Month: February 2017 (page 1 of 8)

If Robots and A.I. Steal Our Jobs, a Universal Basic Income Could Help

Below is a summary for the article : If Robots and AI Steal Our Jobs, a Universal Basic Income Could Help by Singularity Hub

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What is universal basic income? Who is experimenting with it?3.

Still others believe society will adapt, first by constantly demonetizing our cost of living and next by the the widespread deployment of a universal basic income.

What is universal basic income? Who is experimenting?

Universal basic income is a policy in which all citizens of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from other means.

The pilot study, running for two years in 2017-2018, aims to assess whether basic income can help reduce poverty, social exclusion and bureaucracy, while increasing the employment rate.

In January, Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, announced the San Francisco-based startup fund was organizing a basic income study in the US. Does UBI work?

That being said, the most compelling study demonstrating how universal basic income could work comes from a small town in Canada.

From 1974 to 1979, the Canadian government partnered with the province of Manitoba to run an experiment on the idea of providing a minimum income to residents called MINCOME. MINCOME was a guaranteed annual income offered to every eligible family in Dauphin, a prairie town of about 10,000, and smaller numbers of residents in Winnipeg and some rural communities throughout the province.

In its 2016 budget, the provincial government of Ontario announced plans to conduct a basic income pilot this year.

I’m fairly confident that in the near future, as technology continues to eliminate traditional jobs and massive new wealth gets created, we’re going to see some version of universal basic income deployed at scale.


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A.I. Robot Companion for the Elderly

Below is a summary for the article : Artificial Intelligence Robot Companion for the Elderly by Engadget

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The robot was designed with the purpose of providing companionship to elderly people that we already know are one of the most socially isolated groups.

The loss of social ties and social roles in the elderly means that this population group is prone to depression and associated health problems.

The Elli Q robot is essentially an intelligent virtual assistant consists of two elements – the lamp-shaped “Social director” and an accompanying screen.

Dor Skuler, CEO and founder of Intuition Robotics says that the goal of their project is to “Leverage a combination of their proprietary technology, research in gerontology, and emotive interaction models in order to give older adults the power to interact with technology and easily connect with their loved ones and to keep an active lifestyle.” But he also notes that the very idea of having a robot for a companion seems rather dystopian.

The Elli Q was designed with a specific social group in mind so it has a couple of unique features.

The Elli Q robot is more of a companion than it is a home-improving device.

We can expect the same level of success with Elli Q, especially considering that the device is targeted towards a large and ever-growing social group.

Although intelligent virtual assistants such as Elli Q can never replace real human interaction, such devices can become a sort of social crutches to our aging population.

Devices like Elli Q can make the use of our technological advancement much more accessible to groups that could really benefit from them.

Although Elli Q is still in its inception, we’ll probably be seeing this device any time soon on the market, and see if it truly does provide the promised benefits to one of the world’s largest social groups.


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AI for NASA Powers Earth Robots

Below is a summary for the article : Deep Learning AI for NASA Powers Earth Robots by Spectrum

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More than six years later, Versace’s startup, called Neurala, has been testing a updated prototype of the AI “Brain” it developed for NASA with the goal of rolling it out to select customers within a matter of months.

Versace likes to say that Neurala, which raised $14 million in a recent series A funding round, developed the AI technology for Mars, but now wants to bring it down to Earth.

Neurala’s vision for an AI brain relies on the latest advances in deep learning, with artificial neural networks training themselves to perform tasks like object recognition by filtering the relevant data through many layers of processing.

Unlike tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook-as well as a host of AI startups-that offer deep-learning tool kits and online services based on powerful cloud computing servers, Neurala’s AI can operate on the computationally low-power chips found in smartphones.

Versace declined to go into specifics, but noted that Neurala’s approach focuses on edge computing, which relies on onboard hardware, in contrast to other approaches that are based on centralized systems.

Unlike deep-learning tool kits and online services based on powerful cloud servers, Neurala’s AI can operate on the computationally low-power chips found in smartphones.

Some early Neurala customers have licensed the company’s technology to adapt for their own needs through Neurala’s software development kit.

Roger Matus, vice president of products and markets at Neurala, was unable to reveal the name at this time, but said that Neurala’s solution would help cars to identify objects such as pedestrians or street signs in real time.

A third category of applications will involve Motorola Solutions using Neurala’s AI solution in a service for emergency responders such as police and fire departments.

Matus said Neurala is also eager to apply its deep-learning AI to robot toys and perhaps household robots.


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Robotics And A.I. Not A Threat To Humanity

Below is a summary for the article : Robotics And Artificial Intelligence Not A Threat To Humanity by Digital Trends

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There’s “No cause for concern that AI poses an imminent threat to humanity,” according to Fast Company, citing the first report from the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence.

The AI100 project is ongoing but will not issue reports annually – the next one will be published “In a few years.” The first report, Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030, downloadable at this link, looks at how advances in AI will make a difference in the U.S. between now and 2030.

