Tag: Robots and Robotics

Andrew Yang: Yes, Robots Are Stealing Your Job

During the last Democratic debate, in Ohio, there was a moment that stood out. Elizabeth Warren and I got into a debate over the impact of automation versus trade on the elimination of manufacturing jobs. Joe Biden also chimed in, agreeing that the fourth industrial revolution is costing jobs, so it’s important to deal with […]

Read More

Burrito Delivered by Bot, as Long as Students Don’t Trap It

BERKELEY, Calif. — Come lunchtime on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, thousands of students rush out for a bite to eat and head back to class. But for more than a year, a few hundred have stayed put and instead summoned a knee-high robot bearing a burrito, a burger or other meals […]

Read More

We Shouldn’t be Scared by ‘Superintelligent A.I.’

Intelligent machines catastrophically misinterpreting human desires is a frequent trope in science fiction, perhaps used most memorably in Isaac Asimov’s stories of robots that misconstrue the famous “three laws of robotics.” The idea of artificial intelligence going awry resonates with human fears about technology. But current discussions of superhuman A.I. are plagued by flawed intuitions […]

Read More

Amazon’s First Fully Automated Factory Is Anything But

Editors’ note: This is part of the Op-Eds From the Future series, in which science fiction authors, futurists, philosophers and scientists write Op-Eds that they imagine we might read 10, 50 or even 200 years from now. The challenges they predict are imaginary — for now — but their arguments illuminate the urgent questions of […]

Read More

Democrats, Avoid the Robot Rabbit Hole

One of the less discussed parts of Tuesday’s Democratic debate was the exchange that took place over automation and how to deal with it. But it’s worth focusing on that exchange, because it was interesting — by which I mean depressing. CNN’s Erin Burnett, one of the moderators, asked a bad question, and the debaters […]

Read More

If a Robotic Hand Solves a Rubik’s Cube, Does It Prove Something?

This article is part of our continuing Fast Forward series, which examines technological, economic, social and cultural shifts that happen as businesses evolve. SAN FRANCISCO — Last week, on the third floor of a small building in San Francisco’s Mission District, a woman scrambled the tiles of a Rubik’s Cube and placed it in the […]

Read More

How to Build Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust

Artificial intelligence has a trust problem. We are relying on A.I. more and more, but it hasn’t yet earned our confidence. Tesla cars driving in Autopilot mode, for example, have a troubling history of crashing into stopped vehicles. Amazon’s facial recognition system works great much of the time, but when asked to compare the faces […]

Read More

Behold Mortichnia, the Death Trail of an Ancient Worm

More than half a billion years ago, in what is today southern China, a worm resembling an ear of wheat moved along a stretch of sediment underwater, paused, and left a detailed imprint of its undercarriage in the wet earth. Then it moved a little further and died. Its body, seven inches long and segmented, […]

Read More

A Robot With Noodle-like Fingers Helps Handle Soft Jellyfish

It’s tough for marine biologists to study deep sea creatures in their natural habitat. Jellyfish and squid that live a mile or two underwater dwell beyond the range of scuba-diving scientists, who must rely on submarines to explore the near complete darkness at those depths. Once in a while, detritus samplers and other collection tools […]

Read More

And Now, a Bicycle Built for None

As corporate giants like Ford, G.M. and Waymo struggle to get their self-driving cars on the road, a team of researchers in China is rethinking autonomous transportation using a souped-up bicycle. This bike can roll over a bump on its own, staying perfectly upright. When the man walking just behind it says “left,” it turns […]

Read More

Toby Walsh, A.I. Expert, Is Racing to Stop the Killer Robots

Toby Walsh, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, is one of Australia’s leading experts on artificial intelligence. He and other experts have released a report outlining the promises, and ethical pitfalls, of the country’s embrace of A.I. Recently, Dr. Walsh, 55, has been working with the Campaign to Stop Killer […]

Read More

A Shipwreck, 500 Years Old, Appears on the Baltic Seabed

For 500 years, the Baltic Sea held in its depths a tall ship of the Renaissance era. Around the time the ship sank, Columbus was discovering the New World. His fleet vanished long ago. But the Renaissance vessel suddenly reappeared recently, remarkably well preserved in the icy Baltic waters. The first hint of its existence […]

Read More

Inside an Amazon Warehouse, Robots’ Ways Rub Off on Humans

The last person to touch an item at an Amazon fulfillment center is the packer, whose job is to stick each order in a box and tape it shut. As with most jobs, being a packer is more complicated than it looks. Michael Waterman, a packer at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, told me that when […]

Read More

Unleashed, Robo-Insect Takes Flight

For years now, scientists have sought to build aerial robots inspired by bees and other flying insects. But they have always run into a fundamental problem: Flying takes a lot of energy. Insects flap their wings, generating the thrust needed to move through the air by utilizing the energy stored in strong muscles. Their robot […]

Read More

Are You Ready for Weapons That Call Their Own Shots?

Early in the Afghanistan war, Army Rangers hunting Taliban fighters along the Pakistan border saw a goatherd with a radio, probably reporting their position to the Taliban. Under the rules of war, soldiers can shoot someone informing enemy forces of their location, but these men saw that the goatherd was just a girl. If she […]

Read More

DeepMind Can Now Beat Us at Multiplayer Games, Too

Capture the flag is a game played by children across the open spaces of a summer camp, and by professional video gamers as part of popular titles like Quake III and Overwatch. In both cases, it’s a team sport. Each side guards a flag while also scheming to grab the other side’s flag and bring […]

Read More