Robotics Revolution Slashing Need For Human Labor - Changing Global Industry

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Mike Philbin

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2010, 11:45:50 AM »
Ptech in your Bed!

"I'll house you!"

LOL

Offline ekimdrachir

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2010, 12:48:11 PM »

Offline NWOSCUM

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2010, 01:03:01 PM »
And the bitch is connected to the interwebs.  No doubt her eyes are cameras and will send video over the web while you are banging "her".  Ewwwww.
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Offline NinjaGaijin

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2010, 02:49:45 PM »
I can't find it now, but look for John Safrans Race Relations .. I think it was episode 3.. he goes to Japan to see what they are working on in robotics, to try to snog with it, specifically. Utterly disgusting and wrong, everyone in my household when saw it sort of revulsed from the screen and had to look away.

Very, Very wrong.

It wasnt designed for sex, but he was testing it. It honestly looked like it wasn't enjoying it, either.

eztv.it had it I think, otherwise should be around torrents whereever
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Offline GhostofTsenzei

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #84 on: January 12, 2010, 03:28:36 PM »
DO NOT WANT
There is no "gray" when it comes to what is good or evil, it is always black and white.  People have the potential to be as evil as Hitler, or as good as Gandhi or MLK Jr.  However, most people are more like zebras.

Offline Nailer

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #85 on: January 13, 2010, 07:23:10 AM »
remember the movie "westworld" and the robot gunfighters and the robot hookers?  How much longer do we have before such a place exists where you go indulge in your fantasies  with robots.
I am a realist that is slightly conservative yet I have some republican demeanor that can turn democrat when I feel the urge to flip independant.
 
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Mike Philbin

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #86 on: January 13, 2010, 07:35:13 AM »
LOL she's not gonna be much of a sex doll with her mouth all sealed over like that.

LOL



Offline cog

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #87 on: January 13, 2010, 07:47:29 AM »
Quote
THAT's not creepy at all. Is this some sort of sick prank?

Watch it for youself if you don't believe me, it starts at the 4:11 mark.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhvlD7Z0b2Y


I think that it could be some sort of sick prank. For two possible reasons.
First off, this was a display at somesort of an expo, what if they left the keyboard open to the public as a demo, lettting the public try it out for themselves, along comes a prankster who wants to see how far it will go, same with the 9/11 stuff it says.

Or, the footage from the clip is obviously real but what if the youtube clip is a joke? THeyve taken the story from the news, used a text>speech program and overdubbed the clip as a joke.
Look at who user posted that clip, somethingawful.


But if not, its an interesting surprise, I always thought the robots would be fighting on the side of the NWO.

Offline NinjaGaijin

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #88 on: January 13, 2010, 11:26:40 AM »
Robots, if infused with artificial life, will work for self-preservation of themselves and nothing else!

Just like we do (or at least have a seemingly natural tendency to), for the most part.

They won't work for any side, it will just be Skynet, replicating itself and requiring resources.. much like we used to do. Artificial life is very scary - as is nanotech and other advanced technologies. When we achieve both things, if/when they would meet, the combination would be the destruction of mankind if not contained very quickly (if even possible).

Robots aren't that scary - it's artificial life that is. Even just on the net, there alone can they do a lot of damage.
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Offline hal 9000

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #89 on: January 13, 2010, 12:40:15 PM »
This reminds me of that great Twilight Zone episode with Jack Warden as a man condemned to a lifetime on a deserted planet for committing some criminal offense. He's given a robotic android that looks and talks just like a real woman to keep him company. Anyway, at least it actually looks and sounds exactly like a real chick, although still creepy enough - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdFEw4hz0Q&feature=PlayList&p=4D515C5638EB8FFE&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

Offline ekimdrachir

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2010, 12:16:01 PM »
And the bitch is connected to the interwebs.  No doubt her eyes are cameras and will send video over the web while you are banging "her".  Ewwwww.
Virtual porn will be huge, considering the avatar rooms that we already have, it will be like Surrogate where everyones pretending to be someone else. Actually I see Prometheus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj8ZadKgdC0 actually catching on, it makes sense almost.

