his employees to guess when the memo had been written. No one came close. That memo predates by more than a half century Rethink’s Baxter robot, introduced in the fall of 2012.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

Professor Breazeal is trying to build an autonomous, social robot – a robot we’d be happy to treat as a living (if not breathing) entity and not just an arrangement of servos, computers and sensors. She wants to create a personality we can interact and work with, even be friends with – to all intents and purposes, an intelligent, social, multipurpose machine. This scares the hell out of a lot of people. As Breazeal’s former mentor, the restive, maverick genius Rodney Brooks, opens his book Robot: The Future of Flesh and Machines: ‘As these robots get smarter, some people worry about what will happen when they get really smart. Will they decide that we humans are useless and stupid and take over the world from us?’ We’re weaned on a diet of Hollywood movies that generally cast future robots as perilous weapons of war and aggression (The Terminator) or scheming murderers (like the iconic HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey), with only the occasional Wall-E as light relief.

I would never say that what we’re doing with these robots is somehow explaining what humans are really doing.’ In 1997, IBM’s computer Deep Blue beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. This is seen, rightly, as a landmark moment in AI research, but it’s part of an old AI tradition of trying to get machines to replicate highly intellectual ‘symbolic’ reasoning (the sort you need to master algebra, for instance, and the kind of tasks revered, says Rodney Brooks, by ‘highly educated male scientists’). It’s no coincidence that the frontiers of AI research seem to have been populated with computers that get ever better at playing chess. But the big elephant in the room for this kind of AI research is that Elephants Don’t Play Chess (this being the title of a paper Brooks wrote in 1990), but they do do any number of ‘common-sense’ things that machines can’t – as can dogs, cats and preschool children.

At this point we hope they feel some responsibility for their ancestors and don’t break us down for raw materials, try to hunt us to extinction (Terminator) or (yes, Matrix fans) use us for batteries. They rule us, and our fate will be in their hands. Option three is that man and machine merge. As I found out during my chat with Nick Bostrom, this is already happening. In the opening pages of Robot, Rodney Brooks writes, ‘Recently, I was confronted with a researcher in our lab, a double-leg amputee, stepping off the elevator that I was waiting for. From the knees up he was all human, from the knees down he was robot.’ In late 2009, Robin af Ekenstam became the first recipient of ‘SmartHand’ – a prosthetic mechanical hand that not only replicates the movement of its human equivalent, but also provides Robin with a sense of touch (the replacement hand is wired to existing nerve endings in the stump left after he lost his original hand to cancer).


pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce

And if you say to brick, ‘Look, arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel over you, what do you think of that, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I’d like an arch.’” See Nathaniel Kahn, My Architect: A Son’s Journey (New Yorker Films, 2003). 17 Rodney Brooks, cited in “MIT: ‘Creating a Robot So Alive You Feel Bad About Switching It Off’—a Galaxy Classic,” The Daily Galaxy, December 24, 2009, www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/12/there-is-ongoing-debate-about-what-constitutes-life-synthetic-bacteria-for-example-are-created-by-man-and-yet-also-alive. html (accessed June 4, 2010). 18 Cynthia Breazeal and Rodney Brooks both make the point that robot emotions do not have to be like human ones. They should be judged on their own merits. See Cynthia Breazeal and Rodney Brooks (2005). “Robot Emotion: A Functional Perspective,” in J.-M. Fellous and M. Arbib (eds.) Who Needs Emotions: The Brain Meets the Robot, MIT Press. 271-310.

I did much of the work reported here under the auspices of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. I thank all of my colleagues and students who worked with the initiative and in the Program for Science, Technology, and Society, which is its academic home. I have profited from their support and good ideas. Collegial relationships across MIT have enriched my thinking and been sources of much appreciated practical assistance. Rodney Brooks provided me with an office at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to help me get the lay of the land. He gave me the best possible start. Cynthia Breazeal and Brian Scassellati, the principal developers of Kismet and Cog, worked with me on the first-encounters study that introduced sixty children to these robots. These two generous colleagues helped me to think through so many of the issues in this book.

