– Bot Or Not

BOT or NOT? This special series explores the evolving relationship between humans and machines, examining the ways that robots, artificial intelligence and automation are impacting our work and lives.

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President Trump signs an executive order guiding how federal agencies use AI tech

by Alan Boyle on December 3, 2020December 4, 2020 at 7:42 pm

President Donald Trump today signed an executive order that puts the White House Office of Management and Budget in charge of drawing up a roadmap for how federal agencies use… Read More

‘Superintelligence’ in Seattle: AI researchers do a reality check on a movie that adds romance to tech

by Alan Boyle on November 26, 2020November 26, 2020 at 10:14 am

Seattle, Microsoft and the field of artificial intelligence come in for their share of the spotlight in “Superintelligence” — an HBO Max movie starring Melissa McCarthy as the rom-com heroine,… Read More

Sexbot or not? Ethicist stimulates debate on the senior set’s need for companionship

by Alan Boyle on November 17, 2020November 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Are sex robots just what the doctor ordered for the over-65 set? In a newly published research paper, a bioethicist at the University of Washington argues that older people, particularly… Read More

Science-fiction master Ted Chiang explores the rights and wrongs of AI

by Alan Boyle on November 8, 2020November 8, 2020 at 1:32 pm

What rights does a robot have? If our machines become intelligent in the science-fiction way, that’s likely to become a complicated question — and the humans who nurture those robots… Read More

With Elon Musk’s help, ‘Three Little Pigs’ demonstrate Neuralink’s brain implant

by Alan Boyle on August 28, 2020September 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm

With grudging assistance from a trio of pigs, Neuralink co-founder Elon Musk showed off the startup’s state-of-the-art neuron-reading brain implant and announced that the system has received the Food and… Read More

Robots and their masters take over nuclear plant for DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge

by Alan Boyle on February 27, 2020February 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm

SATSOP, Wash. — Amid the ruins of what was meant to be a nuclear power plant, a robot catches a whiff of carbon dioxide — and hundreds of feet away,… Read More

White House’s top techie explains how AI initiative will help Seattle tech community

by Alan Boyle on February 26, 2020February 26, 2020 at 11:38 am

One year after the White House kicked off the American AI Initiative, its effects on research and development in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence are just beginning to sink… Read More

AI vs. humans? Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz sees the future as AI-human partnership

by Alan Boyle on February 18, 2020February 18, 2020 at 8:15 am

Artificial intelligence is often portrayed as a rising competitor for human intelligence, in settings ranging from human-vs.-machine card games to the “Terminator” movie series. But according to Eric Horvitz, the… Read More

AI2 throws down the challenge for robotic scavenger hunt in virtual and real rooms

by Alan Boyle on February 11, 2020February 10, 2020 at 11:05 pm

Computer vision and navigation have improved by leaps and bounds, thanks to artificial intelligence, but how well do the computer models work in the real world? That’s the challenge that… Read More

Amazon wins patent for robots that drop off bunches of items on delivery routes

by Alan Boyle on January 21, 2020January 21, 2020 at 10:31 pm

Amazon is already testing robots that deliver packages, but a newly issued patent covers a far more ambitious scheme, involving storage compartment vehicles that can roam the sidewalks to make… Read More

77 teams enter next stage of ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition for virtual travelers

by Alan Boyle on January 8, 2020January 8, 2020 at 8:24 pm

Seventy-seven teams from 19 countries around the globe have qualified to participate in the $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition, which aims to promote the development of robotic systems that… Read More

Study suggests AI’s disruptive effect on jobs will hit higher on economic and education scales

by Alan Boyle on November 20, 2019November 20, 2019 at 3:32 pm

When experts talk about the disruptive effects of artificial intelligence, they tend to focus on low-paid laborers — but a newly published study suggests higher-paid, more highly educated workers will… Read More

‘Terminator’ is back! AI experts do a reality check on Hollywood’s new robo-nightmare

by Alan Boyle on November 2, 2019November 2, 2019 at 3:53 pm

He promised he’d be back — and 35 years after Arnold Schwarzenegger created what’s now a cliche for artificial intelligence gone wrong in the first “Terminator” movie, the cinematic nightmares… Read More

Why Fujifilm SonoSite is betting the future of ultrasound on artificial intelligence

by James Thorne on October 25, 2019October 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Decades of technological advances have led to a revolution in ultrasound machines that has given rise to modern devices that weigh less than a pound and can display images on… Read More