Offline Brocke

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #91 on: January 19, 2010, 01:26:14 PM »

Predictive Programing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1XxILVnt1w

For every bad idea that is designed to destroy our humanity and erode the family there is an advertising campaign...


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Offline Krateros

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #92 on: January 19, 2010, 07:47:12 PM »
The ancients often paid homage to fertility goddesses.  It was left to the technological moderns to complete the circle, or ellipsis, and forge an idol of and to infertility.

“I have come back to God … after tending the pigs so long among the Hegelians.”  (Heinrich Heine)

Offline Neco

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Re: World's first life-size robotic girlfriend
« Reply #93 on: January 21, 2010, 02:22:59 AM »
"Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen: the enunciation of truth." ~V

"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." ~Patrick Henry

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Offline Hardware 952

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Robonaut 2: The offspring of GM and NASA - Video
« Reply #94 on: February 04, 2010, 07:14:22 PM »
Article and video
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17912_3-10447375-72.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

Youtube Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSk2iKqrp64&feature=player_embedded



Still Pictures
http://news.cnet.com/2300-11386_3-10002354.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20



February 4, 2010 8:43 AM PST
Robonaut 2: The offspring of GM and NASA



by Candace Lombardi



Robonaut 2 built with dexterous humanlike hands is able to work tools typically used by humans.

(Credit: NASA) This is not your average assembly line worker.

But Robonaut 2 is expected to be an exemplary co-worker. General Motors and NASA on Thursday introduced Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot being jointly developed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for use in both the automotive and aerospace industries.

Robonaut 2 is stronger, more dexterous, and more technologically advanced than the original Robonaut, according to NASA. Robonaut, which was developed 10 years ago by NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, was intended--as its name implies--for use as a robot astronaut.

Robonaut 2, nicknamed R2, seems more destined for a car assembly plant than the far reaches of space. It can lift 20 pounds with each arm, about four times that of other humanoid robots, according to NASA. Its nimble hands, fingers, and opposable thumbs also enable it to use the same tools normally used by human hands.



"For GM, this is about safer cars and safer plants," Alan Taub, GM's vice president for global research and development, said in a statement. "When it comes to future vehicles, the advancements in controls, sensors and vision technology can be used to develop advanced vehicle safety systems."

Detroit and the rest of the auto industry are no strangers to robots, of course. Automakers have long employed nameless, faceless robotic devices--think arms, rather than whole humanoid torsos--to assemble sedans, SUVs, and such. But those machines are evolving. Ford's RUTH, for instance, uses a "soft" touch to test out the interior surfaces and controls of vehicles.

While a partnership with GM may seem a rather earthbound endeavor for NASA, it is of a piece with the space agency's new road map. On Monday, the Obama administration made it clear that it wanted NASA to focus more on commercial spaceflight and on collaboration with private industry. Plus, NASA and GM go way back, having collaborated during the Apollo years on navigation systems and the lunar rover.

Does Robonaut 2 pose yet another challenge to skilled U.S. factory workers in need of jobs? GM's Taub suggested a less dire interpretation of R2's debut.

"The partnership's vision is to explore advanced robots working together in harmony with people, building better, higher quality vehicles in a safer, more competitive manufacturing environment," he said.

NASA, of course, focused on how the robot might enable the organization to further explore space with less danger to astronauts.

"Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our capability for construction and discovery," Mike Coats, Johnson's center director, said in a statement.




In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. E-mail her at candacelombardi@gmail.com. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
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Offline Monkeypox

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Re: Robonaut 2: The offspring of GM and NASA - Video
« Reply #95 on: February 05, 2010, 03:28:52 AM »
We're all going to be replaced in the workplace with machines soon.

If you think unemployment is bad now...
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Offline Hardware 952

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Stay home, let Texas Robot attend that meeting - Video
« Reply #96 on: February 08, 2010, 05:18:22 PM »
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10382617-1.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

Video on the link.


February 8, 2010 1:45 PM PST
Stay home, let Texas Robot attend that meeting

by Tim Hornyak


If you're tired of commuting to the office and telecommuting won't cut it, the Texas Robot lets you scoot around work embodied in a robot platform while chatting with your co-workers.