For Kara, “That is not what I do.... In that moment, the Furby comes to represent how I treat creatures.” When the toy manufacturer Hasbro introduced its My Real Baby robot doll in 2000, it tried to step away from these complex matters. My Real Baby shut down in situations where a real baby might feel pain. This was in contrast to its prototype, a robot called “IT,” developed by a team led by MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks. “IT” evolved into “BIT” (for Baby IT), a doll with “states of mind” and facial musculature under its synthetic skin to give it expression.13 When touched in a way that would induce pain in a child, BIT cried out. Brooks describes BIT in terms of its inner states:If the baby were upset, it would stay upset until someone soothed it or it finally fell asleep after minutes of heartrending crying and fussing.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Bartholomew’s Hospital Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate, University of Texas at Austin Frank Wilczek, Nobel laureate, MIT Amir Aczel, author of Uranium Wars Buzz Aldrin, former NASA astronaut, second man to walk on the moon Geoff Andersen, research associate, United States Air Force Academy, author of The Telescope Jay Barbree, NBC news correspondent, coauthor of Moon Shot John Barrow, physicist, University of Cambridge, author of Impossibility Marcia Bartusiak, author of Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony Jim Bell, professor of astronomy, Cornell University Jeffrey Bennet, author of Beyond UFOs Bob Berman, astronomer, author of Secrets of the Night Sky Leslie Biesecker, chief of Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Institutes of Health Piers Bizony, science writer, author of How to Build Your Own Spaceship Michael Blaese, former National Institutes of Health scientist Alex Boese, founder of Museum of Hoaxes Nick Bostrom, transhumanist, University of Oxford Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, Institute for Space and Security Studies Lawrence Brody, chief of the Genome Technology Branch, National Institutes of Health Rodney Brooks, former director, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Lester Brown, founder of Earth Policy Institute Michael Brown, professor of astronomy, Caltech James Canton, founder of Institute for Global Futures, author of The Extreme Future Arthur Caplan, director, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania Fritjof Capra, author of The Science of Leonardo Sean Carroll, cosmologist, Caltech Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut George Church, director, Center for Computational Genetics, Harvard Medical School Thomas Cochran, physicist, Natural Resources Defense Council Christopher Cokinos, science writer, author of The Fallen Sky Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health Vicki Colvin, director of Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, Rice University Neil Comins, author of The Hazards of Space Travel Steve Cook, director of Space Technologies, Dynetics, former NASA spokesperson Christine Cosgrove, author of Normal at Any Cost Steve Cousins, president and CEO, Willow Garage Brian Cox, physicist, University of Manchester, BBC science host Phillip Coyle, former assistant secretary of defense, U.S.

MERGING WITH ROBOTS In addition to friendly AI, there is also another option: merging with our creations. Instead of simply waiting for robots to surpass us in intelligence and power, we should try to enhance ourselves, becoming superhuman in the process. Most likely, I believe, the future will proceed with a combination of these two goals, i.e., building friendly AI and also enhancing ourselves. This is an option being explored by Rodney Brooks, former director of the famed MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has been a maverick, overturning cherished but ossified ideas and injecting innovation into the field. When he entered the field, the top-down approach was dominant in most universities. But the field was stagnating. Brooks raised a few eyebrows when he called for creating an army of insectlike robots that learned via the bottom-up approach by bumping into obstacles.

Now, he believes, there is no such thing. Evolution haphazardly cobbled together a bunch of techniques we collectively call consciousness. Take apart the brain, and you find a loose collection of minibrains, each designed to perform a specific task. He calls this the “society of minds”: that consciousness is actually the sum of many separate algorithms and techniques that nature stumbled upon over millions of years. Rodney Brooks was also looking for a similar paradigm, but one that had never been fully explored before. He soon realized that Mother Nature and evolution had already solved many of these problems. For example, a mosquito, with only a few hundred thousand neurons, can outperform the greatest military robotic system. Unlike our flying drones, mosquitoes, with brains smaller than the head of a pin, can independently navigate around obstacles, find food and mates.


pages: 280 words: 75,820

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Build a better mousetrap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, fundamental attribution error, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, music of the spheres, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Walter Mischel

In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller describes the final courtesy that even the failed, deluded, doomed Willy Loman deserves, because “he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.” Because it’s impossible to communicate, much less bond, with someone who can’t or won’t focus on you, that capacity is crucial even to exchanges between people and the interactive robots designed to do their bidding. For that reason, MIT’s Rodney Brooks, founder of iRobot, is particularly proud of Mertz, a mechanical grandchild created by his former student Lijin Aryananda, because the fetching machine adeptly expresses “beingness” by paying attention to you and engaging your attention to . . . it? Her? Mertz’s most distinctive features are the big, blinking eyes, emphasized by strong brows, that dominate its childlike, Kewpie doll head. Behind these baby blues are camera sensors programmed to recognize and respond to human faces.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll visit my ninety-four-year-old mother, Winnie, who is becoming very frail in body and mind and is once again in a nursing home. To paraphrase John Milton, “Heaven or hell?” It will depend on what we focus on. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For their contributions to our understanding of attention and for kindly sharing their insights with me, I wish to thank George Ainslie, Marie Banich, Aaron Beck, Marlene Behrmann, George Bonanno, Thomas Bradbury, Rodney Brooks, Bill Brown, Fred Bryant, Laura Carstensen, Javier Castellanos, Tanya Chartrand, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, Richard Davidson, Edward Deci, Angela Duckworth, Dugu Choegyal Rinpoche, Carol Dweck, Barbara Fredrickson, Howard Gardner, Joseph Giunta, Scott Hagwood, Shannon Howell, Amishi Jha, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Kahneman, Ellen Langer, Marsel Mesulam, Richard Nisbett, Donald Norman, Elinor Ochs, James Pawelski, Chris Peterson, Gail Posner, Michael Posner, Lobsang Rapgay, Mary Rothbart, Paul Rozin, Oliver Schultheiss, Barry Schwartz, Paschal Sheeran, Ann Treisman, and Leslie Ungerleider.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