Areas of change explored by the report include transportation, healthcare, education, the workplace, and policing and public safety.

More: Marines launch competition to fund, build next wave of battlefield robots.

The ability to gain insight from massive amounts of data is a natural application of artificial intelligence.

Robots may also deliver supplies to various locations, but humans will still be needed for actual placement in rooms, for at least 15 years, the report says.

The report concludes with the authors’ statement that they see no cause for concern for humanity in the near future.

According to University of Texas computer scientist Peter Stone, the lead author of the report, some people get concerned that “All of a sudden robots will now be able to do a lot of things we don’t want them to do and they’ll be able to do them spontaneously.”

The ability for robots to be self-determined and concerned with their own longevity is a leap far beyond current interest or capabilities.

“On balance, I’m highly optimistic that artificial intelligence technologies are going to improve the world.”


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Why You Shouldn’t Worry About A.I. Robots Stealing Your Jobs

Below is a summary for the article : Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Robots Stealing Your Jobs by Fortune

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Innovations such as driverless vehicles and drones could displace swaths of jobs in transport and delivery.

Based on their figures, Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, has estimated that up to 15 million British jobs could be automated-close to half the current total.

The new jobs panic is exaggerated and misplaced.

For another, many jobs will continue to require a blend of skills, flexibility and judgement that is difficult to automate.

Farsighted experts in 1900 might have predicted a collapse in farming jobs.

As Autor pointed out in a recent TED talk, it would have been far harder to envisage the vast variety of new jobs such as radiologists and yoga instructors which kept employment more than rising in pace with the population.

Two decades ago the dot-com boom was under way, but who even then could have foreseen the explosion in social media? Today’s tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and trendy parts of Berlin and London are full of young people doing jobs like designing smartphone apps that have only just sprung into existence.

A more efficient food industry lets households spend less of their income on home cooking and more on eating out, creating jobs in restaurants.

More generally, consumers can splash out more on a wide range of discretionary purchases, creating jobs for personal trainers and tour guides.

Automation looks set to continue whittling away mid-skilled routine jobs while expanding those requiring both high and low skills.


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The Jobs Most Likely To Be Taken Over By Robots

Below is a summary for the article : These Are The Jobs Most Likely To Be Taken Over By Robots by Refinery 29

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If you saw our list of least stressful jobs of 2017 and considered a pivot into a new profession, you may want to reconsider.

It sounds like science fiction, but while you’re planning your future, you may want to factor in the possibility of automation – namely, whether or not your job will get taken over by a legion of robots.

You may think that jobs outside of assembly lines and manual labor are safe, but according to Fast Company, a lot of unexpected vocations may be taken over by robots in the future.

The magazine reports that “Automation, which includes both mechanized robots and artificially intelligent software programs, are predicted to eliminate 6% of the jobs in the U.S. in the next five years.” Think you’re safe as in law or finance? Think again.

As for number-crunchers, a study found that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs to tech.

The report adds that Japan’s Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance has already replaced 30 medical insurance claims reps with IBM’s Watson Explore, which the company claims is faster and more accurate at analyzing and interpreting data than humans.

When was the last time you actually walked into a bank? With ATMs already cutting into human jobs in that field, the addition of smartphone banking is sure to be the death knell for many bank branches.

As for higher-ups at those banks, financial analysts were once seen as indispensable, but CNN reports that up to 30% of jobs in the finance sector could be replaced by AI. If that has you packing up for and researching exactly what it would take to run a farm, know that the agriculture industry is under attack from robotics, too.

Modern Farmer reports that a family owned German dairy farm installed a “Voluntary Milking System.” It allows cows to sidle up to robots and get milked at their leisure, eliminating the need for those braided milkmaids and humans in general.

Stateside, Quartz reports that over 1 million farm workers are at risk with the introduction of machines that can weed fields and pick produce.


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Don’t Fear Robots And A.I-Fear Politicians

Below is a summary for the article : A CES Takeaway: Don’t Fear Robots And Artificial Intelligence-Fear Politicians Forbes

*Note: Image used belongs to Clyde Wayne Crews Jr

A new concern has become very apparent: Some policymakers intend to exploit the rise of AI to expand government power.

Given the AI emphasis at CES, I was surprised to hear no mention of the White House’s December 2016 report, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy.

The new report is a social-policy document written in a way that deflects from government’s role in economic stagnation.

Some technologies outside government, like Elon Musk, feed the frenzy that robots will displace humans, necessitating perhaps ultimately the so-called Universal Basic Income.

Even if a relatively non-rending transition to widespread AI is eminently possible to us, the fears and unease generated are too perfect, too juicy, too irresistible.

AI isn’t going to wipe out humanity before CES 2018, but the White House infatuation with federal funding overlooks the prevalence of military research when calling for yet more government funding.

