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Context Computing: a new age begins

TheAgeOfContext

I was in San Francisco in November 2013 and I had the opportunity to see a conference from Robert Scoble and Shel Israel about their last book “Age of Context”.  This age of Context Computing will revolutionize the way to image the interaction with devices and will concretely enter in our life in 2014 with the electronic Glasses and interactive watches. And this is only the beginning as explained the lecturers ; in the next ten years, you will find the context programs in your cars and probably in all devices that you can imagine: toothbrushes , industrial machines, refrigerators, televisions , … and probably everywhere in more than 10 years!

From the 70s and 80s , for 20 years , we have evolved into the age of the batch computing. Humans keyboarded data during the days ; and during the night batches calculated data from those entered manually .

From the 90s and 2000s, for 20 years again, we entered into the age of the event computing. Humans keyboarded data ; and immediately by clicking on a button,  program was launched to calculate synchronously or asynchronously data.

From the 2010s with tablets and their sensors and more significantly from 2014 with the new usage of the new electronic Glasses or interactive Watches, we are entering in the age of context computing . Computers or devices are equipped with sensors for sensing the temperature , brightness, heartbeat , blood pressure , speed, racing acceleration or position in space; and depending on the context , the developments made interacts with humans when a context is recognize; the system provides contextual information in order to help people with the aim to be more effective. This may seems firstly trivial, but this is for me also a revolution.

Don’t hesitate to read the excellent article from Forbes published in October 2013 : Contextual Computing: Our Sixth, Seventh And Eighth Senses.

Don’t hesitate to buy the book “Age of Context” that gives really the possibilities of the future major revolution of the computing : Age of Context from   Robert Scoble and Shel Israel .

Will Robots Social Network When They Eclipse Man’s Intelligence?

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Singularity

Singularity for those mere mortals who are unaware is . First proposed by mathematician John von Neumann, it is the time when “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.”

Ray Kurzweil

In his book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology“, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that computers will be as smart as humans by 2029, and that by 2045, “computers will be billions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence”.

So if robots and artificial intelligence will inevitably have more intelligence than man, what will social networking look like in that world? Well, according to a new social network catering to robots and their owners, you don’t have to wait another 16 years to find out. Almost like a real-life version of “Back To The Future,” launched in December, 2011, MyRobots.com is artificial intelligence’s answer to Facebook.

Social Network for Robots

Designed for robot owners and their robotic devices, the portal offers an opportunity for robots to generate their own status updates. Internet-enabled robots can be connected to MyRobots with an open API.

And if one network wasn’t enough, there’s also RoboEarth, described as “a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment.” The site is designed for robots to upload their experiences at solving a task so that other robots can learn from the data. RoboEarth’s team members are Europe-based researchers with funding from the European Commission’s Cognitive Systems and Robotics Initiative.

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Robotics and Optimism

Robotics interface are now able to be connected with our brain. This is here a very good sample of these new natural user interface that will be used in the near future by everybody.

Check the video below:

Video: A year after losing her hands and feet to a flesh-eating bacteria, Aimee Copeland is adjusting to life as the first woman to receive state-of-the-art prosthetic hands. She talks about how she’s coping with her losses and her hopes for the future. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

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by Jonathan Strickland (courtesy fwthinking)

I’m the first to admit that I’m snarky, sarcastic and goofy. But I’m also honestly optimistic about the future. Much of that is because I’ve seen some great stories come out of what was first a tragic set of circumstances. That’s the case with Aimee Copeland.

Miss Copeland suffered an injury while going on a zip-lining adventure. The injury led to a battle with flesh-eating bacteria, which ultimately required Copeland to have a leg and both her hands amputated. I can’t imagine how tough it was for her to go through all that.

Today, Copeland has a new set of hands courtesy of a company called Touch Bionics. Normally, these hands would cost around $100,000 but the company gifted them to Copeland free of charge.

Now, I don’t expect tech companies to display altruistic behavior for every person who would benefit from their products…

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Innovative way to teach and learn

NewWayToTeachAndLearn

How learn if robots run the world?

Science fiction writers and blockbuster movies have been predicting a world run by robots for decades, and for most of us, the fantasy has stayed in the realm of fiction. But artificial intelligence has made rapid progress and robots are becoming more a part of everyday life than many people realize. Those who study robots and their impact on life foresee a day not too far off when many jobs now held by people will be automated.

Computers & incremental creativity

As artificial intelligence improves and slowly takes over aspects of daily life, the only way for people to continue to be useful is to “up-skill” — and that takes creativity. “Incremental creativity is just improving on something, but radical creativity is thinking something up,”. We can believe that, in time, computers will be capable of incremental creativity, slowly improving a process and building on its success. What they will never be able to do is generate a radically new idea.

