New ‘DARPA Grand Challenge’ will call for humanoid robots.
Details of a new challenge from DARPA have been leaked, revealing the agency will be asking researchers to create a bipedal robot that can perform a range of functions equal to or better than a human, in a wide range of conditions.
So what kinds of tasks will roboteers have to tackle in this latest Grand Challenge? According to Massey, machine entrants might have to “get into the driver’s seat [of a vehicle] and drive it to a specified location.” The robot may then hop out of the car and walk toward a locked door, where it’d “unlock it, open the door, and go inside.”
That’s not all. The robot may be asked to “traverse a 100 meter, rubble strewn hallway,” Massey writes, before the ‘bot “locates a pipe that is leaking” and then fixes it.
While the challenge may sound extreme now, it’s worth remembering that the agency’s first Grand Challenge in 2004 was to develop autonomous vehicles capable of self-driving around mountainous routes. That project also seemed crazy at the time, but today the research has progresses to the point where certain US States are approving ‘robot driver licenses’.
This is a great article, but personally I feel we are approaching the entire problem of artificial intelligence in the wrong way.
Instead of focusing on trying to mimic the human brain, we should focus on (like we have) trying to get the computer to do things a human can’t do, or do but in a much less efficient way than a computer.
Imagine a computer that is sad and depressed, or a computer that is “lazy”.
Is it possible to create true artificial intelligence and, if so, how close are we to doing so, asks mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy.
It was while I was making my last BBC TV series, The Code, that I bumped into a neuroscientist I knew.
"Have you heard the news about Watson?" he asked me.
I wasn’t quite sure what he was referring to. A new release of Sherlock Holmes? I looked confused.
"Watson beat the world champions at Jeopardy last night," he added.
Jeopardy is an American television quiz show which tests general knowledge. But I could not understand why a professor of the brain was interested in it.
But then he revealed that Watson was not a person, but a computer. Watson’s triumph, he believed, represented a hugely significant moment for the field of artificial intelligence (AI).