American workers sleepwalking into automated obscurity, says new report

robot replaces human
Picture courtesy of Challenge Magazine

Despite an endless stream of stories in the media warning of humanity’s impending irrelevance in an automated future, it seems American workers remain rather blasé about the prospect of being automated out of existence in the workplace. 

New research by Randstad US contradicts many reports that American workers fear losing their job due to automation.

The 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research found that only 14 percent of US employees worry that automation will take their job away, and nearly one-third (30 per cent) say they think automation will make their job better.  Continue reading American workers sleepwalking into automated obscurity, says new report

Dassault Systèmes boss talks about generative design and whether humans are necessary

DAMEN PSV 5000 - PAUL A SACUTA small
Damen recently selected Dassault Systèmes software for its engineering design process

Nothing is as straightforward as it might first sound. So, for example, one might imagine that, by using generative design software, a designer could set parameters for the computer to produce a structure and then use a 3D printer to output that structure, whether that structure is a single molecule of steel or a larger, more complex structure, like a car body. Basically, you could get the computer to do almost all of the design work.

The technology is available to do those things. And any designer who’s produced countless iterations of one basic design would certainly appreciate such powerful software. But is it really as simple as that? Probably not.

If anyone would know the answer for sure, it would be Stephen Chadwick, managing director of Dassault Systèmes for the north European region, or EuroNorth, and he says it’s possible to remove humans from the design process completely.  Continue reading Dassault Systèmes boss talks about generative design and whether humans are necessary

Toyota demonstrates ‘human service robot’ of a type that may take over a lot of homes

Toyota has been demonstrating what it calls its “Human Support Robot”, a type of robot which looks likely to take over millions of homes all over the world in the next few years.

The market for this type of so-called personal assistance robot is forecast to grow very quickly over the next few years because of advances in the technology.

According to analysts at ResearchAndMarkets.com, the personal robotics market will grow by almost 40 per cent within the next five years to a total size of $34 billion.  Continue reading Toyota demonstrates ‘human service robot’ of a type that may take over a lot of homes

Mitsubishi improves visualisation on its human machine interface

The GT2107 Wide Series Human Machine Interface
The GT2107 Wide Series Human Machine Interface

Mitsubishi has updated its human machine interface and integrated what it says is improved visibility and performance. 

The company says the improvements to its GT2107 HMI were driven by “end user demand”.

Mitsubishi says the GT2107 is an interface that monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen that connects to equipment such as programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives and servos.

The compact HMI features a 7-inch wide display with 800 x 480 resolution for clear image quality and is equipped with a remote connectivity option through a virtual network computing server. Continue reading Mitsubishi improves visualisation on its human machine interface

SAE’s full list of levels for autonomous vehicles

This is the full list of SAE’s autonomy levels:

Level 0 – No Automation: The full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.

Level 1 – Driver Assistance: The driving mode-specific execution by a driver assistance system of either steering or acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 2 – Partial Automation: The driving mode-specific execution by one or more driver assistance systems of both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 3 – Conditional Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 4 – High Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 5 – Full Automation: The full-time performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver.

New finds from China suggest human evolution probably of regional continuity

skull

The period between about 200,000 and 50,000 years ago saw the amplification of regional diversity in human biology. Given the fragmentary nature of that human fossil record, the nature of these late Middle and early Late Pleistocene humans in the more northern portions of eastern Eurasia has been unclear.

In their recent study, paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators reported two early Late Pleistocene (~105,000- to 125,000-year-old) crania from Lingjing, Xuchang, China. They exhibit a morphological mosaic with differences from and similarities to their western contemporaries. This morphological combination reflects Pleistocene human evolutionary patterns in general biology, as well as both regional continuity and interregional population dynamics.

The Xuchang 1 and 2 crania, excavated in situ in the Lingjing site in Xuchang County of Henan Province between 2007 and 2014, exhibit a distinctive morphological pattern combined with paleobiological trends that appear to have been pan-Old World. They reflect eastern Eurasian ancestry in having low, sagittally flat, and inferiorly broad neurocrania. They share occipital (suprainiac and nuchal torus) and temporal labyrinthine (semicircular canal) morphology with the Neandertals. Continue reading New finds from China suggest human evolution probably of regional continuity

The machine and AI: What’s in our future?

arnold schwarzenegger
Eat, drink and take regular exercise if you want to live

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial automation parts supplier, EU Automation discusses how recent developments in machine learning are influencing industry

In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing developed a way of testing a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour, equivalent to humans.

Since the Turing Test was first used, the world has become fixated on the possibility that, one day, a computer could function like a human being.

Machine learning is a concept that has been around for many decades. In machine learning, the computer doesn’t rely on rule-based programming, rather the algorithms can adapt and learn from the data.  Continue reading The machine and AI: What’s in our future?

Robot ethics: Three things industry can learn from new robotic standards

Ethical robots

Graham Mackrell, managing director of robotic gearing specialist Harmonic Drive UK, explains the three things industry can take away from the new standard

The British Standards Institute recently released a new set of standards for the ethical design of robots and robotic devices.

The standards highlight the growing need for guidelines on robotic safety, contact with human beings, robotic deception, addiction and possible sexism or racism exhibited by self-learning artificial intelligence systems.

When science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote about the three laws of robotics in his book Runaround in 1942, little did he know they would one day become a reality for a world filled with robots.