The really hard problem in AI is coding sensing and action. According to cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, this is the most significant discovery about AI.31 It suggests that in the second machine age, while lawyers and doctors may struggle on social benefits, gardeners and janitors will remain in business and thrive. But why is this so? Many AI researchers, including former MIT professor and current robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, point out that human sensorimotor skills are not related to cognition but are the product of millions of years of evolution.32 Despite the success achieved in AI by approaching the problem of intelligence from a different angle (the ‘aeroplane’ way), one would really need to reverse-engineer evolution in order to reproduce the full capabilities of a human brain including self-awareness and high-levels of consciousness.

As the ultimate victors, they had become the robotic fauna of the planet, responding aggressively and spontaneously to any threat. Lem was keen to argue in his novel that evolution does not necessarily lead to a species with superior intellect. Human evolution can only be regarded as accidental. Perhaps on another planet, like Regis III, nanorobots have taken over from their creators? Perhaps Regis III is Earth in the future? ‘Nouvelle AI’, a concept championed by robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks, argues that instead of trying to reproduce human intelligence in AI, we should focus on creating robots possessed of an insect-like intelligence that is capable of evolving.8 Nanotechnologists, like the visionary Eric Drexler,9 see the future of intelligent machines at the level of molecules: tiny robots that evolve and – as happens in Lem’s novel – which come together to form intelligent superorganisms.

AD 50: Hero of Alexandria designs first mechanical automata. 1275: Ramon Lull invents Ars Magna, a logical machine. 1637: Descartes declares cogito ergo sum (‘I think therefore I am’). 1642: Blaise Pascal invents the Pascaline, a mechanical cal-culator. 1726: Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver’s Travels, which includes the description of a machine that can write any book. 1801: Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a textiles loom that uses punched cards. 1811: Luddite movement in Great Britain against the auto-mation of manual jobs. 1818: Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein. 1835: Joseph Henry invents the electronic relay that allows electrical automation and switching. 1842: Charles Babbage lectures at the University of Turin, where he describes the Analytical Engine. 1843: Ada Lovelace writes the first computer program. 1847: George Boole invents symbolic and binary logic. 1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. 1879: Thomas Edison invents the light bulb. 1879: Gottlob Frege invents predicate logic and calculus. 1910: Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead publish Principia Mathematica. 1917: Karel Capek coins the term ‘robot’ in his play R.U.R. 1921: Ludwig Wittgenstein publishes Tractatus Logico-philosopicus. 1931: Kurt Gödel publishes The Incompleteness Theorem. 1937: Alan Turing invents the ‘Turing machine’. 1938: Claude Shannon demonstrates that symbolic logic can be implemented using electronic relays. 1941: Konrad Zuse constructs Z3, the first Turing-complete computer. 1942: Alan Turing and Claude Shannon work together at Bell Labs. 1943: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts demonstrate the equivalence between electronics and neurons. 1943: IBM funds the construction of Harvard Mark 1, the first program-controlled calculator. 1943: Charles Wynn-Williams and others create the computer Colossus at Bletchley Park. 1945: John von Neumann suggests a computer architecture whereby programs are stored in the memory. 1946: ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is built. 1947: Invention of the transistor at Bell Labs. 1948: Norbert Wiener publishes Cybernetics. 1950: Alan Turing proposes the ‘Turing Test’. 1950: Isaac Asimov publishes I, Robot. 1952: Alan Turing commits suicide with cyanide-laced apple. 1952: Herman Carr produces the first one-dimensional MRI image. 1953: Claude Shannon hires Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy at Bell Labs. 1953: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations pub-lished in German (two years after his death). 1956: The Dartmouth conference; the term ‘Artificial Intel-ligence’ is coined by John McCarthy. 1957: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon build the ‘General Problem Solver’. 1958: John McCarthy creates LISP programming language. 1959: John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky establish AI lab at MIT. 1963: The US government awards $2.2 million to AI lab at MIT for machine-aided cognition. 1965: Hubert Dreyfus argues against the possibility of Artificial Intelligence. 1969: Stanley Kubrick introduces HAL in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1971: Leon Chua envisions the memristor. 1972: Alain Colmerauer develops Prolog programming language. 1973: The Lighthill report influences the British government to abandon research in AI. 1976: Hans Moravec builds the ‘Stanford Cart’, the first auto-nomous vehicle. Early 1980s: The Internet is invented. 1982: The 5th Generation Computer Systems Project is launch-ed by Japan. 1982: The film Blade Runner is released, directed by Ridley Scott, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. 1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web. 1990: Seiji Ogawa presents the first fMRI machine. 1993: Rodney Brooks and others start the MIT Cog Project, an attempt to build a humanoid robot child in five years. 1997: Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov at chess. 2000: Cynthia Breazeal at MIT describes Kismet, a robot with a face that simulates expressions. 2004: DARPA launches the Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles. 2009: Google builds the self-driving car. 2011: IBM’s Watson wins the TV game show Jeopardy!.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

