Archive for April, 2008

Stephen’s Law of Robotics

Monday, April 21st, 2008

In the previous article the notion that over a period of time the number of capabilities a robot possesses will double was introduced. While some of these capabilities will likely come from the artificial intelligence field, just as many will come from plain old engineering. The growth of capabilities will come about due to problems to be solved, and new tasks to be performed. There are many motivations driving the growth of capabilities in robotics.

Power of incentive

Moore’s Law of Robotics

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

I have no idea whether truly intelligence robots will ever exist, but I can definitely imagine that their actions will start to seem intelligent within the next twenty years. Being intelligent and seeming intelligent are close enough, that I am not sure the difference matters. Being intelligent implies having the ability to create new solutions and ideas for situations never previously encountered. Seeming intelligent is to apply existing solutions and ideas to new situations. Current robots and machines are far from seeming intelligent and even farther from being intelligent. However, as their accumulated set of capabilities increases, this will change. Over the next couple of articles, a sketch of the idea that as the number of capabilities a robot possesses increases, the overall flexibility of its actions will increase as well. Flexibility of action is the ability to respond appropriately to situations which have never been encountered before. As an individual robot’s capabilities reach into the millions, and then billions, there will be fewer and fewer situations where it will be unable to complete its task. In such an environment, robots will be very hard to distinguish from seeming intelligent to actually being intelligent. The meaning of capabilities will be rather broad, but the notion should be clear by the time we finish.

GPS enabled cell phones

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

More and more cell phones are shipped with built-in GPS receivers. The position coordinates used by applications running on your cell phone allow for sharing your location with a community. Various projects have gathered this data to monitor health, traffic, and social interactions. The infrastructure for standardizing the exchange of location for applications is just beginning to form. Some of these services are even becoming available for phones which do not have GPS to accurately capture position. Instead, triangulation based on cell phone towers in range is used. Since the phone is tied to a communications network, sending information off to be aggregated with others, makes for many potential applications. Just a few are listed here.