Category Archives: Human Robots
If someone asks you to hand them a wrench from a table full of different sized wrenches, you'd probably pause and ask, "which one?" Robotics researchers from Brown University have now developed an algorithm that lets robots do the same thing—ask for clarification when they're not sure what a person wants. Continue reading
Facebook Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Help Prevent SuicideAlex Kantrowitz | BuzzFeed"Today, Facebook is introducing an important piece of that technology—a suicide-prevention feature that uses AI to identify posts indicating suicidal or harmful thoughts. The AI scans the posts and their associated comments, compares them to others that merited intervention, and, in some cases, passes them along to its community team for review."
Cobalt Robotics Introduces a (Mostly) Autonomous Mobile Security RobotEvan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum"It [Cobalt's robot] can navigate around pre-mapped areas in buildings, it can recognize people and read badges, and it has a pile of sensors (day-night cameras, lidar, microphone array, RFID and badge readers, and even smoke and CO2 detectors) that helps it to recognize potential security issues (unauthorized people, open doors and windows) and hazards (suspicious items, moved items, water leaks) and flag them for review."
SpaceX Plans to Send 2 Tourists Around Moon in 2018Kenneth Chang | The New York Times"Seven space tourists have paid tens of millions of dollars to fly on Russian Soyuz rockets to visit the International Space Station, which is about 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. This would be a much more distant trip. The moon is about a quarter million miles away, and the trajectory would take the capsule 300,000 to 400,000 miles from Earth. No astronauts have ventured beyond low-Earth orbit since the last of NASA’s Apollo moon landings in 1972."
What's Causing the Sudden Boom in 360 Videos in Your Social Feeds?Elizabeth Woyke | MIT Technology Review"We experience the world in 360 degrees, surrounded by sights and sounds. Until recently, there were two main options for shooting photos and video that captured that context: use a rig to position multiple cameras at different angles with overlapping fields of view or pay at least $10,000 for a special camera."
White Hat Hackers Warn of Easy to Hack Household RobotsLorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai | Vice MOTHERBOARD"Cesar Cerrudo and Lucas Apa said they looked into the security of the SoftBank Robotics' NAO and Pepper, the UBTECH Robotics' Alpha 1S and Alpha 2, the ROBOTIS' OP2 and THORMANG3, among others, and found more than 50 bugs in their ecosystem. These robots have so many vulnerabilities, Cerrudo said, that he wouldn't have them always on if he owned one."
As Uber Melts Down, Its CEO Says He 'Must Fundamentally Change'Adrienne LaFrance | The Atlantic"After a stunning month of scandals at Uber, Kalanick, its founder and CEO, sent an emotional and uncharacteristically apologetic memo to his employees Tuesday night. “This is the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help,” Kalanick wrote. 'And I intend to get it.'"
Banner Image Credit: Shutterstock Continue reading
Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings?
Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) and Cristina Olarte-Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja), in cooperation with Professor Kiyoshi Murata, from Meiji University in Tokyo, believe society is ready for this melding of (hu)man and machine.
The Spanish academics’ report "Assessing the acceptance of technological implants (the cyborg): Evidences and challenges" has just been released in the scientific journal Computers in Human Behavior. The report shows a significant proportion of those surveyed are comfortable with the coming cyborg modifications. The group are also collaborating with other academics across the world, including Professor Kiyoshi Murata, for a comparative cross-cultural study roundtable at the 2017 ETHICOMP conference this summer in Turin, Italy.
Quick background: There are already the accepted medical examples: Cochlear implants, pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, catheters and heart valves, as well as those that incorporate technology into the body through sensory prostheses: exoskeletons, neuroprostheses, and deep brain stimulation. Then there’s the underground biohacking and transhumanism movement, with Amal Graafstra and his double RFID implants as a notable exponent (you can see him in demo mode here).