When you land in an airplane, your gate gets chosen by an A.I. scheduling system. Every time you use a piece of Microsoft software, you've got an A.I. system trying to figure out what you're doing, like writing a letter, and it does a pretty damned good job. Every time you see a movie with computer-generated characters, they're all little A.I. characters behaving as a group. Every time you playa video game, you're playing against an A.I. system. —RODNEY BROOKS, DIRECTOR OF THE MIT AI LAB161 I still run into people who claim that artificial intelligence withered in the 1980s, an argument that is comparable to insisting that the Internet died in the dot-com bust of the early 2000s.162 The bandwidth and price-performance of Internet technologies, the number of nodes (servers), and the dollar volume of e-commerce all accelerated smoothly through the boom as well as the bust and the period since.

An underlying problem with artificial intelligence that I have personally experienced in my forty years in this area is that as soon as an AI technique works, it's no longer considered AI and is spun off as its own field (for example, character recognition, speech recognition, machine vision, robotics, data mining, medical informatics, automated investing). Computer scientist Elaine Rich defines AI as "the study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better." Rodney Brooks, director of the MIT AI Lab, puts it a different way: "Every time we figure out a piece of it, it stops being magical; we say, Oh, that's just a computation." I am also reminded of Watson's remark to Sherlock Holmes, "I thought at first that you had done something clever, but I see that there was nothing in it after all."164 That has been our experience as AI scientists. The enchantment of intelligence seems to be reduced to "nothing" when we fully understand its methods.

We understand that speed to be the speed of light, but there are suggestions that we may be able to circumvent this apparent limit (possibly by taking shortcuts through wormholes, for example) . . . . on the Human Body So many different people to be. —DONOVANI1 Cosmetic baby, plug into me And never, ever find another. And I realize no one's wise To my plastic fantastic lover. —JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, "PLASTIC FANTASTIC LOVER" Our machines will become much more like us, and we will become much more like our machines. —RODNEY BROOKS Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enamelling. —WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "SAILING TO BYZANTIUM" A radical upgrading of our bodies' physical and mental systems is already under way, using biotechnology and emerging genetic-engineering technologies. Beyond the next two decades we will use nanoengineered methods such as nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Quartz An Impenetrable Machine: Emily Pronin A Question Without an Answer: Tony Conrad Conceptual Compasses for Deeper Generalists: Paul W. Ewald Art Making Going Rural: James Croak The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Max Tegmark Everyone Is an Expert: Roger Schank Pioneering Insights: Neil Gershenfeld Thinking in the Amazon: Daniel L. Everett The Virtualization of the Universe: David Gelernter Information-Provoked Attention Deficit Disorder: Rodney Brooks Present Versus Future Self: Brian Knutson I Am Realizing How Nice People Can Be: Paul Bloom My Perception of Time: Marina Abramović The Rotating Problem, or How I Learned to Accelerate My Mental Clock: Stanislas Dehaene I Must Confess to Being Perplexed: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Taking on the Habits of the Scientist, the Investigative Reporter, and the Media Critic: Yochai Benkler Thinking as Therapy in a World of Too Much: Ernst Pöppel internet is wind: Stefano Boeri Of Knowledge, Content, Place, and Space: Galia Solomonoff The Power of Conversation: Gloria Origgi A Real-Time Perpetual Time Capsule: Nick Bilton Getting from Jack Kerouac to the Pentatonic Scale: Jesse Dylan A Vehicle for Large-Scale Education About the Human Mind: Mahzarin R.

Thus “I” am an emergent property of my body and mind; “I” (my subjective experience of the world and my self ) am a virtual machine, of sorts; but “I” (or “consciousness”) am just as real (despite being virtual) as the pull-down menu built of software—or the picture that emerges from the pixels. Like industrialization, virtualization is an intellectual as well as a technological and economic transition; like industrialization, it’s a change in the texture of time. Information-Provoked Attention Deficit Disorder Rodney Brooks Panasonic Professor of Robotics, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; author, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us When a companion heads to the bathroom during dinner, I surreptitiously pull out my iPhone to check my e-mail and for incoming SMS. When I am writing computer code, I have my e-mail inbox visible at the corner, so that I can see if new messages arrive—even though I know that most that do arrive will be junk that has escaped my spam filters.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Each time the task changes—each time the location of the screw holes move, for example—production must stop until the machinery is reprogrammed. Today’s factories, especially large ones in high-wage countries, are highly automated, but they’re not full of general-purpose robots. They’re full of dedicated, specialized machinery that’s expensive to buy, configure, and reconfigure. Rethinking Factory Automation Rodney Brooks, who co-founded iRobot, noticed something else about modern, highly automated factory floors: people are scarce, but they’re not absent. And a lot of the work they do is repetitive and mindless. On a line that fills up jelly jars, for example, machines squirt a precise amount of jelly into each jar, screw on the top, and stick on the label, but a person places the empty jars on the conveyor belt to start the process.