How ‘avatars’ could let you see the world — and your family — through telepresence

by Alan Boyle on October 10, 2019October 10, 2019 at 8:33 am

When it was time for Kevin Kajitani to put his ideas for traveling through telepresence to the test, he chose a familiar experimental subject: his son. Kajitani — the co-director… Read More

Pacific Northwest National Lab plays role in federally funded AI research center

by Alan Boyle on October 3, 2019October 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is joining forces with two other research powerhouses to pioneer a new $5.5 million research center created by the U.S. Department of Energy to focus on… Read More

Secretive Seattle startup Picnic unveils pizza-making robot — here’s how it delivers 300 pies/hour

by James Thorne on October 1, 2019October 1, 2019 at 1:18 pm

After three years of quietly toiling away on a robotic food system, Seattle startup Picnic has emerged from stealth mode with a system that assembles custom pizzas with little human… Read More

Fujifilm SonoSite and AI2 team up to add artificial intelligence to ultrasound imaging

by Alan Boyle on September 18, 2019September 20, 2019 at 5:31 pm

A new collaboration between Fujifilm SonoSite and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence aims to use AI to generate better interpretations of ultrasound images, opening the way for new applications and enhanced accuracy.… Read More

Xnor teases an AI gizmo that’ll make sure grocery stores keep their shelves stocked

by Alan Boyle on September 13, 2019September 13, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Artificial intelligence is coming to a grocery store shelf near you. Xnor.ai, a spin-out from Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, has been working with partners on low-cost, low-power AI… Read More

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Facebook and Microsoft join researchers to set up contest for deepfake video detection

by Alan Boyle on September 6, 2019September 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

Facebook says it’s working with Microsoft, the Partnership for AI and an international team of academics to create the Deepfake Detection Challenge, a competition to develop better tools for flagging… Read More

How Microsoft got in on the creation of the world’s first whisky formulated with AI

by Alan Boyle on September 5, 2019September 5, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Computer scientists have tried using artificial intelligence to write poetry and compose music, with mixed results. But have they tried using it to make whisky? We now know that they… Read More

Allen Institute’s Aristo AI system finally passes an eighth-grade science test

by Alan Boyle on September 4, 2019December 29, 2019 at 11:41 pm

Four years after the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen challenged researchers to come up with an artificial intelligence program smart enough to pass an eighth-grade science test, that feat has… Read More

Billionaires Jack Ma and Elon Musk debate good, evil and AI at conference in China

by Alan Boyle on August 29, 2019August 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

In the debate over artificial intelligence, whose side is Elon Musk on? Musk, who’s in charge of SpaceX, Tesla and the Neuralink brain interface venture, sized up the odds with… Read More

Amazon, Microsoft and other titans face scrutiny in report about killer-robot tech

by Alan Boyle on August 22, 2019August 22, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Dutch activists are voicing concerns about technologies that could open the way for lethal autonomous weapons – such as AI software, facial recognition and swarming aerial systems – and are… Read More

Why Big Data is a bigger deal than venture capital in the artificial intelligence game

by Alan Boyle on August 22, 2019August 22, 2019 at 6:49 pm

“Data is the new oil” may be a classic cliche characterizing how important raw numbers are for the computer industry, but when it comes to artificial intelligence ventures, the cliche… Read More

Neuroscientists fine-tune brain-to-speech translator – but there’s a long road ahead

by Alan Boyle on July 30, 2019July 30, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Neuroscientists have demonstrated a computerized system that can determine in real time what’s being said, based on brain activity rather than actual speech. The technology is being supported in part… Read More

Elon Musk takes the wraps off Neuralink brain probe and aims for human trials

by Alan Boyle on July 16, 2019July 17, 2019 at 9:26 am

Two years after word emerged that tech billionaire Elon Musk was backing a company called Neuralink, the secretive brain-link venture opened up about its progress, including tests of a robotic… Read More

White House rewrites AI research strategy to prioritize public-private partnerships

by Alan Boyle on June 20, 2019June 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm

The Trump administration is updating the Obama administration’s strategy for artificial intelligence to put more emphasis on public-private partnerships like the one forged this year by Amazon and the National… Read More

Alexa gets smarter about combining AI skills, starting with dinner and a movie

by Alan Boyle on June 5, 2019June 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm

LAS VEGAS — Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will soon get savvier about juggling its thousands of skills — starting with arranging all the elements for a night out. Cross-skill action… Read More

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gets a laugh out of his round with a robotic arm at re:MARS conference

by Alan Boyle on June 5, 2019June 8, 2019 at 10:02 pm

LAS VEGAS — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ handshake is at least as firm as a robotic hand’s grip. I found that out for myself today at Amazon’s inaugural re:MARS conference,… Read More

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