Who are you calling a robot?

Hyper Island's exploration of possible futures.

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Machines and humans are destined to share this and all the other planets we colonize together in the future. Robots and algorithms make life easier for us and we adopt them in higher and higher numbers each year. It might sound weird to you that humans go as far as being polite to our voice assistants or that we are wired to show empathy for robots and machines. One thing is for sure: this relationship is only going to get closer.

Our relationship has been built around one basic principle: Machines do things that humans are really bad at (processing large large amounts of data quickly, repetition and reliability) and humans do things that machines are really bad at (empathy, having a conscience, curiosity, imagination and emotions).

The thing is, scientists are quickly giving machines a whole new set of human capabilities, which are going to change the dynamic of the relationship.

What’s changing: Friday, December 15th, 2017

  1. Reinforcement learning is helping machines become curious learners (via MIT Technology Review)
  2. Google’s AI program created an AI child that beats the best human-made programs (via The Week)
  3. Neural Networks are learning to forget irrelevant skills which will enable them to adapt faster to a complex environment (via MIT technology Review)
  4. MIT scientists just taught a machine how to manipulate our emotions. (via Co.Design)
  5. Online therapists Woebot and Wysa are helping people feel understood.
  6. Robots can now imagine the future of their actions and anticipate future events. (via Techxplore)
  7. Some scientists are wondering: Are there some things we just shouldn’t build? (via Wired)

Reflection (i)

Find somewhere quiet, grab a pen and paper, and set a timer for five minutes During this time, reflect on the following question: What three things make me feel tense while I am reading this?

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Swedish for “Get outside and enjoy nature-winter or summer, day or night, rain or shine, mud, sleet or snow”.


Curated with curiosity by Iñaki Escudero, Future Activist @inakiescudero