Humans may not be moving around in flying cars or quantum leap between parallel universe or reality but technology has quite frankly come a long way. A few years from now people might reminisce about when a time when the things they now see in their everyday life were just another Science Fiction on their HD screens.We’re in the midst of a technological revolution. Nanoparticles might soon internally diagnose diseases . Machines might build themselves . And virtual reality headsets might replace traditional televisions sets. These technology aren’t necessarily exclusive for rich cooperations or individuals, at least that what Google is trying to do by “bringing its giant robots to work, play and live among humans”.
For years Google have been seriously working on creating a rugged super-intelligent robots capable of navigating rough terrains and almost anything humans can do. As a matter of fact Google’s goal is to make this robots more agile than humans . Good news is, they are very close to achieving these which is not surprising considering their Marathon acquisition of robotics firm. Google have snapped up artificial intelligence and robotics firms from Bot & Dolly, Meka Robotics, Holomni,Redwood Robotics and Schaft, DNNresearch and Boston Dynamics , the firm that produces spectacular, terrifyingly life-like military robots, for an “undisclosed” but undoubtedly huge sum. It also hired Geoff Hinton, a British computer scientist who’s probably the world’s leading expert on neural networks. Whether Google is buying up potential competition or initiating brain drain is a story for another day.
Built for action.
One of Google’s humanoids, the Atlas robot, created by Google-owned firm Boston Dynamics is a formidable figure at 6ft 2inches tall and weighing in at 330lb. You may want to mess with a lot of robots but Atlas. According to Boston Dynamics, Atlas is a ‘high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain. Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment. In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces.’
The robot is packed with 28 hydraulically actuated joints and stereo vision, and is one of the most advanced robots ever created. Its powered by a 3.7-
kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery , with the potential for one hour of ‘multiple mission” operation that may includes walking, standing, use of tools, and other complex actions.
If there is any technology company with the brain power to create ridiculously intelligent robots, its definitely Google. With it recent acquisition of DeepMind an Artificial intelligence firm for 242 Euros to add to its already unending list of AI acquisitions, Google might be unleashing an improved version of it already furiously intelligent prototypes.
Image credit: independent.co.UK
When Google researchers decided to get busy and ask the robots some questions, this is what it had to say;
Researcher: what is the purpose of life?
Robot: to serve the greater good.
Researcher: what is the purpose of living?
Robot: to live forever.
Researcher: what is the purpose of existence?
Robot: to find out what happens when we
get to the planet earth.
Researcher: where are you now?
Robot: i ’m in the middle of nowhere.
Researcher: what is the purpose of dying?
Robot: to have a life.
Researcher: what do you think about tesla ?
Robot: its a good conductor .
Researcher: what do you think about bill Machine
Robot: he ’s a good man .
Researcher: What do you think about messi ?
Robot: he ’s a great player .
Researcher: what do you think about cleopatra ?
Robot: oh , she’s very regal .
Researcher: what do you think about england during the reign of elizabeth ?
Robot: it was a great place .
Super intelligent or creepy?
I chose creepily super ntelligent. Considering the nature of the data the robot was fed with i am not suprised. The researchers behind the experiment, Oriol Vinyals and Quoc V. Le, programmed the Google chatbot with two sets of data:
guidelines from an IT troubleshooting help
desk and a database of movie susubtitles
We ﬁnd it encouraging that the model can remember facts, understand contexts, perform common sense reasoning without the complexity in traditional pipelines. What sur- prises us is that the model does so without any explicit knowledge representation componentexcept for the param- eters in the word vectors.
Perhaps most practically signiﬁcant is the fact that the model can generalize to new questions. In other words, it does not simply look up for an answer by matching the question with the existing database. In fact, most of the questions presented above, except for the ﬁrst conversation, do not appear in the training set.
Nonetheless, one drawback of this basic model is that it only gives simple, short, sometimes unsatisfying answers to our questions as can be seen above. Perhaps a more problematic drawback is that the model does not capture a consistent personality. Indeed, if we ask not identical but semantically similar questions, the answers can sometimes be inconsistent. This is expected due to the simplicity of our model and the dataset in our experiments.
Androcalypse: The robots Apocalypse
Bill Gates calls him “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence”. He’s bagged 19 honorary doctorates, and he’s been widely recognised as a genius. A genius that’s not really good at inventing lots of things but predicting how lots of things invented by others will end up. His is Rat Kuzrweil. He has predicted that even when robots get super intelligent enough to make decisions by themselves with being FED a knowledge base that the will only augment humans rather than end the human race. But he couldn’t possibly be more wrong;
Google has even developed a system to allow robots to download new personalities online. The system would allow machines to download them in a similar way to an app – and even have a different personality for each user. This will basically dictate the robots lifestyle. The only problem I have with this however is a robot or worst robots getting their hands on Bin Laden’s personality.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk warned that artificial intelligence could be our biggest existential threat and believes there should be some regulatory oversight at the national and international level , while speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department ‘ s Centennial Symposium in October 2014 .s leading expert on neural networks. Whether Google is buying up potential competition or initiating brain drain is a story for another day.