In what may be a preview of the future of athletics, Hubo, a humanoid robot, carried the Olympic torch in Daejeon, South Korea as part of the relay leading up to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Hubo, who was built by a team at the KAIST public research university and took out the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015, had to perform a disaster rescue operation to hand off the torch to the next runner.
The “latest iteration of the beloved robotic companion” is built around a 64-bit quad-core brain, with deep learning technology seeing the aibo developing “its own unique personality through everyday interactions as it grows closer and closer to its owners.” The robodog is capable of facial recognition, can detect spoken words using four microphones, and react to being stroked and petted thanks to touch sensors on its back, head and jaw.
A primary reason for this is aesthetic – someone will be making the skins for these robots and the inclusion of a sculptor avoids “clunkiness”, introduces subtlety, and helps to create a robot that could be mistaken for human, emerging on the other side of the uncanny valley.However, the inclusion of artists and other people from the creative and humanities fields in the AI discourse is vital for other reasons. The quest to create a robot that is indistinguishable from humans has become all-consuming for many scientists, engineers and technicians.In recent attempts to make robots that look human, such as Sophia, Han, Erica, and Jia Jia, the latest technology is able to capture micro-movements of the face including blinks and frowns. While this is an interesting intellectual exercise, there will be profound implications when we can no longer distinguish between robot and human. The consequences could potentially be both beneficial and catastrophic.
Peetz School dominated at this year’s firefighting-themed Golden Plains BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics Challenge, held Saturday at Northeastern Junior College. While the school was beat out by Julesburg for first place, they did manage to snag the second through fourth place spots.