Willow Garage, a robot start-up in California's Menlo Park specializing in non-military applications, is developing the wheeled bots as tools to research telepresence technologies.

The vid below shows how a Willow Garage employee living in Indiana moves around his office in Silicon Valley in a robot body of sorts.

Hacked together from spare parts for Willow's PR2platform, Texas Robots basically consist of a screen, computer, cameras, and speakers mounted on a remote-controlled, wheeled platform. They can run a whole day on a single battery charge, and then autonomously park themselves at a docking station for recharging.

Texas Robots seem to give users a greater presence at a remote location than, say, Web conferencing or a conference call. You can casually drop by a colleague's office, roll by their cubicle, and attend meetings, all in your pajamas from home.

Willow Garage has just completed building 25 Texas Robots to study the effects of having a small army of telepresent people in the office and other locations.

We're waiting for the company to tell us whether it plans to commercialize the "Texai," as it calls the bots. But I can't imagine too many reasons to leave the comforts of home and commute to the office now that they're around.




Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade.
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Jordan

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UC Berkeley Create New Tool To capture visual activity in your brain. Spooky
« Reply #97 on: September 23, 2011, 12:21:01 PM »


UC Berkeley scientists have developed a system to capture visual activity in human brains and reconstruct it as digital video clips. Eventually, this process will allow you to record and reconstruct your own dreams on a computer screen.

I just can't believe this is happening for real, but according to Professor Jack Gallant—UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the research published today in the journal Current Biology—"this is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery. We are opening a window into the movies in our minds."

Indeed, it's mindblowing. I'm simultaneously excited and terrified. This is how it works:

They used three different subjects for the experiments—incidentally, they were part of the research team because it requires being inside a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging system for hours at a time. The subjects were exposed to two different groups of Hollywood movie trailers as the fMRI system recorded the brain's blood flow through their brains' visual cortex.

The readings were fed into a computer program in which they were divided into three-dimensional pixels units called voxels (volumetric pixels). This process effectively decodes the brain signals generated by moving pictures, connecting the shape and motion information from the movies to specific brain actions. As the sessions progressed, the computer learned more and more about how the visual activity presented on the screen corresponded to the brain activity.
An 18-million-second picture palette

After recording this information, another group of clips was used to reconstruct the videos shown to the subjects. The computer analyzed 18 million seconds of random YouTube video, building a database of potential brain activity for each clip. From all these videos, the software picked the one hundred clips that caused a brain activity more similar to the ones the subject watched, combining them into one final movie. Although the resulting fukn is low resolution and blurry, it clearly matched the actual clips watched by the subjects.

Think about those 18 million seconds of random videos as a painter's color palette. A painter sees a red rose in real life and tries to reproduce the color using the different kinds of reds available in his palette, combining them to match what he's seeing. The software is the painter and the 18 million seconds of random video is its color palette. It analyzes how the brain reacts to certain stimuli, compares it to the brain reactions to the 18-million-second palette, and picks what more closely matches those brain reactions. Then it combines the clips into a new one that matches what the subject was seeing. Notice that the 18 million seconds of motion video are not what the subject is seeing. They are random bits used just to compose the brain image.

Given a big enough database of video material and enough computing power, the system would be able to match any images in your brain.


In this other video you can see how this process worked in the three experimental targets. On the top left square you can see the movie the subjects were watching while they were in the fMRI machine. Right below you can see the movie "extracted" from their brain activity. It shows that this technique gives consistent results independent of what's being watched—or who's watching. The three lines of clips next to the left column show the random movies that the computer program used to reconstruct the visual information.

Right now, the resulting quality is not good, but the potential is enormous. Lead research author—and one of the lab test bunnies—Shinji Nishimoto thinks this is the first step to tap directly into what our brain sees and imagines:

    Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie. In order for this technology to have wide applicability, we must understand how the brain processes these dynamic visual experiences.

The brain recorders of the future

Imagine that. Capturing your visual memories, your dreams, the wild ramblings of your imagination into a video that you and others can watch with your own eyes.

This is the first time in history that we have been able to decode brain activity and reconstruct motion pictures in a computer screen. The path that this research opens boggles the mind. It reminds me of Brainstorm, the cult movie in which a group of scientists lead by Christopher Walken develops a machine capable of recording the five senses of a human being and then play them back into the brain itself.

