Artificial Intelligence: From Turing Test to Tokyo Test

Within the field of artificial intelligence, a new Japanese initiative promises to further blur the line between human and machine. A group of AI researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics just set a new goal: create an artificial intelligence program capable of passing the nation’s most difficult college entrance exams – including the entrance exam at the University of Tokyo. If an AI program can trick college admissions officers into thinking that it’s a human – it would mark one of the greatest accomplishments yet for artificial intelligence.

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The True Superhumans Are Already Among U

We used to think of “superhumans” as comic book heroes possessing extraordinary, even divine-like powers. Now, we are realizing that the true superhumans are already among us – they are the extraordinary Paralympians who are actively embracing technology as a way to transform their “disabilities” into “super-abilities.”

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Will Robot Traders and Rogue Algorithms Take Down Wall Street?

We already know that supercomputers, sophisticated algorithms and mathematical models are at the very heart of the modern financial markets. Now, with l'affaire Knight Capital we've just seen how robot traders and rogue algorithms could potentially take down Wall Street. In a span of less than an hour, a rogue algorithm programmed to exploit market efficiencies by buying and selling stocks repeatedly for profit actually inverted the logic of Wall Street: instead of buying low, selling low, the algorithm began to buy high, sell low. All told, the rogue algorithm resulted in a $440 million loss for Knight Capital, causing many to question the state of our modern financial markets.

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Is the Internet Becoming the Bot Net?

On the Internet, we’ve reached a tipping point where more than 50% of all Internet traffic is no longer generated by humans – instead, it's generated by a motley mix of search engine spiders, bots, scrapers, scammers, hackers and, yes, spies. We are no longer talking about the Internet, we are talking about the Bot Net – a “bot-mediated reality” where algorithms and bots influence where we go, how long we spend there and with whom we communicate. 

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A Walk Through the Shadow of the Uncanny Valley

If it sometimes feels like it’s impossible to keep up with the torrent of information, data and digital content that’s being created every day online, you’re not alone. Within the next few years, it’s highly conceivable that many of us will have enhanced versions of ourselves that are able to complete all the routine online tasks – such as updating our social networking profiles or applying to jobs – that are already within the limits of artificial intelligence. In fact, the entire Transhumanism movement is based around that very idea – that soon, a hybrid of human and machine intelligence will make it possible to transcend our current cognitive limits.

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Creepy Robot Babies, Plastic Receptionists

Here’s more evidence that inanimate objects can spark human emotions… In Japan, testing of a robot baby called “Babyloid” has been completed and commercial production is set to begin. The purpose of the baby-bots is to engage the emotions of senior citizens, and in particular those with depression who would most benefit from “human” interaction:

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You Robot: An Innovation in Conversations?

I have been a big believer in the idea that we need to reinvent the meeting. Seth Godin wrote an interesting post about how to use the iPad to improve meeting productivity. This past weekend, I was reading about a new remote controlled video presence by Vgo Communications of Nashua, New Hampshire that they hope will revolutionize meetings by allowing a person to move a slender white robot — equipped with all the capabilities of a video conference system and the ability to move around an office, factory, hospital or any other location by remote control. This Boston Globe Video shows the device in action. It is a virtual presence for a remote person.

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Robotic Evolution

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Converging Toys, Part II (*Updated*)

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Converging Toys, Part II

by: C. Sven Johnson

Some time back I wrote a blog entry titled, “Converging Toys, Part I
with the intention of writing a “Part II” shortly after. Needless to
say, this follow-up is a long time in coming, but I can’t think of a
better time than now, as it comes so soon after Christmas.

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