—Hal Varian, chief economist at Google “In this optimistic book Brynjolfsson and McAfee clearly explain the bounty that awaits us from intelligent machines. But they argue that creating the bounty depends on finding ways to race with the machine rather than racing against the machine. That means people like me need to build machines that are easy to master and use. Ultimately, those who embrace the new technologies will be the ones who benefit most.” —Rodney Brooks, chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics, Inc “New technologies may bring about our economic salvation or they may threaten our very livelihoods . . . or they may do both. Brynjolfsson and McAfee have written an important book on the technology-driven opportunities and challenges we all face in the next decade. Anyone who wants to understand how amazing new technologies are transforming our economy should start here.”


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Eventually I reached out and connected to a far more advanced and sophisticated web of thinkers, and even small organizations, than I had imagined were focused on the issue. Misgivings about AI wasn’t the only thing we shared; we also believed that time to take action and avoid disaster was running out. * * * For more than twenty years I’ve been a documentary filmmaker. In 2000, I interviewed science-fiction great Arthur C. Clarke, inventor Ray Kurzweil, and robot pioneer Rodney Brooks. Kurzweil and Brooks painted a rosy, even rapturous picture of our future coexistence with intelligent machines. But Clarke hinted that we would be overtaken. Before, I had been drunk with AI’s potential. Now skepticism about the rosy future slunk into my mind and festered. My profession rewards critical thinking—a documentary filmmaker has to be on the lookout for stories too good to be true.

In fact, we might even expect them to be more ethical than we are, since we don’t want to build an intelligence with an appetite for violence and homicide, right? Yet those are precisely the sorts of autonomous drones and battlefield robots the U.S. government and military contractors are developing today. They’re creating and using the best advanced AI available. I find it strange that robot pioneer Rodney Brooks dismisses the possibility that superintelligence will be harmful when iRobot, the company he founded, already manufactures weaponized robots. Similarly, Kurzweil makes the argument that advanced AI will have our values because it will come from us, and so, won’t be harmful. I interviewed both scientists ten years ago and they made the same arguments. In the intervening decade they’ve remained dolorously consistent, although I do recall listening to a talk by Brooks in which he claimed building weaponized robots is morally distinct from the political decision to use them.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

In one of his best-known documentaries, Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, he offers up a character study of four people doing jobs that, at least in 1997, seemed eccentric in their obscurity: a topiary gardener named George Mendonca; a lion tamer named Dave Hoover; the world’s leading authority on the colony behavior of naked mole rats, Ray Mendez; and (this is the one that seems far less obscure today) Rodney Brooks, inventor of autonomous robots. Morris saw a connection, and a romanticism, in their various versions of control of nature. Undoubtedly he also found infectious their sheer enthusiasm for their craft. Bob Sutton of Stanford University takes a more academic interest in such people, since he studies creativity and innovation in organizations. He calls them “slow learners” of the organization’s code—which he quickly points out is a compliment, because they are somehow more impervious than their peers to “those overarching ‘shalts’ and ‘shalt nots’ which govern the actions, imply the sanctions, and in time permeate the souls of organization members.”

Product management in software is a critical function; its role is to ensure that the software has the features and functions that customers need, and that it comes to market with the necessary speed and quality. It often involves persuading and herding individuals who don’t actually report to the product manager, so it can be a challenging role. Jim Lawton, whom we also mentioned in Chapter 2, is chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, a “collaborative robotics” manufacturer in Boston. Rethink was founded and is led by Rodney Brooks, a former MIT professor, who also plays the role of chief technology officer. He handles the vision and the research. It is Lawton’s job to understand what customers want from robots and translate that into product capabilities. He’s also an evangelist for the idea that robots and people can collaborate with each other. Rethink’s robot models, which now include the cutely named Baxter and Sawyer, don’t require a lot of detailed programming.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

We have preconceptions about how an intelligent robot should look and act, and these can blind us to what is already happening around us. To demand that artificial intelligence be humanlike is the same flawed logic as demanding that artificial flying be birdlike, with flapping wings. Robots, too, will think different. Consider Baxter, a revolutionary new workbot from Rethink Robotics. Designed by Rodney Brooks, the former MIT professor who invented the bestselling Roomba vacuum cleaner and its descendants, Baxter is an early example of a new class of industrial robots created to work alongside humans. Baxter does not look impressive. Sure, it’s got big strong arms and a flat-screen display like many industrial bots. And Baxter’s hands perform repetitive manual tasks, just as factory robots do. But it’s different in three significant ways.

