DailyDirt: Unmanned Spaceships And Robots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Artificial intelligence software still seems like science fiction -- even though smarter and smarter software is found in all sorts of everyday gadgets now. Robots are replacing humans in manufacturing jobs and doing all sorts of dirty work that people can't or won't do. So let's hear it for our automated slaves doing cool stuff for us.
  • The US Air Force's unmanned X-37B space plane lands after 7 months in orbit. Who really needs the space shuttle anymore? (And note that the Russians pretty much accomplished this feat with the Buran, too.) url
  • The Uncanny Valley still runs pretty deep, so creepy-looking robots will be the norm for the near future. url
  • There's nothing creepy about Japanese robots picking ripe strawberries: Yum. url
  • NerdKits has built a xylophone glockenspiel robot for the holidays -- and has released open source code along with DIY instructions for it. url


  • Reader Comments (rss)

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    1.  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

      All these programs are taking our jobs! We need to go on strike!!!!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    2.  
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      AR (profile), Dec 7th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

      AI, interesting concept for copyright

      This may sound stupid (and slightly off topic. If someone used opensource, or proprietary, software in or as the base code for the AI software, and if the AI created something or figured something out...
      Who would then own the copyright, patent, and/or license on the created material/product/discovery?
      I could see where it could get a bit confusing.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    3.  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

      Re: AI, interesting concept for copyright

      Well programs are already doing discoveries on their own and since they don't complain the ownership of the discovery have been going to the owner of the said program.

      NASA have used a lot.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    4.  
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      Michael Ho (profile), Dec 7th, 2010 @ 11:15pm

      Re: AI, interesting concept for copyright

      That's actually a pretty interesting question.. and one that maybe Wolfram Research has explored?

      Or maybe there are already CS folks working on programs that can automatically write patent applications..... :P

       

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    5.  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2010 @ 12:06am

      http://www.genetic-programming.com/coursemainpage.html

      Genetic-programming is used a lot to produce things that no human discovered before.

      http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=14394

      ""The software also may invent designs that no human designer would ever think of," Lohn asserted. In addition, the software also can plan devices that are smaller, lighter, consume less power, are stronger and more robust among many other things - characteristics that spaceflight requires, according to Lohn."

      Endless Original Music: Computer Program Creates Music Based On Emotions
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601085928.htm

      Who gets the copyright for that?

      LoL

      We live in interesting times indeed.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    6.  
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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 8:45am

      Strawberry picking robot ....

      My vision of the future, when these robots come down in price and start becoming standard farm equipment. Riots in the streets of East LA. Farms being burned for replacing illegal workers with robots. When houses are constructed by robots, when McDonalds goes robot servers, when the cabs of NYC are robotically driven, when robotic prostitutes happen, same issues.

      Gonna be fun to watch ... rioting street hookers and all :)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    7.  
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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 9:07am

      From the creepy robot story (Crossing the uncanny valley)

      " Hollywood, too, would probably enjoy replacing stuntmen—and perhaps even temperamental stars—with computer-generated versions. A world without celebs? That really would be eerie."

      Actually that would be the end of hollywood because anyone then make movies.

      Also has anyone else seen how creepy these robots are IRL. """""serious shiver"""""

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    8.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 9:14am

      AI

      We'll never think we have artificial intelligence, because anything we can already do we consider "just a program", and AI is whatever we can't make a computer do yet.

      For example, take the game Spore back 20 years, and the way the animals behave would probably be considered AI. Now we don't think of it that way, it's just a game. Pretty much anything using heuristics could be called AI. And so on. AI is here already and has been for quite some time, but our expectations keep moving with the technology.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    9.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      Has anyone else seen the first Final Fantasy movie (The Spirits Within)? I think it got to the other side of the valley - I didn't find it creepy at all. That was released I think in 2000, and I can't figure why nobody's done better in the 10 years since (that I know of). FF was pretty convincing, but not perfect. Are they all working on video games instead?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    10.  
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      Overtkill (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 10:21am

      AI and what we think we know...

      There are already many innovations that are years ahead of this discussion in the defense contractor 'sphere' of development, involving unmanned drones and attack craft.

      Comparing the x-37B to the space shuttle is like comparing a model airplane to the real thing. It has nowhere near the same capabilities. While I do agree that its technology is a start in the right direction, There is perhaps more merit in revisiting an idea like the VentureStar:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar

      In order to replace something, you must meet and surpass the capabilities of what you intend to replace. IMHO, We should keep flying the shuttles until an idea like this can happen as we really don't have a real replacement option.

      SSTO (Single Stage to Orbit) would be a great evolution away from using wasteful expendable rockets, only burning fuel in the spacecraft's engines to reach orbit.

      Thanks for Reading. :)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    11.  
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      Michael Ho (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

      Re: Re: the FF movie

      That Final Fantasy movie was pretty good, but not quite on the other side of the valley -- in my opinion. It wasn't creepy, but when you airbrush real human images too much, the images are no longer that realistic. That's why Aki Ross was able to fit right into the Maxim Hot 100 in 2001:

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0d/Ffmaxim_aki_ross.jpg

       

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    12.  
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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

      Re: Re:

      " I didn't find it creepy at all. "

      I actually enjoyed Final fantasy spirits within.

      What I was talking about are the japanese, singing and dancing female robots. Go to youtube and watch a couple. The movements are not quite human even when they get it close, it gives you an uneasy something is not quite right feeling.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    13.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 3:15pm

      Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      I don't quite follow. It was still in the uncanney valley, but not creepy? Or do you mean it just wasn't perfect?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    14.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Oh yeah, the robots are not even close yet. I think they can have great success staying on the left side though. There are robots that look human enough to kind of identify with them, but not so much that they start to get creepy.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    15.  
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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:08am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      Basically there is a limit to how close you can make a human likeness before it becomes creepy. Its the subtle facial features and motions that people notice when the likeness is really close to human. You don't notice it in caricatures.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    16.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 8:54am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      Yeah, that's the whole concept of the uncanney valley. But Michael said it was "not quite on the other [right-hand, acceptable, non-eerie] side of the valley" and "it wasn't creepy". Which seem, to me, to be contradictory statements.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    17.  
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      Michael Ho (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 11:40am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      Not sure I'm contradicting anything -- "pretty good" on the Uncanny Valley graph could be right on the edge of the "cliff" on the left side of the valley.

      Perhaps there's even a "Wiley E Coyote" effect where an image could be suspended over the valley for a little bit before it plummets into creepiness... :)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    18.  
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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      "Perhaps there's even a "Wiley E Coyote" effect where an image could be suspended over the valley for a little bit before it plummets into creepiness... :)"

      Big Ole Grin ...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    19.  
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      nasch (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the FF movie

      Oh I see, well I think it was WAY more convincing than anything on the left side of the valley. I mean, a zombie is at the bottom on that chart, and surely Aki Ross looks more like a healthy human than a zombie does.

      Perhaps there's even a "Wiley E Coyote" effect where an image could be suspended over the valley for a little bit before it plummets into creepiness... :)

      Ha, totally! The longer you look at it, the creepier it looks. :-)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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