Unsurprisingly, tech giants are also looking into the cyborg field, experimenting in the lab and registering intriguing patents: Motorola is investigating a neck implant to improve cellular reception and Nokia might be developing a tattoo that vibrates.
We spoke to the report’s three authors via email recently. In a series of conversations, they explained the theory behind the report, ethical and evolutionary implications of “insideables,” and whether they’d go under the knife to achieve cyborg elite status.
How did the term “insideables” come about? Was it to distinguish from “wearables,” which are attached to, but not part of, the body?
We initially called them T3ICs (Technological Implants to Increase Innate Capacities). However, we later learned of the work of Lucien Engelen, director of the REshape Center for Health(care) Innovation, who used the term “insideables.”
What sort of surgically-inserted objects count as insideables?
Insideables are electronic devices implanted in the human body that interact with the user to increase innate human capacities, such as mental agility, memory, or physical strength, or to give us new ones, such as the ability to control machines remotely.
But this is over and beyond the current medical field, right?
Yes. It is important to distinguish between insideables and medical implants. Unlike medical implants, insideables are not implanted for medical reasons (although they may enhance our health).
Needless to say, there are anthropological, philosophical, and ethical questions surrounding the implantation of electronic devices to improve capacities as opposed to for therapeutic (health) reasons.
In your study you refer to “Cyborg Theory.” Can you explain what that means?
In the field of computational theory of the mind and in cyborg theory (“cyborg” refers to a blend of the human and the mechanical), the human body is viewed as a machine. The integration of this technology in the body could be seen as an evolutionary leap for the species, whereby reasonable people will improve their capacities as much as technology allows.
The Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (Spain) funded your study. Does that mean Spain is vying to become the center of cyborg theory and insideables manufacturing?
Initially, we received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to conduct the research. Unfortunately, as a result of the Spanish economic crisis, our work is no longer being funded. However, we believe in it, so we are investing our own time and money. At the academic level, there is considerable interest in our work, and several of our papers have been published in high-impact journals, such as Computers in Human Behavior, Psychology and Marketing, and Frontiers in Psychology. From a social and economic standpoint, it has to be remembered that we are dealing with a line of new products with a potentially huge global market. Quite likely, this technology will usher in a level of change on a par with those generated by the advent of the internet or computers.
As authors of the report, if you could have any insideable implanted, what would you choose and why?
Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja): I would implant one of the devices whose market acceptance we are currently studying: a memory implant, specifically, one adapted to learning languages. That would give me access to a vast quantity of information about words in other languages. Of course, information and knowledge (i.e. knowing how to apply that information) are two different things.
Cristina Olarte-Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja): I would also choose a memory implant. I would like to be able to revisit all sorts of memories and nice times regardless of where I am, without the need for an external device like a smartphone. I also think they open up new possibilities for communication and interaction with other people.
Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos): Personally, I am on the same page as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who has said that the intention to use technological implants on one’s children may be greater than the intention to use them on oneself. While he says he would like to “remain natural” himself, he says he would want his children to have them if, in a few years, the technology was giving other kids certain advantages.
Finally, your report highlights a potential divide between an “implanted elite” and the “masses without body mods.”
Yes, we believe these types of products could greatly exacerbate social differences. We could see the rise of a society consisting of an implanted elite alongside the non-implanted masses, who would be unable to achieve the same levels of development as their implanted counterparts. This will be the focus of our global comparative cross-cultural study roundtable for the 2017 ETHICOMP conference in June.
Image Credit: Shutterstock Continue reading
CHINAPLAS 2017 to inspire smart manufacturing through Industry 4.0 Conference
“Industry 4.0”, one of today’s hottest topics, deserves our attention. It potentially will impact nearly every major manufacturing operation around the globe. Germany and China launched their respective “Industry 4.0” and “Made in China 2025” strategies with the similar purpose of upgrading their industries and advancing the goal of smart manufacturing.