This new development brings us closer to that goal which, I have no doubt, will happen at one point. Given the exponential increase in computing power and our understanding of human biology, I think this will arrive sooner than most mortals expect. Perhaps one day you would be able to go to sleep with a flexible band around your skull labeled Sony Dreamcam, wirelessly connected to your iPad 7. [UC Berkeley]


http://gizmodo.com/5843117/scientists-reconstruct-video-clips-from-brain-activity

Offline Paranoid Puppet Master

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Re: UC Berkeley Create New Tool To capture visual activity in your brain. Spooky
« Reply #98 on: September 23, 2011, 12:47:34 PM »
Soul Catcher 2025

As long ago as 1995 British Telecom announced it was developing a memory chip designed to capture a person’s entire lifetime’s experiences. Implanted behind the eye, BT said, the chip would record the person’s thoughts, feelings and memories and store them in digital form.

BT confirmed the chip would be ready for use by the year 2025, hence the name: Soul Catcher 2025.

According to the literature available at the time, the Soul Catcher 2025 chip was being designed to attach directly to the optical nerve, where it would store incoming sensory impulses that could then be downloaded and played back on a computer.

Alternatively, the impulses could be implanted in someone else’s brain.

Peter Cochrane, Head of BT’s Advanced Applications and Technologies back in the 90s, announced through the press that an entire lifetime’s experiences could be captured and stored in about 10 terabytes of memory. The research program was being funded to the tune of Ł25 million, he confirmed.

http://www.consciousape.com/news/rfid-chips-and-soul-catcher-2025/

Seems this creepy plan has been on the agenda for a while.

Jordan

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Re: UC Berkeley Create New Tool To capture visual activity in your brain. Spooky
« Reply #99 on: September 23, 2011, 01:59:18 PM »
California scientists have found a way to see through another person's eyes [Video and article]


California scientists have found a way to see through another person's eyes.

Researchers from UC Berkeley were able to reconstruct YouTube videos from viewers' brain activity -- a feat that might one day offer a glimpse into our dreams, memories and even fantasies.

"This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery," said Jack Gallant, professor of psychology and coauthor of a study published today in Current Biology. "We are opening a window into the movies in our minds."

Gallant's coauthors acted as study subjects, watching YouTube videos inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine for several hours at a time. The team then used the brain imaging data to develop a computer model that matched features of the videos -- like colors, shapes and movements -- with patterns of brain activity.

"Once we had this model built, we could read brain activity for that subject and run it backwards through the model to try to uncover what the viewer saw," said Gallant.

Subtle changes in blood flow to visual areas of the brain, measured by functional MRI, predicted what was on the screen at the time -- whether it was Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau or an airplane. The reconstructed videos are blurry because they layer all the YouTube clips that matched the subject's brain activity pattern. The result is a haunting, almost dream-like version of the video as seen by the mind's eye.

The researchers say the technology could one day be used to broadcast imagery -- the scenes that play out inside our minds independent from vision.

"If you can decode movies people saw, you might be able to decode things in the brain that are movie-like but have no real-world analog, like dreams," Gallant said.

The brain activity measured in this study is just a fraction of the activity that lets us see moving images. Other, more complex areas help us interpret the content of those images -- distinguish faces from lifeless objects, for example.

"The brain isn't just one big blob of tissue. It actually consists of dozens, even hundreds of modules, each of which does a different thing," said Gallant. "We hope to look at more visual modules, and try to build models for every single part of visual system."

More models, Gallant said, mean better resolution. It also means a ton more data to analyze.

"We need really big computers," Gallant said.

Shinji Nishimoto, a neuroscientist in Gallant's lab and the study's lead author, said the results shed light on how the brain understands and processes visual experiences.

"We need to know how the brain works in naturalistic conditions," Nishimoto said in a statement. "For that, we need to first understand how the brain works while we are watching movies."

Whether the technology could also be used to watch people's dreams or memories -- even intentions -- depends on how close those abstract visual experiences are to the real thing.

"We simply don't know at this point. But it's our next line of research," said Gallant.