From automated manufacturing plants, medical and pharmaceutical applications to military, agricultural and automotive systems, robots are everywhere in our modern world.  Continue reading Robot ethics: Three things industry can learn from new robotic standards

Chinese robot maker CloudMinds creates robots based on cloud intelligence

cloud-computing

Company backed by SoftBank says it has switched from artificial intelligence to cloud intelligence

A Chinese company called CloudMinds says it has created what it says is a “cloud intelligence ecosystem” for robotics. 

CloudMinds specialises in the research, development and manufacturing of cloud intelligence-based applications.

It has several investors, including SoftBank Group, the Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet firm.  Continue reading Chinese robot maker CloudMinds creates robots based on cloud intelligence

New findings highlight promise of chimeric organisms for science and medicine

cell

Rapid advances in the ability to grow cells, tissues and organs of one species within an organism of a different species offer an unprecedented opportunity for tackling longstanding scientific mysteries and addressing pressing human health problems, particularly the need for transplantable organs and tissues.

In a tour de force paper published in the January 26, 2017, issue of the journal Cell, scientists at the Salk Institute report breakthroughs on multiple fronts in the race to integrate stem cells from one species into the early-stage development of another. Continue reading New findings highlight promise of chimeric organisms for science and medicine

Piaggio, maker of Vespa, launches mobile robot as part of its newly created robotics-oriented business unit

piaggio gita
Gita, the object-carrying mobile robot from Piaggio, being driven round the bend

Piaggio, the company behind the iconic Vespa motor bikes, is launching a cylindrical mobile robot with a carrying capacity of 40 lb 

Piaggio Group, which claims to be the largest European manufacturer of two-wheel motor vehicles such as the famous Vespa, has launched Piaggio Fast Forward, a newly-established company based in the US formed to pioneer future robotics-oriented technology.

Piaggio was founded over 130 years ago, but the company says its new division is aiming to “fundamentally rethinking the movement of people and goods”.

Michele Colaninno, chairman of PFF, says: “We have established Piaggio Fast Forward to reinvent the future of mobility and this is best accomplished with PFF as a separate entity, but with the backing and experience of the Piaggio Group. You can expect to find Piaggio Fast Forward blurring the lines between transportation, robotics, and urban environments.”  Continue reading Piaggio, maker of Vespa, launches mobile robot as part of its newly created robotics-oriented business unit

Artificial intelligence systems replacing finance sector professionals

ibm brain chip
IBM has developed what it says is a ‘brain-inspired’ chip

More and more people are realising that it’s not just factory jobs the robots are after – it’s your intellectual jobs too. 

In the latest developments, an insurance company in Japan has replaced 34 of its insurance claim workers with artificial intelligence systems.

And the world’s largest hedge fund says it will replace all its managers with AI systems – after it drains the brains of its human employees and distills their knowledge into an algorithm.

Full story at em360tech.com

Mercedes research boss prioritises artificial intelligence

Daimler – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz – is placing artificial intelligence at the centre of its plans going forward, says its head of research, Anke Kleinshmit, at the company’s Future Talk conference

How is artificial intelligence influencing tomorrow’s mobility? How can we use its ideas today? How intelligent will the car of the future be? And above all: what role will people play in this?

These were the central questions discussed by Mercedes-Benz experts at the fourth Future Talk in Berlin in dialogue with scientists, engineers and journalists. In the past few years the Mercedes-Benz Future Talk has dealt with the subjects of utopia, robotics and virtuality. This time, the focus was on the integration of artificial intelligence in the field of mobility and the interaction of humans and machines.

Already in the 1960s researchers expected a major breakthrough in the development and application of artificial intelligence, but the human world still proved too complex for digital computers. However, due to the triumph of the internet, the mass of data that has become available with this and the huge increase in computing power of today’s computers, artificial intelligence is now entering people’s lives and also offers big opportunities and potential for the future of the automobile.  Continue reading Mercedes research boss prioritises artificial intelligence

The future of work: Generation Z against the Machine

kuka writing robot

Stephen Parker, CEO of digital engagement specialist Parker Software, explains how businesses can use technology to enhance jobs rather than replace them

There is a persistent myth that the rise of automation, robotics and software is a recipe for disaster. Many people worry that technological innovation will lead to the demise of human jobs, otherwise known as structural unemployment.

These claims are dangerous for “generation Z”, creating an uneasy atmosphere of automation anxiety and paranoia over job security.

Many of us have heard about the idea of automation anxiety, which is the fear that robotics and software will one day come to replace humans in the workforce.  Continue reading The future of work: Generation Z against the Machine

Your next nurse could be a robot, say scientists who trained one

 

operating room

Robots can successfully imitate human motions in the operating room, claim scientists

The nursing assistant for your next trip to the hospital might be a robot. This is the implication of research recently published by Dr Elena De Momi and colleagues in the open access journal Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Dr De Momi, of the Politecnico di Milano, in Italy, led an international team that trained a robot to imitate natural human actions. De Momi’s work indicates that humans and robots can effectively coordinate their actions during high-stakes events such as surgeries.

Over time this should lead to improvements in safety during surgeries because unlike their human counterparts robots do not tire and can complete an endless series of precise movements. The goal is not to remove human expertise from the operating room, but to complement it with a robot’s particular skills and benefits.  Continue reading Your next nurse could be a robot, say scientists who trained one