Our real problem isn’t AI’s societal impacts, but those of a government whose nearly every act keeps prices of labor and of many inputs above market clearing levels.

That will artificially encourage displacement by AI. The incoming Donald Trump administration should rewrite the Obama AI reports in time for the next CES, focusing on the federal government role in disincentivizing employment and ensuring that tomorrow’s technologists and mainline industry and service sectors can expand it.

There’s no getting around that jobs are already a cost for employers, and too many in government bureaus are “Employed” doing things that interfere with actual employment of others.

Who will bother, if they’re collecting a government check while plugged into VR. The big-government, universal basic income response to AI is at odds with the tech sector’s fundamental optimism.


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Journalists under threat as A.I. robot writes article in ONE SECOND

Below is a summary for the article : RISE OF THE MACHINE: Journalists under threat as AI robot writes article in ONE SECOND by Express UK

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Workers around the globe are beginning to fear for their job safety as the rise of the machines is well and truly underway.

Now its journalists’ time to feel the pinch after an AI robot wrote an entire article in just one second.

A robot reporter by the name of Xiao Nan created its first article for Chinese media outlet Southern Metropolis Daily.

The machine produced an article consisting of 300 characters on the subject of the Spring Festival travel rush – the largest annual human migration where millions of employees in China travel the huge nation to get home to their families for Chinese New Year.

The robot was developed by Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University who is working on developing several AI machines.

“Speaking of the benefits of using robots in the media, professor Xiaojun told China Daily:”When compared with the staff reporters, Xiao Nan has a stronger ability to analyse data and is quicker at writing stories.

“Such experiments are creating unease among the staff of the state-run media outlets as they fear they might lose their jobs.”

The professor says that robots will not be taking over the industry just yet.

“They also do not have the ability to select the news angle from an interview or conversation.”

Prof Xiaojun added: “But robots will be able to act as a supplement, helping newspapers and related media, as well as editors and reporters.”


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How A.I. and Robots Will Radically Transform the Economy

Below is a summary for the article : How Artificial Intelligence and Robots Will Radically Transform the Economy by NewsGeek

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Yeah, your automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs over the years, but its biography might give you hope that the coming wave of automation driven by artificial intelligence will turn out better for almost all of us than a lot of people seem to think.

That’s hundreds of thousands of jobs vaporized-there are now 168,000 gas stations in the U.S. The loss of those jobs was undoubtedly devastating for the individuals who had them, but the broader impact has been pretty positive for the rest of us.

As has happened throughout the history of automation, some jobs got destroyed by automated gas pumps, but new and often better jobs were created.

The automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs and created many new jobs for more skilled workers.

We took hundreds of thousands of people out of the pool of those who might want a gas station attendant job and pushed them up, toward the professional job market, adding a lot of value to society and their wallets.

Now, even with software automating all kinds of work, there are signs that the technology is creating more jobs than it destroys.

In the future, robots won’t just build cars, they’ll also drive them, replacing human jobs by taking over taxis, semi trucks and trains.

“The concern is not that robots will take human jobs and render humans unemployable,” Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent talk.

The worry is that the speed of AI’s encroachment on jobs “Could lead to sustained periods of time with a large fraction of people not working.”

Of course, we don’t know if we’ll succeed at any of that, but one certainty is that we can’t do it without AI. So if you’re still standing at that gas pump filling your tank, here’s what the robot, based on its decades of experience, will tell you about the new robot economy: The one thing worse for the human race than developing AI would be stopping the development of AI. If this is a fairy tale about work and jobs, AI is both the bad witch and good witch-destroyer and creator.


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A.I. gets physical

Below is a summary for the article : For robots, artificial intelligence gets physical by Science News


Like an experienced human surgeon, the robot places each suture deftly, precisely – and with intelligence.

For robots, artificial intelligence means more than just “Brains.” Sure, computers can learn how to recognize faces or beat humans in strategy games.

The goal is to build robots that can make decisions based on what they’re sensing around them – robots that can gauge the force needed to push open a door or figure out how to step carefully on a slick sidewalk.

Eventually, such robots could work like humans, perhaps even caring for the elderly.

Wu wants to make robots that, like humans, sense the surface they’re on and adjust their walk accordingly.

Walking robots have already ventured out into the world: Last year, a competition sponsored by DARPA, the Department of Defense agency that funds advanced research, showcased a lineup of semiautonomous robots that walked over rubble and even climbed stairs.

Ideally, Cutkosky says, robots should be covered with tactile sensors – just like human skin.

With smart skin, robots could invest more brainpower in the big stuff, what humans begin learning at birth – how to use their own bodies.

Santos sees a future, 10 to 20 years from now perhaps, where humans and robots collaborate seamlessly – more like coworkers than master and slave.

This article appears in the November 12 issue of Science News with the headline, “Robot awakening: Physical intelligence mak


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