News of the Bots – Monday June 10 2019

The 4 robot related things you should know this week.


Robotic fighter jets as AI wingman.

Your tax dollars at work. Its either the worst idea in the world if it works, or the biggest pipe dream ever when it inevitably fails.

Read the full article here.

Key Quote: “The term we use in the Air Force is quarterbacking,” says Will Roper, assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and one of the experts working to develop the AI wingmen. “So the pilot is calling a play and knows how the systems will respond, but doesn’t have to run the play for them.

Hope there are no fumbles. More to the point – if we can’t get autonomous cars to safely drive the streets without running over pedestrians what makes us think that we can keep planes like this from (1) hitting/attacking other friendly planes (2) hitting buildings going really fast – seen this before, (3) falling to the ground and killing people (4) being used against us (see (2)).

With this ‘Spot’ at least you don’t worry about rabies.

See silly videos and pictures here 

Key Quote: “Boston Dynamics’ viral videos often present its robots as polished and completely self-controlled agents, but it’s well known that the machines generally require human handlers. They are capable of navigating environments autonomously, but only when their surroundings have been mapped in advance. They can withstand kicks and shoves and keep their balance on tricky terrain, but they don’t decide for themselves where to walk.”

As the article notes – Boston Dynamics has been producing creepy video’s of their robots doing seemingly amazing things over the last few years, and is one of the companies that can legitimately be pointed at as having contributed to the gazillion ‘robots are going to take over’ articles over the same time period.

Like previous attempts to sell technology of this ilk, they are selling it as a replacement for people in jobs that are “the dull, the dirty, or the dangerous. Toiling away in factories or unsafe environments like disaster zones and nuclear plants.”

We will see. Be sure to watch the video of the terrified german shepherd getting his ball back from one of these creepy things.

Ironman to clean up world with AI.

Amazon Robot

Where else would this be announced. An Amazon conference.

With a shockingly distinct lack of details, Robert Downey Jr. – fronting a group called the footprint coalition – announced that its going to use robots and advanced technology to combat climate change. Its not really easy to understand what they want to do. When you visit their site all you learn is that they are “coming soon” and that if you want you can contribute your personally identifiable information to them.

Hopefully when they actually come down from whatever they are smoking they will take a look at technologies like this. As autonomous boats to clean up the ocean (or in this case those disgusting canals in Amsterdam).

Good luck Avenger.

AI and spud farmers

As reported here, small time farmers are not rushing into AI. Why? The costs and lack of return on investment.

“Potato farmer Andrew Mickelsen says he has observed how large agricultural companies are using AI to sort harvests and make smarter on-farm decisions. But the Roberts, Idaho-based farmer says he doesn’t have the time or money to make AI a priority on his 30,000-acre farm. Instead, the company relies on it is up to 400 full-time workers to separate the rotten potatoes. ‘We can’t afford on our own to go and spend all the time and money to put it together,’ Mr. Mickelsen said.

“Many small firms looking to use AI have to build everything from scratch, said Brad Fisher, KPMG’s US leader for data analytics and artificial intelligence. Even then, the firms may lack the breadth of data to train and test these systems before they are deployed. ‘Deploying AI technologies is a lot more complex than tech vendors would lead them to believe,’ Mr. Fisher said.”

So buy your spuds from local farmers if you don’t want them touched by big AI.

And thats the news of the bots! Have a great week and go check out our new non-profit below! Humans-Above-Technology-Logo-B1The organization behind TrustNoRobot is now a non-profit! Our mission is to promote humans above technology.   Our simple belief is that technology should work for humans and better their condition and never have a negative impact on humanity. Please find it in your heart to donate to this important cause.

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