A new algorithm lets robots ask for clarification when they’re not sure what a person wants.
“Fetching objects is an important task that we want collaborative robots to be able to do,” says Stefanie Tellex, professor of computer science at Brown University. “But it’s easy for the robot to make errors, either by misunderstanding what we want, or by being in situations where commands are ambiguous. So what we wanted to do here was come up with a way for the robot to ask a question when it’s not sure.”
Let’s be honest — sometimes manufacturing gets a bad rap. The industry can be seen as a behemoth — stuck in the past and slow to innovate, the victim of outsourcing and the purveyor of consumerism. Thankfully, in 2017 these stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth.
Global organizations like GE and Caterpillar are investing in new technologies and innovation methods. Startups like Local Motors and Carbon are creating their own breakthroughs from the ground up. And organizations like the US Council on Competitiveness are working to keep these innovators moving forward. The future of manufacturing is bright.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of trends to watch in 2017. If you want to learn more about the technologies fueling these trends, meet the people leading the charge, and connect with fellow leaders, join us at Exponential Manufacturing May 17–19 in Boston.
1. Innovation Is Outpacing Policy
2. The Cutting Edge Won’t Be Cutting Edge for Long
3. Data-Driven Decision-Making Gets More Intelligent
4. Accelerated Design and Real-World Market Testing
5. The Automation and Democratization of Production
Vanmorgen gevraagd voor een inspiratiesessie over leiderschap in een snel veranderende samenleving. We kwamen in het gesprek al snel op het werk van Mathieu Weggeman, hoogleraar organisatiekunde aan de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Volgens Weggeman hebben planning & control hun beste … Lees verder →
Data is changing the fight against corruption. Stories from Panama and Brazil illustrate how.
In April 2016, the Panama Papers revealed the opaque dealings of offshore companies, trusts and foundations in tax havens used to hide the wealth of the global elite. Data analytics start-ups helped investigative journalists sift through more than 11.5 million documents to connect the dots.
The fallout was severe: within days of the release, dozens of high-ranking officials worldwide were in hot water. The source of the data was a leak from within the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Just months later, in August 2016, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil was impeached. Though the country was embroiled in a corruption scandal linked to a state-owned oil company, the legal reason for her impeachment was a narrow technical matter. In essence, she was found guilty of using accounting tricks to cover up the true state of public finances.
’ve been reading a lot of Neil Postman lately. It’s been one of those years and I’m writing a book about fake news. Postman, the nicest guy in cultural criticism, was a folksy, friendly thinker who imagined the future in which we now live. One of his most important points, made in 1992 before the true data deluge that now befuddles us, is that information has become garbage.
￼In the United States, we have 260,000 billboards; 11,250 newspapers; 11,556 periodicals; 27,000 video outlets for renting video tapes; more than 500 million radios; and more than 100 million computers. Ninety-eight percent of American homes have a television set; more than half our homes have more than one. There are 40,000 new book titles published every year (300,000 worldwide), and every day in America 41 million photographs are taken. And if this is not enough, more than 60 billion pieces of junk mail (thanks to computer technology) find their way into our mail-boxes every year.
From millions of sources all over the globe, through every possible channel and medium — light waves, airwaves, ticker tapes, computer banks, telephone wires, television cables, satellites, printing presses — information pours in. Behind it, in every imaginable form of storage — on paper, on video and audio tape, on discs, film, and silicon chips — is an ever greater volume of information waiting to be retrieved. Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, we are awash in information. And all the sorcerer has left us is a broom.
Information has become a form of garbage, not only incapable of answering the most fundamental human questions but barely useful in providing coherent direction to the solution of even mundane problems. To say it still another way: The milieu in which Technopoly flourishes is one in which the tie between information and human purpose has been severed, i.e., information appears indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, in enormous volume and at high speeds, and disconnected from theory, meaning, or purpose.
