‘Robo Brain’ will teach robots everything from the Internet

Kurzweil AI - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 6:51am

Robo Brain logo (credit: Saxena Lab)

Robo Brain is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals, all being translated and stored in a robot-friendly format.

The reason: to serve as helpers in our homes, offices and factories, robots will need to understand how the world works and how the humans around them behave.

Robotics researchers like Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science at his Cornell University and his associates at Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab have been teaching them these things one at a time (which KurzweilAI has covered over the last two years in four articles).

Robotic arm placing an object in a specific location (credit: Saxena Lab)

For example, how to find your keys, pour a drink, put away dishes, and when not to interrupt two people having a conversation.

Now it’s all being automated, cloudified, and crowdsourced.

“If a robot encounters a situation it hasn’t seen before it can query Robo Brain in the cloud,” said Saxena.

Saxena and colleagues at Cornell, Stanford and Brown universities and the University of California, Berkeley, say Robo Brain will process images to pick out the objects in them, and by connecting images and video with text, it will learn to recognize objects and how they are used, along with human language and behavior.

If a robot sees a coffee mug, it can learn from Robo Brain not only that it’s a coffee mug, but also that liquids can be poured into or out of it, that it can be grasped by the handle, and that it must be carried upright when it is full, as opposed to when it is being carried from the dishwasher to the cupboard.


RSS2014: 07/16 15:00-16:00 Early Career Spotlight: Ashutosh Saxena (Cornell): Robot Learning

Structured deep learning

Saxena described the project at the 2014 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, July 12–16 in Berkeley, and has launched a website for the project at http://robobrain.me

Semantic labeling: Chair has the following appearance in the image (credit: Saxena et al.)

The system employs what computer scientists call “structured deep learning,” where information is stored in many levels of abstraction. An easy chair is a member of the class of chairs, and going up another level, chairs are furniture.

Robo Brain knows that chairs are something you can sit on, but that a human can also sit on a stool, a bench or the lawn.

A robot’s computer brain stores what it has learned in a form mathematicians call a Markov model, which can be represented graphically as a set of points connected by lines (formally called nodes and edges).

The nodes could represent objects, actions or parts of an image, and each one is assigned a probability — how much you can vary it and still be correct.

Object Affordance: the position of a standing human while using a shoe is distributed as heatmap_12 (credit: Saxena Lab)

In searching for knowledge, a robot’s brain makes its own chain and looks for one in the knowledge base that matches within those limits. “The Robo Brain will look like a gigantic, branching graph with abilities for multi-dimensional queries,” said Aditya Jami, a visiting researcher art Cornell, who designed the large-scale database for the brain. Perhaps something that looks like a chart of relationships between Facebook friends, but more on the scale of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Like a human learner, Robo Brain will have teachers, thanks to crowdsourcing. The Robo Brain website will display things the brain has learned, and visitors will be able to make additions and corrections.

The project is supported by the National Science Foundation, The Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Robotics Initiative, whose goal is to advance robotics to help make the United States competitive in the world economy.

Categories: Science

Predictive Modeling To Increase Responsivity of Streamed Games

Slashdot - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 3:54am
jones_supa (887896) writes Streaming game services always bump up against a hard latency limit based on the total round-trip time it takes to send user input to a remote server and receive a frame of game data from that server. To alleviate the situation, Microsoft Research has been developing a system called DeLorean (whitepaper) using predictive modeling to improve the experienced responsiveness of a game. By analyzing previous inputs in a Markov chain, DeLorean tries to predict the most likely choices for the user's next input and then generates speculative frames that fit those inputs and sends them back to the user. The caveat is that sending those extra predictive frames and information does add a bandwidth overhead of anywhere from 1.5 to 4 times that of a normal streaming game client. During testing the benefits were apparent, though. Even when the actual round-trip time between input and server response was 256 ms, double-blind testers reported both the gameplay responsiveness and graphical quality of the DeLorean system were comparable to a locally played version of the game.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

Slashdot - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 2:03am
sciencehabit (1205606) writes Humans are late bloomers when compared with other primates — they spend almost twice as long in childhood and adolescence as chimps, gibbons, or macaques do. But why? One widely accepted but hard-to-test theory is that children's brains consume so much energy that they divert glucose from the rest of the body, slowing growth. Now, a clever study of glucose uptake and body growth in children confirms this 'expensive tissue' hypothesis.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

When Black Holes Cross Paths

Space.com - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 1:39am
What happens when two black holes pass in the night?
Categories: Science

Linux 3.17-rc2 Release Marks 23 Years of the Linux Kernel

Slashdot - Tue, 26/08/2014 - 12:01am
An anonymous reader writes Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.17-rc2 today in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the original kernel announcement. It was on 25 August 1991 that he announced his new OS project to the Minix users list.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Slashdot - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 11:15pm
onproton (3434437) writes The Intercept reported today on classified documents revealing that the NSA has built its own "Google-like" search engine to provide over 850 billion collected records directly to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the DEA. Reporter Ryan Gallagher explains, "The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies." The search engine, called ICREACH, allows analysts to search an array of databases, some of which contain metadata collected on innocent American citizens, for the purposes of "foreign intelligence." However, questions have been raised over its potential for abuse in what is known as "parallel construction," a process in which agencies use surveillance resources in domestic investigations, and then later cover it up by creating a different evidence trail to use in court.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Boron facilitates stem cell growth, development in corn

Science Daily - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 10:58pm
The eastern half of the United States is plagued by boron deficient soil and corn and soybean farmers are required to supplement their soil with boron; however, little is known about the ways in which corn plants utilize the essential nutrient. Now, researchers have found that boron plays an integral role in development and reproduction in corn plants. Understanding how corn uses the nutrient can help farmers improve crop yields.
Categories: Science

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early

Science Daily - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 10:58pm
Scientists searching for new drugs for malaria have identified a number of compounds -- some of which are in clinical trials to treat cancer -- that could lead to new ways to fight the disease. Researchers identified 31 enzyme-blocking molecules, called protein kinase inhibitors, that curb malaria before symptoms start. By focusing on treatments that act early, the researchers hope to give drug-resistant strains less time to spread.
Categories: Science

Protein's ability to inhibit HIV release discovered

Science Daily - Mon, 25/08/2014 - 10:58pm
A family of proteins that promotes virus entry into cells also has the ability to block the release of HIV and other viruses, researchers have found. It is estimated that more than one million Americans currently are living with AIDS. AIDS is a condition characterized by progressive failure of the immune system. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).
Categories: Science