Smart manufacturing optimizes the entire supply chain to boost productivity and create higher-quality products, while also improving energy efficiency and workplace safety. Manufacturing industries worldwide — including the plastics and rubber industries — are striving to educate themselves and get up to speed about such strategies, to better position themselves for the next industrial revolution. Guangdong Province in Southern China, one of the country’s pivotal bases for plastics and rubber product manufacture, is in need of industrial transformation and upgrading through smart manufacturing. The manufacturing industries of Guangdong Province face numerous challenges, including rising production costs, and tend to focus on making basic, low-value-added products while not delivering the more sophisticated, higher-end products needed to meet customers’ demands today. Such conditions only underscore the need for these sectors to transform and upgrade themselves through smart manufacturing.
Building on the success of the first edition of “Industry 4.0 Conference” last year in Shanghai, CHINAPLAS will once join with VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, to present the “2nd Industry 4.0 Conference” at this year’s show in Guangzhou. Speakers from leading global plastics and rubber enterprises and application industries, including from the automotive, electrical & electronics and packaging industries, will share their in-depth insights about smart manufacturing. Overseas and domestic enterprises alike, including those based in Pearl River Delta Region, stand to benefit from this event.
“Industry 4.0 Conference” to highlight smart manufacturing standardization
The key to Industry 4.0 is standardization. It aims to enhance the efficiency of technological innovation and business model innovation by standardizing smart factories. That makes the development and adoption of such standards prerequisites for helping modern manufacturing enterprises to deliver high-quality products faster, and at lower cost, thereby allowing them to remain competitive. To properly implement an Industry 4.0 strategy and optimize their manufacturing processes, all companies need to set up a series of standards related to cost, availability and resource consumption.
In the “2nd Industry 4.0 Conference”, VDMA President Thorsten Kühmann will share his insights in respect to the industries’ establishment of standards. A number of professionals from end-user markets will also deliver their interpretations on standardization of smart manufacturing and smart factories.
The “Made in China 2025” strategy initiated by the Chinese government aims to comprehensively upgrade China’s manufacturing industry. It embraces the concept of Industry 4.0 and opens itself to advanced ideas from countries such as the United States, Great Britain and Germany. Both the “Industry 4.0” and “Made in China” strategies emphasize smart manufacturing and cyber-physical systems in industrial development, while the latter focuses on addressing the specific challenges faced by the Chinese market. To help conference participants better understand how to realize smart manufacturing in China under the New Normal economic situation, academic researchers from Tongji University will be invited to interpret the standards related to the “Made in China 2025” strategy.
Best practices to inspire smart manufacturing in end-use sectors
Every end-use sector is striving to keep pace with Industry 4.0. Some enterprises have already accumulated proven solutions and abundant experience for smart manufacturing. In the “2nd Industry 4.0 Conference”, these enterprises will share their best practices to inspire other enterprises, whereas renowned enterprises from automotive, packaging and the electrical and electronics industries will present their technologies and solutions related to smart manufacturing with real case studies from their respective industries.
The conference’s first day will focus on best practices for facilitating smart manufacturing in the automotive industry. KraussMaffei and Engel, global leading suppliers of high-caliber solutions for injection molding and factory automation, will present ideas, knowledge and solutions that will benefit the automotive sector. The second day will be dedicated primarily to the electrical and electronics industry. Arburg and Wittmann Battenfeld are expected to share their solutions for that key sector. On the last day, participants interested in smart manufacturing for the packaging industry will gain valuable insights into advanced research results related to plastic bottle cap manufacturing. SACMI, an international machine manufacturer, will deliver a talk titled “Chemical Reaction Engineering in Mechanical Intelligence — Study on the Feasibility of COMBO in Plastic Bottle Cap Manufacturing.”