Claudia Lamar assisted in research, fact-checking, and formatting help. Two of my former colleagues at Wired, Russ Mitchell and Gary Wolf, waded through an early rough draft and made important suggestions that I incorporated. Over the span of years that I wrote this material I benefited from the precious time of many interviewees. Among them were John Battelle, Michael Naimark, Jaron Lanier, Gary Wolf, Rodney Brooks, Brewster Kahle, Alan Greene, Hal Varian, George Dyson, and Ethan Zuckerman. Thanks to the editors of Wired and The New York Times Magazine, who were instrumental in shaping initial versions of portions of this book. Most important, this book is dedicated to my family—Giamin, Kaileen, Ting, and Tywen—who keep me grounded and pointed forward. Thank you. NOTES 1: BECOMING average lifespan of a phone app: Erick Schonfeld, “Pinch Media Data Shows the Average Shelf Life of an iPhone App Is Less Than 30 Days,” TechCrunch, February 19, 2009.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

Similarly, some people are dismissive of the progress made by artificial intelligence since the discipline began 60 years ago, complaining that we don’t yet have a machine which knows it is alive. But it is daft to dismiss as failures today’s best pattern recognition systems, self-driving cars, and machines which can beat any human at many games of skill. Informed scepticism about near-term AGI We should take more seriously the arguments of very experienced AI researchers who claim that although the AGI undertaking is possible, it won’t be achieved for a very long time. Rodney Brooks, a veteran AI researcher and robot builder, says “I think it is a mistake to be worrying about us developing [strong] AI any time in the next few hundred years. I think the worry stems from a fundamental error in not distinguishing the difference between the very real recent advances in a particular aspect of AI, and the enormity and complexity of building sentient volitional intelligence.” Andrew Ng at Baidu and Yann LeCun at Facebook are of a similar mind, as we saw in the last chapter.


pages: 284 words: 79,265

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

But Magee and Koh didn’t simply expand Moore’s Law and examine information transformation. They looked at a whole host of technological functions to see how they have changed over the years. From information storage and information transportation to how we deal with energy, in each case they found mathematical regularities. This ongoing doubling of technological capabilities has even been found in robots. Rodney Brooks is a professor emeritus at MIT who has lived through much of the current growth in robotics and is himself a pioneer in the field. He even cofounded the company that created the Roomba. Brooks looked at how robots have improved over the years and found that their movement abilities—how far and how fast a robot can move—have gone through about thirteen doublings in twenty-six years. That means that we have had a doubling about every two years: right on schedule and similar to Moore’s Law.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Until recently, the industrial robots used in car manufacturing (and elsewhere) were expensive, inflexible, and dangerous to be around. But the industrial robotics industry is changing: as well as growing quickly, its output is getting cheaper, safer and far more versatile. A landmark was reached in 2012 with the introduction of Baxter, a 3-foot tall robot (6 feet with his pedestal) from Rethink Robotics. The brainchild of Rodney Brooks, an Australian roboticist who used to be the director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Baxter is much less dangerous to be around. By early 2015, Rethink had received over $100m in funding from venture capitalists, including the investment vehicle of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Baxter was intended to disrupt the industrial robots market by being cheaper, safer, and easier to programme.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

While 9/11 1.0 was about human beings’ seizing aircraft and flying them into occupied buildings for terrorist effect, 9/11 2.0 makes it possible to disintermediate the humans and use robots in their stead. We, Robot In the future, I’m sure there will be a lot more robots in every aspect of life. If you told people in 1985 that in 25 years they would have computers in their kitchen, it would have made no sense to them. RODNEY BROOKS Throughout the history of film and television, we’ve seen robots presented in a variety of lights. Some were lovable and helpful such as WALL-E, Johnny Number 5 of Short Circuit, and C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars. Other robots were dangerous and out to destroy mankind, such as Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still and the T-800s from The Terminator. Thanks to advances in Moore’s law, robots are leaving the silver screen and joining reality.

We’ll Soon Be Fusing Technology with Living Matter,” Wired, May 27, 2014. 4 Despite the costs: Industrial Federation of Robotics, http://​www.​ifr.​org/​industrial-​robots/​statistics/. 5 In just one Hyundai factory: “Car, Airbag, Money: Robots Make Cars,” video, http://​channel.​nationalgeographic.​com/; Tamara Walsh, “Rise of the Robots: 2 Industries Increasingly Turning to Robotics for Innovation,” Motley Fool, Aug. 24, 2014. 6 Not to be outdone: Katie Lobosco, “Army of Robots to Invade Amazon Warehouses,” CNNMoney, May 22, 2014. 7 More impressive is the fact: Rodney Brooks, “Robots at Work,” World Future Society, Futurist, May–June 2013. 8 In more than 150 medical centers: “The Invisible Unarmed,” Economist, March 29, 2014. 293 Over 500,000 such operations: Stewart Pinkerton, “The Pros and Cons of Robotic Surgery,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 17, 2013. 9 Using similar technology: Jacques Marescaux et al., “Transcontinental Robot-Assisted Remote Telesurgery: Feasibility and Potential Applications,” Annals of Surgery 235, no. 4 (2002): 300–301. 10 Though the gains: For a definitive view into the world of military robotics, see Peter W.


pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

If a particular species' brain design has already gone down the need-to-know path with regard to some control problem, only minor modifications (fine tuning, you might say) can be readily made to the existing structures, so the only hope of making a major revision of the internal environment to account for new problems, new features of the external environment that matter, is to submerge the old {377} hard-wiring under a new layer of preemptive control (a theme developed in the work of the AI researcher Rodney Brooks [e.g., 1991]). It is these higher levels of control that have the potential for vast increases in versatility. And it is at these levels in particular that we should look for the role of language (when it finally arrives on the scene), in turning our brains into virtuoso preselectors. We engage in our share of rather mindless routine behavior, but our important acts are often directed on the world with incredible cunning, composing projects exquisitely designed under the influence of vast libraries of information about the world.

