A step closer to self-aware machines

UnknownEngineers create a robot that can imagine itself:

’Robots that are self-aware have been science fiction fodder for decades, and now we may finally be getting closer. …Columbia Engineering researchers have made a major advance in robotics by creating a robot that learns what it is, from scratch, with zero prior knowledge of physics, geometry, or motor dynamics. Initially the robot does not know if it is a spider, a snake, an arm—it has no clue what its shape is. After a brief period of “babbling,” and within about a day of intensive computing, their robot creates a self-simulation. The robot can then use that self-simulator internally to contemplate and adapt to different situations, handling new tasks as well as detecting and repairing damage in its own body. The work is published today in Science Robotics.…’

Via 3 Quarks Daily

‘We’re all passengers in a billionaire hijacking’

5c53821974c587082f6bee48 1920 1440Anand Giridharadas, the critic who has the world’s richest people buzzing:

’Q: What does Davos stand for in your view? Do you have any particular thoughts on this year’s, specifically?

Anand Giridharadas: I think Davos is a family reunion for the plutocrats that broke the modern West. I’ve never been to it, so I’m a cultural critic looking from a distance, but it seems to me to be a gathering of people who think that they are changing the world when they are exactly what needs changing. A gathering of people who use the idea of making a difference as a kind of lubricant in the engine of making a killing, of people who promote generosity as a cheap substitute for justice.…’

Via Business Insider