So… do I dare google for Sci-Hub, to see for myself what it is all about? I know it is a site that illegally offers more than 60 million scientific papers, grabbed from behind the publisher’s paywalls and libraries’ authentication screens and offered to be downloaded for free. I also know that its founder Alexandra Elbakyan has been featured on Nature.com as one of 10 people that mattered in 2016 . If everyone’s using it or is at least checking it out, shouldn’t I be allowed a little peak? Sci-Hub.org started in 2011 when Elbakyan decided to help others with her skills to circumvent legal access when she could not get or afford to pay for the articles she needed for her own research project. In 2015 she got sued by Elsevier which led to her losing the Sci-Hub.org domain . However, Elbakyan would not give up, motivated by weekly thank-you notes, some with financial support  and supportive tweets , she moves to other domains when necessary.
Robots zullen in toenemende mate productiewerk gaan uitvoeren. Dit proces is al jaren aan de gang en zal de komende jaren dankzij kunstmatige intelligentie verder doorzetten. Echter, ook ‘kenniswerkers’ zullen in toenemende mate vervangen worden door slimme machines die het werk efficiënter kunnen uitvoeren.
QUARTZ schrijft bijvoorbeeld over het initiatief van de Japanse verzekeringsmaatschappij Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance die deze maand 34 medewerkers gaat vervangen door één machine. Deze medewerkers onderzochten tot nu toe ingediende claims. Dankzij kunstmatige intelligentie kunnen nu medische dossiers en andere relevante documenten gescand worden om te bepalen of een verzoek ook daadwerkelijk zal worden uitbetaald. Men verwacht dat claims hierdoor sneller zullen worden uitbetaald.
Het initiatief kost eenmalig 1,7 miljoen dollar en daarna jaarlijks 128.000 dollar. Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance bespaart echter jaarlijks 1,1 miljoen dollar aan
Niche-specific content is usually not readily available through regular generic search engines. One example is the academic and scholarly content. While running a search query about an academic topic through a generic search engine such as Google would probably render fairly decent results, it, however, usually takes digging into so much fluff before finally landing on relevant results. This is where having access to topic-specific search engines comes in handy. Such search engines do not only provide specific content tailored to the topic under study but their content is more likely to be reliable and authoritative. To this end, we have compiled this list of excellent academic search engines that teachers, student researchers and academics can use to quickly locate and access scholarly works and publications. We have only included what we believe are the most relevant and popular titles out there. If you have other suggestions to add to the list please share with us on our Facebook page. Enjoy
Kalev Leetaru writes: "Technology alone cannot solve the fake news problem – only through teaching society to be data and information literate can we improve citizens’ ability to interpret the world around them."
It was just a few days ago that I last wrote about the way people tend to willfully misunderstand Google Books these days, and I had thought I was done with it, but I came across another article so wrong-headed that I just had to speak again. In this case, it’s a piece by James Somers in The Atlantic entitled “Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria.”
The article would be a good summary of the process Google used to scan the books, the contentious issues surrounding the lawsuit and the settlement, and why the Department of Justice and many putative members of the class action objected to it—if it weren’t that it gets so many other things wrong.
My last post was about institutional conservatism in relation to research evaluation and reward. I illustrated it with a brick wall bearing the words “insert head here” because so many wicked problems in scholarly communications today can be traced back to this underlying cause, and its immutability is therefore so frustrating to those trying to tackle its symptoms.
One of the many symptoms is that publishers and researchers are inextricably linked, mutually dependent, and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Evaluation processes — even those that are evolving away from simplistic publication counts or Impact Factor-based points systems — still mean that publication in an established journal is important for researchers, much as quality submissions are important for publishers. It is into this stasis that “scholarly collaboration networks” (SCNs) have emerged, originally as places for researchers to form connections (à la LinkedIn) but increasingly used for “content swapping” and / or “quasi-legal downloading of research papers”.
Avid gamer Lindsey Tropf was studying to get her Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Florida when she realized something major — that World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies could actually be used as ideal learning models for educational video games.