The role of educators

“The role of the educator is to channel and guide what is fundamentally an improvisational process”. Education has to focus on learning how to learn – metacognition. School will still be important, but not to impart what happened during the Revolutionary War or to teach the quadratic formula. School, he said, should focus on teaching young people the intangibles, the things that make humans unique: relationships, flexibility, humanity, how to make discriminating decisions, resilience, innovation, adaptability, wisdom, ethics, curiosity, how to ask good questions, synthesizing and integrating information, and of course, creating. In the future, computers and humans will be working together to create the next big invention and when that happens, people can distinguish themselves by controlling the process and the strategy. Humans will define the goals and will think creatively about solutions.

To produce more creative thinkers

Most political leaders and education experts agree that the education system needs to adapt to the technological realities of the age and work to produce more creative thinkers. “The whole culture is coming out with support for more and greater creativity in students,” said R. Keith Sawyer, professor of education and psychology studying creativity and learning at Washington University in St. Louis, at the same conference.

Recognizing that much of the creative work generated comes out of collaborative group work, teachers can think about their classrooms as places for improvisational flow, where teachers and students are building knowledge together. Structure is needed, but some flexibility as well.

An incremental learning model

To arrive at an improvisational classroom, educators can move away from an instructional model for the classroom. The traditional model clings to the notion that children need to learn particular facts and it’s the teacher’s job to impart that information to students. Facts and information build incrementally and turn into more complex ideas, and learning is measured by testing knowledge of facts.

But many argue that this model results in superficial knowledge and low retention, weak transfer to new situations, inability to integrate facts and apply to other situations, Sawyer said.

Sawyer proposes that schooling should be constructionist, focusing on a deeper, conceptual understanding of topics with the ability to build new knowledge in new situations. To do this, students need to take facts, skills, and concepts and apply them to real-word problems. Learning should start with a driving question. This way, students can explore the topic through inquiry and discussion, working in teams, just as they would in the workplace or other life situations. Students create a tangible product that addresses the issue at hand, and along the way an instructor guides the process.

Every teacher as creative professional

Every teacher is a creative professional,” Sawyer said. “And in the ideal world, every teacher is contributing these small ideas, engaging in mutual tinkering. But we have to share with others, we can’t keep it in the classroom.” The creative act of teaching needs to be a collaborative one, like a startup team working on the next innovative product. If each teacher continues to tinker and offer ideas to the larger group, a creative breakthrough will emerge.

“It’s going to be every one of us that contributes ideas along the way,” Sawyer said. And in doing so, teachers everywhere can create the institutional change that stands between them and implementing the ideas that to many are obvious and instinctual.

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Innovation at school: combining Robotics With Poetry?

Robot-Poetry

In 2013, French government is trying to find a way to push France to be more innovative. France is considered a moderately innovative country in Europe (see more details with the previous article TOP4 Leaders in Europe). French government is focusing on education aspect: how to infuse the spirit of innovation at school?

Art and Engineering Can Co-Exist

At the beginning, people thought she was nuts. Sue Mellon, working in United States, gifted support coordinator for Springdale Junior and Senior High/Colfax School in the Allegheny Valley School District, thought 7th and 8th graders could develop a deeper understanding of poetry by playing around with robotics.

“Originally, people looked at me like I was crazy,” Mellon said. Now, two years later, Robotics Poetry is a staple of language arts classes at Springdale and a new grant has students preparing to be peer mentors.

Poetry isn’t always easy for students. But with hands-on engagement, they gain new understanding. Take Robert Frost’s “Pasture.” Instead of just reading and discussing the work in a typical classroom setting, students made 21st-century dioramas with robotic tool kits containing sensors, motors, LEDs, and a controller. One student made a blue plastic wrap lake in an old cardboard photocopy-paper box that vibrated, thanks to the motor, and, lit up, thanks to the LED. When the student said the word “water”—students record themselves reading the poems aloud in the audio-editing program Audacity—the LED turned the plastic wrap a deeper shade of blue. When he got to the bit about the “tottering” calf, the motor made the toy calf vibrate.

Critical for Innovation

The move to include art and design in the push to advance science, engineering, and math is not just a “feel-good” move. It’s critical to the future economy and families’ standard of living. Researchers are finding that although children’s IQ scores have been steadily rising, results on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking—a key measure of creativity—have been on the decline since 1990, just as the demand for more creative thinkers is rising. In a 2010 IBM survey, 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as a top leadership competency of the future.

At a professional development event for local superintendents, the participants had all read Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind,” and then Pink came in to discuss the importance of creativity. An executive director of state agency that support the Sue Mellon’s school, spoke to the participants about the importance of “right-brain qualities” like empathy and inventiveness. “The message was loud and clear, and that’s when the movement started. Being strong in math and science wasn’t enough. To meet future workforce needs, we had to address the whole-brain needs of our students.”

See more details on original article

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/combining-robotics-with-poetry-art-and-engineering-can-co-exist/