The idea is to hand-code all the millions of facts in an encyclopedia (plus all the other millions of facts that everyone knows, so there is no point in putting them in the encyclopedia — such as the facts that mountains are bigger than molehills, and toasters can't fly), and then attach an inference engine that can update, preserve consistency, deduce surprising implications, and in general service the world-knowledge base. For an entirely different approach to AI, consider Rodney Brooks' and Lynn Stein's humanoid-robot project (Dennett 1994c). 7. Some have argued that my account of patterns in Dennett 1991b is epiphenomenalistn about content. This is my reply. 8. Since these are just boxes of truths, no support is hereby given to the "language of thought" hypothesis (Fodor 1975). I supposed that the world knowledge was stored in a quasi-linguistic form just to make the storytelling easier (which is probably also the reason motivating most researchers in cognitive science, who adopt the language-of-thought hypothesis out of convenience!).


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

When you land in an airplane, your gate gets chosen by an AI scheduling system. Every time you use a piece of Microsoft software, you’ve got an AI system trying to figure out what you’re doing, like writing a letter, and it does a pretty damned good job. Every time you see a movie with computer-generated characters, they’re all little AI characters behaving as a group. Every time you play a video game, you’re playing against an AI system. —Rodney Brooks, Director, MIT Computer Science and AI Laboratory288 CHAPTER 13 MAKING US OBSOLETE? Will Als impoverish humanity by stealing our jobs? No human occupation is safe from future AI incursions. I can imagine highly proficient robot teachers, artists, soldiers, plumbers, prostitutes, social workers, computer programmers. . . . In the next few decades, all of my readers might have their market value decimated by intelligent machines.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Within weeks of the product’s introduction, both university-based engineering teams and do-it-yourself innovators had hacked into the Kinect and posted YouTube videos of robots that were now able to see in three dimensions.4 Industrial Perception likewise decided to base its vision system on the technology that powers the Kinect, and the result is an affordable machine that is rapidly approaching a nearly human-level ability to perceive and interact with its environment while dealing with the kind of uncertainty that characterizes the real world. A Versatile Robotic Worker Industrial Perception’s robot is a highly specialized machine focused specifically on moving boxes with maximum efficiency. Boston-based Rethink Robotics has taken a different track with Baxter, a lightweight humanoid manufacturing robot that can easily be trained to perform a variety of repetitive tasks. Rethink was founded by Rodney Brooks, one of the world’s foremost robotics researchers at MIT and a co-founder of iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba automated vacuum cleaner as well as military robots used to defuse bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Baxter, which costs significantly less than a year’s wages for a typical US manufacturing worker, is essentially a scaled-down industrial robot that is designed to operate safely in close proximity to people.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, online collectivism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

The world is known to us because we live and act in it, and accumulate experience. Surprisingly, it is in the field of robotics that some of the most convincing evidence has emerged that inference, calculation, and representation are a grossly inefficient way to go about negotiating a physical environment. In his now-classic article “Intelligence Without Representation,” published in the journal Artificial Intelligence in 1991, Rodney Brooks wrote that “the world is its own best model.” Roboticists are learning a lesson that evolution learned long ago, namely, that the task of solving problems needn’t be accomplished solely by the brain, but can be distributed among the brain, the body, and the world. Consider the problem of catching a fly ball. According to the standard view, we might suppose that the visual system provides inputs about the current position of the ball, and a separate processor (the brain) predicts its future trajectory.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

For more than a decade, FANUC, a Japanese builder of robots for other manufacturers, has made those robots with . . . robots, at the rate of fifty units every twenty-four hours. The FANUC facility can run, without human supervision, for days—and stops only to allow shippers to remove the completed robots.31 In the United States, meanwhile, companies are now snapping up robot technology as rapidly as it comes onto the market. Rodney Brooks, a robotics pioneer, has recently introduced a model, dubbed Baxter, that is designed to work on an assembly line. The model sells for around twenty-two thousand dollars32—less than the average factory worker’s pay—and is so easy to program that line workers will be able to “teach” it how to do tasks. Baxter is meant to work alongside humans, but Brooks says some companies see Baxter as a way not simply to complement human workers, but to avoid the humans altogether.