Smart Manufacturing Technology Zone serves as an innovative showcase
Besides the conference, CHINAPLAS 2017 also will present a “Smart Manufacturing Technology Zone” on the show floor to showcase solutions for industrial automation. A wealth of cutting-edge exhibits will be presented to demonstrate the innovative results and progress toward smart manufacturing. Apart from the robotics, factory automation systems and components that were featured in the last edition of CHINAPLAS, visitors will have a chance to witness a smart production line and smart factory solutions from leading suppliers, including Bosch Rexroth, Siemens and Demark. There also will be a sub-zone called the “3D Technology Zone” set up in the “Smart Manufacturing Technology Zone”. The sub-zone will bring together well-known companies in the field of 3D printing technology, including 3D software system supplier Autodesk from the USA, 3D printer and application solution suppliers Cangming and Ureal, and 3D printing consumables supplier Renolit.
The zone’s show-floor exhibits, together with the “2nd Industry 4.0 Conference”, will combine to offer an innovative platform to facilitate smart manufacturing.
CHINAPLAS 2017 will be held at the China Import & Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, PR China on May 16-19, 2017. A one-day pass costs RMB 30 and a four-day pass costs RMB 50. To enjoy free admission, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com/prereg to pre-register before May 9. Visitors who successfully pre-register before March 1 will receive their visitor badge by mail in advance, allowing them to bypass the on-site registration queues.
Subscribe to our social media channels and stay tuned!
We invite you to follow CHINAPLAS on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where you can share your questions, connect with like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs, and get first-hand tips for visiting the show.
For more information, please visit the official show website at www.ChinaplasOnline.com
CHINAPLAS launched the 1st edition of “Industry 4.0 Conference” in Shanghai in 2016 with VDMA, the German Engineering Federation. The conference was well received by more than 600 professional visitors.
Informative speeches were delivered by representatives from leading global enterprises.
Issued by Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Hong Kong：Ms. Helen Chan
Tel：(852) 2516 3395
Fax：(852) 2516 5024
About CHINAPLAS 2017
CHINAPLAS 2017 is organized by Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. and Beijing Yazhan Exhibition Services Ltd. and co-organized by China National Light Industry Council – China Plastics Processing Industry Association, China Plastics Machinery Industry Association, Guangdong Plastics Industry Association, Messe Düsseldorf China Ltd., the Plastic Trade Association of Shanghai. The event is also supported by various plastics and rubber associations in China and abroad.
First introduced in 1983, CHINAPLAS has been approved by UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) since 2006. CHINAPLAS has been exclusively sponsored by the Europe’s Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers (EUROMAP) in China for the 28th time. CHINAPLAS is currently Asia’s No. 1 and the world’s No. 2 plastics and rubber trade fair.
The post appeared first on Roboticmagazine. Continue reading
How do top CEOs lead during this exponential age?
How do you manage the explosion of information and onslaught of increasing competition?
How do you sort through the abundance of opportunity and prevent getting burned out?
How do you maintain agility during today’s tsunami of change?
Today’s blog is the first of three parts deriving insights and advice from three incredible, forward-thinking leaders: Beth Comstock, Sue Siegel, and Arianna Huffington (their bios are below).
Beth, Sue and Arianna participated in my 2017 Abundance 360 CEO Summit in a module called “Exponential Leadership.”
There is post in this blog for any exponential leader, so let’s dive in.
Meet the Exponential Leaders
Beth Comstock is the vice chairman of GE. In this capacity, she leads GE's efforts to accelerate new growth. She heads GE's business innovations including GE Lighting, GE Ventures, GE Licensing, GE sales, marketing and communications. And since 2008, she has served as GE's Chief Marketing Commercial Officer.
Sue Siegel is the CEO of GE Ventures. She heads their growth innovation business investing, licensing new creations. Previously, Sue was the President of Affymetrix, and she’s had 30 years of combined commercial experience. She's also on my board at Human Longevity Inc., which I'm very proud of, and GE is an investor in HLI.
Arianna Huffington is the founder of Huffington Post, the Founder and CEO of Thrive Global and a fellow Greek. She is the author of 15 books, including "Thrive – The Sleep Revolution.” She's been named by Time Magazine and by all of us as one of the most influential people on the planet.
