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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

STEM update: get a "Handle" on THIS!

From Boston Dynamics:

About Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics is wholly owned subsidiary of Google, Inc. We began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert and his colleagues first developed robots that ran and maneuvered like animals.

They founded the company in 1992, and their ground-breaking work continues to inspire much of our work.

Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary technical team of engineers and scientists. The team seamlessly combines advanced analytical thinking with boots-in-the-mud practicality.

We pride ourselves in building machines that are both innovative and actually work.
Wow. Google, 'eh? Go to the Boston Dynamics website, spend a bit of time reviewing their various robots. Fascinating. A bit creepy?

Cultural Lamarckian evolution on full, exponentially accelerating display.

See my December post citing the work at Google Brain, "The Great A.I. Awakening? Health care implications?" Marry up increasingly adept multi-sensate "machine learning" AI with  mobile robotics, well...

Give it some thought.

See also my November post "What might Artificial Intelligence bring to humanity?"

From the dystopian Sci-Fi flick "Hardware."
Matt Damon in the film "Elysium."
Yeah. Cool movies.

See also my prior post "The robot will see you now..." I recall repeatedly seeing the irascible comment on health care blogs "any doctor who can be replace by a robot should be."

From Harvard Business Review last October:
Technology Will Replace Many Doctors, Lawyers, and Other Professionals

Faced with the claim that AI and robots are poised to replace most of today’s workforce, most mainstream professionals — doctors, lawyers, accountants, and so on — believe they will emerge largely unscathed. During our consulting work and at conferences, we regularly hear practitioners concede that routine work can be taken on by machines, but they maintain that human experts will always be needed for the tricky stuff that calls for judgment, creativity, and empathy.

Our research and analysis challenges the idea that these professionals will be spared. We expect that within decades the traditional professions will be dismantled, leaving most, but not all, professionals to be replaced by less-expert people, new types of experts, and high-performing systems...
Interesting. See my September post "In the wake of Labor Day, thinking about jobs, education, healthcare, and tech."

If Silicon Valley Types Are Scared of A.I., Should We Be?
Some very, very smart people are genuinely concerned artificial intelligence could end humanity.
Mark O'Connell
...Though I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe it, I was morbidly fascinated by the idea that we might be on the verge of creating a machine that could wipe out the entire species, and by the notion that capitalism’s great philosopher kings—Musk, Thiel, Gates—were so publicly exercised about the Promethean dangers of that ideology’s most cherished ideal. These dire warnings about A.I. were coming from what seemed to be the most unlikely of sources: not from Luddites or religious catastrophists, that is, but from the very people who personify our culture’s reverence for machines...
Good article, fairly long read. Book by Mark O'Connell.

The Amazon blurb:
An eye-opening journey into a world of visionaries, billionaires, and eccentrics harnessing technology for nothing less than the salvation of mankind

Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our bodies—our capabilities, intelligence, and lifespans—in the hopes that, through technology, we can become something better than ourselves. It has found support among Silicon Valley billionaires and some of the world’s biggest businesses.

In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell explores the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries that present themselves when you of think of your body as a device. He visits the world's foremost cryonics facility to witness how some have chosen to forestall death.  He discovers an underground collective of biohackers, implanting electronics under their skin to enhance their senses. He meets a team of scientists urgently investigating how to protect mankind from artificial superintelligence.

Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean not just for our offices and homes, but for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm?  Addressing these questions, O'Connell presents a profound, provocative, often laugh-out-loud-funny look at an influential movement. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising meditation on what it means to be human.
I'll have to get to this book as well, ASAP.

More to come...

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