pages: 327 words: 97,720

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Alfred Russel Wallace, biofilm, butterfly effect, Celebration, Florida, corporate governance, delayed gratification, experimental subject, impulse control, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, Rodney Brooks, Ted Kaczynski, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Walter Mischel

In the 1980s, well removed from talk of animal spirits, neuroscientists introduced computer metaphors to talk about how the mind functions. But human intelligence is not something operating on the basis of closed circuits locked away inside the skull. If you want to create a brain as versatile as a human brain, its intelligence—like human intelligence—must be “embodied.” This kind of information processing works from the ground up, through sensory (which means bodily) input. Rodney Brooks, who makes robots, gave up trying to make them smarter by focusing solely on symbolic processing—playing chess or doing advanced mathematics—the kind of tasks, as he told the New York Times, that “highly educated male scientists found challenging.”8 If you want to create a robot that can get along in the world, you need to give it the kind of capabilities that human toddlers need to master: knowing the difference between self and other, learning to interact with the physical environment, being able to distinguish between chalk and cheese.


pages: 303 words: 67,891

Advances in Artificial General Intelligence: Concepts, Architectures and Algorithms: Proceedings of the Agi Workshop 2006 by Ben Goertzel, Pei Wang

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

AI winter, artificial general intelligence, bioinformatics, brain emulation, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, epigenetics, friendly AI, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, John Conway, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Occam's razor, p-value, pattern recognition, performance metric, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, semantic web, statistical model, strong AI, theory of mind, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Although – yeah, I am just too scared about predictions to make any, so I think I am just not going to. [Steve Grand]: Well, I am tempted to say that it is all a bottleneck. If there was a panel like this in 1960 that was asked the very opposite question: which aspects of AGI do you think are really easy, what answers would have been given? Those would be my answers for the really hard aspects. I’m talking about things like vision and motor control, sensory stuff and perception. Rodney Brooks has a copy of a memo from Marvin Minsky, in which he suggested charging an undergraduate for a summer project with the task of solving vision. I don’t know where that undergraduate is now, but I guess he hasn’t finished yet. So these are really, really hard problems. But they are the things that all of us here, or most of us, not including me, are sort of brushing under the carpet. I think since this is primarily a symbolic AI conference, the problem we have is extending symbolic AI downwards far enough.


pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

I had been there Sam Zell is the US billionaire head of Equity Group Investments, which has holdings ranging from real estate to media to healthcare. 2 The business school at MIT. 1 Makers at Work once before. So I started going to the lab and talking to people, and I ended up meeting my current advisor, Dr. Pattie Maes. She sees hundreds of people who want to come into the Fluid Interfaces Group every year and she said something like, “I think there’s good potential, but I don’t know. Let’s keep in touch.” I applied anyway. At the same time, she introduced me to Rodney Brooks—are you familiar with Rod Brooks? Osborn: I’m not. Linder: Rod used to run CSAIL, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. He was cofounder, chairman and CTO of iRobot. You know, Roombas, Packbots and all that. In 2008 he started Heartland Robotics. Rod was looking for a design engineer-type of person to work on the user interface. I ended up being employee number ten and the lead user interface guy, at what is now Rethink Robotics, on the product they now call Baxter— but which at that point in time didn’t really exist.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?

For Bezos, in addition to his family and Amazon, there’s Blue Origin, where he typically spends each Wednesday, and Bezos Expeditions, his personal venture-capital firm, which holds stakes in companies such as Twitter, the taxi service Uber, the news site Business Insider, and the robot firm Rethink Robotics. Since August of 2013, Bezos has owned the Washington Post newspaper and has said he wants to apply his passion for invention and experimentation to reviving the storied newspaper. “He invests in things where information technology can disrupt existing models,” says Rodney Brooks, the MIT robotics professor behind Rethink Robotics, which aims to put inexpensive robots on manufacturing assembly lines. “He’s certainly not hands-on but he has been a good person to talk to when various conundrums come up. When we go ask him questions, it’s worth listening to his answers.” Bezos coordinates closely with the creators of the Clock of the Long Now and oversees its quarterly review sessions, which the clock engineers call Ticks.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

This book is fairly scrupulous about citing the origin of its ideas, but some people I interviewed were more influential in determining its direction than might be inferred by the number of times that they appear in the text. This list includes Daniel Kahneman, Vasik Rajlich, Dr. Alexander “Sandy” McDonald, Roger Pielke Jr., John Rundle, Thomas Jordan, Irene Eckstrand, Phil Gordon, Chris Volinsky, Robert Bell, Tim Berners-Lee, Lisa Randall, Jay Rosen, Simon Jackman, Diane Lauderdale, Jeffrey Sachs, Howard Lederer, Rodney Brooks, Henry Abbott, and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita among others. I hope to return all these favors someday. I will start by buying the first beer for anybody on this list, and the first three for anybody who should have been, but isn’t. —Nate Silver Brooklyn, NY NOTES INTRODUCTION 1. The Industrial Revolution is variously described as starting anywhere from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth centuries.