STREET DOGS: Can robots see?

From Gill Pratt in the Journal of Economic Perspectives: About half a billion years ago, life on Earth experienced a short period of very rapid diversification called the Cambrian Explosion.

Many theories have been proposed for the cause of the explosion, with one of the most provocative being the evolution of vision, which allowed animals to increase their ability to hunt and find mates. Today, technological developments are fomenting a similar explosion in the diversification and applicability of robotics. Many of the base hardware technologies on which robots depend have been improving at exponential growth rates. Two technologies — cloud robotics and deep learning — could leverage these base technologies in a virtuous cycle of explosive growth. In cloud robotics every robot learns from the experiences of all robots, which leads to rapid growth of robot competence.

Deep learning algorithms are a method for robots to learn and generalise their associations based on very large “training sets” that typically include millions of examples. Interestingly, one of the robotic capabilities recently enabled by these combined technologies is vision — the same capability that may have played a role in the Cambrian Explosion.

While a Cambrian Explosion in robotics promises to improve the human condition, it also looms as a disruptive economic force, in part because of its potential to make certain human jobs redundant. Yet there is reason to embrace the pending robotics revolution. Consider a Robinson Crusoe economy — a single person stranded on an island with no need for money. Would such a person benefit from a robot to help with production? Of course. The fundamental economic insight is that robots generate wealth.

Street Dogs

From Gill Pratt in the Journal of Economic Perspectives: About half a billion years ago, life on Earth experienced a short period of very rapid diversification called the Cambrian Explosion.

Many theories have been proposed for the cause of the explosion, with one of the most provocative being the evolution of vision, which allowed animals to increase their ability to hunt and find mates. Today, technological developments are fomenting a similar explosion in the diversification and applicability of robotics. Many of the base hardware technologies on which robots depend have been improving at exponential growth rates. Two technologies — cloud robotics and deep learning — could leverage these base technologies in a virtuous cycle of explosive growth. In cloud robotics every robot learns from the experiences of all robots, which leads to rapid growth of robot competence.

Deep learning algorithms are a method for robots to learn and generalise their associations based on very large “training sets” that typically include millions of examples. Interestingly, one of the robotic capabilities recently enabled by these combined technologies is vision — the same capability that may have played a role in the Cambrian Explosion.

While a Cambrian Explosion in robotics promises to improve the human condition, it also looms as a disruptive economic force, in part because of its potential to make certain human jobs redundant. Yet there is reason to embrace the pending robotics revolution. Consider a Robinson Crusoe economy — a single person stranded on an island with no need for money. Would such a person benefit from a robot to help with production? Of course. The fundamental economic insight is that robots generate wealth.

Source: STREET DOGS: Can robots see?

Via: Google Alert for Deep Learning