Since then, Lindsey founded the edtech startup Immersed Games in an effort to take full advantage of the medium that is online games. Immersed Games created Tyto Online, a World of Warcraft-style educational game about ecology, set in a futuristic universe where the Earth is no longer inhabitable. It is up to the players to learn how to improve ecosystems so that they can someday return to Earth and restore their planet.
In Tyto Online, users create a character and complete quests and activities. Tropf cites an example of one of these tasks: “If I go accept a quest from a scientist, they might be worried that this weird plant might be an invasive species. And so I start collecting evidence to convince them if I think it is, and go into a detective quest like that.
In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones. Some students discovered that they had a genius for the task. Out of twenty-five pairs of notes, they correctly identified the real one twenty-four times. Others discovered that they were hopeless. They identified the real note in only ten instances. As is often the case with psychological studies, the whole setup was a put-on. Though half the notes were indeed genuine—they’d been obtained from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office—the scores were fictitious. The students who’d been told they were almost always right were, on average, no more discerning than those who had been told they were mostly wrong.
Trudy Raymakers's insight:
We all think its a great capacity- the human capacity for reason. But it may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight. Providing people with accurate information doesn't seem to help; they simply discount it.
A bot has beaten the world’s top poker players, a milestone showing that AI can work with incomplete information.
Libratus, a program created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, has demonstrated new capabilities for artificial intelligence after beating four poker champions in a 20-day tournament for the first time. For marketers, whose work involves situations that are much more similar to poker than to board games like chess and Go, the milestone could signal new possibilities for the use of AI.
Developed by Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science, and his PhD student Noam Brown, Libratus took on poker professionals Dong Kim, Jason Les, Jimmy Chou and Daniel McAulay and ended up winning more than $1.7 million in chips at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
AI bots have beaten human experts at many tasks, from IBM Watson’s Jeopardy triumph in 2011 to DeepMind’s AlphaGo win in 2016. What makes this victory different is that the AI was able to use imperfect information to win. Poker is a complex game that requires intuition, reasoning and an ability to bluff. It’s different from other recreational games that AI has won in the past because an opponent’s hand is hidden and it is impossible to know with certainty what a player has.
For every moment we live in the Information Age, we live two in the Misinformation Age. The Internet has both democratized and degraded information, providing us with all we could ever want to know about the world, and a lot of stuff that is untrue, misleading, offensive; in a word, information is garbage. In sheer volume alone, information (or “data”) on the web is astounding; 6,000 tweets are sent out every second, as are two-million emails. More than one-billion websites populate the Internet, a statistic that doesn’t take into account the “Deep Web,” comprised of untold amounts of information that isn’t accessible to the average web user. Our online lives are becoming bigger, deeper, and busier than ever and with each passing moment, so is the Internet itself, but at what cost? In an era of fake news and alternative facts, is access to endless amounts of information actually harming us more than it’s helping?
Makerspaces are creative spaces located in communities, schools, and public and academic libraries. These areas are designed to engage participants in hands-on activities that teach twenty-first-century skills. The emphasis in makerspaces is placed upon educating students in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects as well as digital and information literacy.
According to Kylie Peppler and Sophia Bender in their article, Maker movement spreads innovation one project at a time, the focus of makerspaces is hands-on learning, “A hallmark of the maker movement is its do-it-yourself (or do-it-with-others) mindset that brings together individuals around a range of activities, including textile craft, robotics, cooking, wood-crafts, electronics, digital fabrication, mechanical repair, or creation — in short, making nearly anything.” This focus on hands-on creative learning is one of the reasons why makerspaces are seen by educators as being a key to innovation and an ideal method for equipping students to succeed in the future
Democracy is drowning in fake news. This is the latest reassuring conclusion drawn by those on the losing side of 2016, from Brexit to the US elections to the Italian referendum.
Apparently, all these earnest, honest and unfashionably rational grownups are losing elections because of a dangerous epidemic of fake news, internet memes and funny YouTube videos. For this crowd, the problem is not that the Titanic of democratic capitalism is sailing in dangerous waters; its potential sinking can never be discussed in polite society anyway. Rather, it’s that there are far too many false reports about giant icebergs on the horizon.
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