Self-Driving Research Goes Open Source, AI Moves Past Human Input

In the News
April 21, 2017

Automation is inescapable in the news, but we need to take the time to put business and technical developments into wider perspective.

Will reusable and disposable aerospace technology democratize automation? How is China’s self-driving research a global market play? How important is ethics to the development of artificial intelligence?

Robotics Business Review has partnered with me to bring you a weekly roundup of the top robotics developments. This week, we look at AI and self-driving research developments from rivals Google and Baidu, as well as the latest questions around responsible training of AI. Are you ready to be updated?

Google works on limitless AI
Currently, artificial intelligence learns from input. Then it is deployed to complete a specific task or solve a problem. Google Inc.’s Brain AI Lab has turned this on its head with its Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). The goal of GAN is to have AI create content such as images and videos from its own understanding of what images and videos are. Google will test GAN by deploying two algorithms to compete with each other. One will create the content, and the other that will “critique” it.

The implications of what Google is working on should not be understated. Google is essentially looking to develop AI that is capable of learning, behaving, and communicating without any human input.

Equally important that is AI could be tomorrow’s content creator in fields such as journalism and the arts. The question is, who will be consuming this content — humans or other robots?

Automated spacecraft to dock
China this week launched its first cargo spacecraft, named Tianzhou 1. The goal is to have the cargo spacecraft dock with Tiangong 2, China’s space lab, to deliver supplies and refuel. There are no humans present — the entire process will be automated.

This demonstrates the growing importance of robotics in near-Earth space. Specifically, it isn’t just about sending robotic rovers to other planets or developing robotic arms, innovations that have come from established space powers like the U.S. and Russia.

Robotics could help China to compete in a leaner, faster, and more frugal way. Technologies such as automated spacecraft will likely play a significant role in future missions, such as China’s planned visit to the dark side of the moon...

Continue Reading