All three of these leaders had extraordinary insights to share about leadership in exponential times.
For part 1, let’s dive into Beth’s top takeaways.
Beth Comstock’s Eight Principles of Exponential Leadership
Beth has an extraordinary mindset as a leader at GE.
“These days, I think you have to be constantly thinking about what's next, what's new, and how do I adapt,” Beth began, during her address to A360 members.
Beth outlined eight principles for exponential leadership. Read carefully.
1. Be a Mission-Based, “Emergence Leader”: If you're a leader today, your job is change and culture. It's a lot of other things, but it doesn’t matter where you are in the organization, [the most important aspects] are change and culture. The old is going away (but it has not fully disappeared), the new is emerging and we're all trying to make sense of it. Change suddenly shows up and it's disruptive. An emergence leader is constantly focused on and ready for change.
2. Organize Around Information Flows: In the digital age, information moves fast. To keep up with information flows, you have to ditch hierarchy. There's no room for bureaucracy. It's about openness, candor, radical feedback and full transparency. If you organize your organization around these tenets, you’ll thrive. At GE, we've really reorganized ourselves as a digital industrial company digitizing everything we can get our hands on.
3. Empower Individuals: Build a team of people who are prepared for change and empower them to do great work. The question is: how do you get people to get excited to grab power and go for it? More autonomy.
4. Define your company's “MO” – Mindset Orientation: Mindset is everything. As a leader, you must provide the vision and then allow your teams to figure their way out. Create a mindset that incentivizes them to do what they need to do the fastest, best way they can. It means they may fail. You should encourage them to fail fast, learn from their mistakes, and keep going. At GE, this process is called FastWorks, and it's built on lean startup methodology.
5. Establish Feedback Loops: Exponential leaders must both give and receive feedback—and importantly, they have to actually use it. Beth offers three ideas here:
First: “One of the things we've done at GE is we've actually gotten rid of our employee performance reviews. Anyone in the organization can give anyone feedback. I just did a Facebook Live event last week and one of my young colleagues in the company gave me some feedback. It wasn't so good… ‘You weren't looking at the camera at the right point. You looked like you were distracted.’ It was hard feedback to receive, but it was encouraged.”
Second: Beth suggests asking your team a very direct question that yields a lot of value: “What is the one thing that is true that you think I don’t want to hear?” Beth comments that you’ll be amazed what you’ll learn. It’s extremely valuable.
Third: Rather than doing long, convoluted employee surveys, stick to a simple feedback mechanism: Continue, or consider. You get feedback that says either “Continue doing X” or “Consider changing X to make it better.” It’s really simple, fast and actionable.
6. Get Used to Living in the In-Between: Exponential leaders are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. This is going to be key to survive the change that is coming. Beth advises, “Get used to the ambiguity of working with people who know how to figure it out and who don't need as much instruction.”
7. Mash Up Minds and Machines: Exponential leaders use technology to their advantage, combining the power of computing and data with human leadership. They must develop collaborations between people and machines, between artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the people operating in their company, their customers and their executives. Teams that don’t do this will be left behind.
8. Prioritize Innovation and Observe Patterns That Block It: Innovating is really hard. Good leaders understand they have to navigate the tension. Sometimes leaders give up, and they don't hold their team accountable for growing. They themselves back off on it. And so is it any wonder that the people on the team deprioritize innovating? It’s also important to stick around a while. I've been around my company a while, and it's only after a few years that you start to see the patterns and to understand what went wrong.
Change is coming. Exponential leaders must prepare for it and embrace it.
Beth concluded, “I think we still need great leaders with vision, the ability to find and coach people, to encourage people, to help them renew themselves, to go forward…
“I'm a firm believer that the future still depends on great leaders who can constantly reinvent themselves.” –Beth Comstock, Vice-Chair, GE
Image Credit: Shutterstock Continue reading