Monthly Archives July 2015

Stephen Hawking in Reddit AMA to promote call to ban killer robots

Hawking joins Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak in warning against development of autonomous weapons.

Physicist Stephen Hawking image

Physicist Stephen Hawking will answer AI questions on Reddit after supporting a call for researchers to tread carefully.

Would a machine with AI have the same drive to reproduce as biological organisms do? Can — and should — empathy be introduced? If there are questions swimming around in your brain about the future of artificial intelligence, you can now send them to Stephen Hawking himself for an answer. Hawking has signed up for his first-ever AMA (Ask me Anything) on Reddit, and will be answering questions there for the next few weeks.

Yes, you read that correctly — weeks...

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Why we must stop killer robots before they are built

AI will do some great things for humanity, but its militarisation would spark an arms race image

AI will do some great things for humanity, but its militarisation would spark an arms race. Photo: Bloomberg

More than 1000 of the leading researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have on Tuesday signed and published an open letter calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons, also known colloquially as “killer robots”.

The letter has been signed by many technologists and experts, including SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, physicist Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype co-founder Jaan Talinn and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky.

We can get it right at this early stage, or we can stand idly by and witness the birth of a new era of warfare

Musk, Hawking and Wozniak have all recently warned about the dangers that AI poses to mankind...

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US Lifeguards use Phantom drone to spot sharks as seen in this video report

Use Of Drone By Lifeguards At Local Beach Reveals Chilling Look At Sharks Near Shoreline


Californian lifeguards are using a mid-range UAV from Phantom to search out sharks in the vicinity of Seal Beach, Orange County, US. It used to take lifeguards up to several hours a day to confirm shark sightings, this involved sending personnel out on jet skis to roam the coastline. Now, Seal Beach Marine Safety

Lifeguard-phantom-drone-spots-sharks-atSeal-Beach-California-US image

Chief Joe Bailey sends up his Phantom drone, which can hover at over 100 feet above the ocean, to confirm in real time whether there are sharks in the area. The drone’s on-board camera can spot a shark’s tell-tale shadow from far away, allowing Chief Bailey to move his waterborne team in for a closer look. Chief Bailey will then make an assessment on whether to close the beach based on...

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Volkswagen plant in Dresden image

A Volkswagen plant in Dresden

An assembly robot has killed a man at a Volkswagen plant in Germany, the Associated Press reports.

The 22-year-old contractor died at a plant in Baunatal on Monday when the robot he was there to set up grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate, according to a statement on Wednesday by VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig.

Once installed, this kind of robot arm typically runs in isolation, performing a number of tasks that involve grabbing heavy auto parts and moving them around with great speed. Hillwig says that all initial signs point to error on the contractor’s part. An investigation is ongoing.


Henry Sapiecha

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This is why you don’t shoot down a drone

small white quad drone image

This is not the drone that was shot down.We expect that drone is still at the drone hospital.

Shooting down a drone that’s hovering over your property might seem like a good idea, but as a recent court case shows, it’s definitely not.

Presenting the case of Eric Joe and Brett McBay.  A few months ago, Joe took a ride out to his parents rural property to fly his homemade hexacopter drone. After about three and half minutes of flying, the drone hit the dirt, courtesy of a 12-gauge shotgun.

When he went to collect the drone, he encountered his parent’s neighbor, Brett McBay and his son. According to an interview with arstechnica, when asked if he shot the drone, McBay said, “Yeah, did we get it?”

After examining the downed drone, Joe estimated about $700 worth of damage, and asked McBay to ...

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