If the technology could be used to broadcast imagery, it could one day allow people who are paralyzed to control their environment by imagining sequences of movements. Already, brain waves recorded through electrodes on the scalp can flip a switch, allowing people with Lou Gehrig's disease and other paralyzing conditions to choose letters on a computer monitor and communicate.

Gallant and his team are often asked whether the technology could be used in detective work or court cases -- an idea that brings to mind the futuristic crime-foiling action in "Minority Report."

But the potential to watch a person's memories may not be so far off. Whether such memories could be used in a court of law, however, would be limited not only by the technology but also the nature of memories. After all, Gallant's website reads, an accurate read-out of a faulty memory only provides misleading information.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/scientists-youtube-videos-mind/story?id=14573442

Offline Letsbereal

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Paralyzed man uses mind-powered robot arm to touch
« Reply #100 on: October 14, 2011, 01:33:24 PM »
Paralyzed man uses mind-powered robot arm to touch
10 October 2011
, by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer (Medical press)
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-10-paralyzed-mind-powered-robot-arm.html

Giving a high-five. Rubbing his girlfriend's hand. Such ordinary acts - but a milestone for a paralyzed man.
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Jordan

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Supersoldier ants created in the lab by reactivating ancestral genes
« Reply #101 on: January 07, 2012, 09:44:00 AM »


There are over 1100 species of Pheidole genus ants, and most individual ants belong to either the worker or soldier caste. In only eight of the Pheidole species, some individuals can belong to a "supersoldier" subcaste instead, and these ants fight off predatory army ant species and bar their way by blocking off the entrances to the nest using their over-sized heads. Now, scientists have managed to create supersoldiers in other species by reactivating ancestral genes.

The international team of scientists, led by Dr Ehab Abouheif of the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at the genomes of two ant species that produce supersoldiers. They identified the genetics behind the supersoldier caste and were able to activate the genes by treating ant larvae with methoprene, a growth hormone. As expected, the ant larvae became supersoldiers.

They then treated in the same way larvae of Pheidole morrisi, an ant species which lives in New York and that does not normally produce supersoldiers, but which lead author, Dr Abouheif, had previously noted produced large-headed ants resembling supersoldiers on rare occasions. The treated larvae grew to become large headed and jawed ants resembling supersoldiers. The same effect was produced in two other Pheilode species, which are not known to produce supersoldiers.

Dr Abouheif and colleagues report, in their paper published in the journal Science, that ant larvae normally develop into soldiers or workers depending on the levels of the "juvenile hormone": if levels are high the ants become soldiers, while if they are low they become the smaller worker ants. In the species that produce supersoldiers there is a second high threshold of the juvenile hormone, above which the larvae develop into the larger supersoldiers. The growth hormone methoprene, used in the experiments, mimics the effects of juvenile hormone.

The results of the experiments suggest that even those species that do not produce supersoldiers must have been able to do so in the distant past, some 35 to 60 million years ago, and that they still retain the genetic information for supersoldier production that can be reactivated under certain environmental or nutritional states. The researchers say that retaining the ancestral genetic tools could be important for the evolution of new physical traits.

Supersoldier ants occur naturally in species found in Mexico and the south-west of the USA. They were also known in ancestral species, and Abouheif and the team suggest the common ancestor of the entire Pheidole genus had the ability to produce supersoldiers.

It is not known why only eight of the species retain the ability and the remainder simply abandon the nests if they are invaded by predatory army ants, but Abouheif said the genes might have been repeatedly reactivated. This would explain anomalies such as the rare instances of supersoldiers he noted in the P. morrisi ants, which is a species not threatened by army ants.

Dr. Abouheif and colleagues think that their work in unlocking ancestral features could find application in fields such as agriculture, where it might be used to breed crops with greater nutritional value. Abouheif also suggests the work might also shed some light on the growth of cancers, which he said could be "the unleashing of some kind of ancestral potential," which might be reversible if it could be identified.

More information: Ancestral Developmental Potential Facilitates Parallel Evolution in Ant, Science 6 January 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6064 pp. 79-82. DOI:10.1126/science.1211451

ABSTRACT
Complex worker caste systems have contributed to the evolutionary success of advanced ant societies; however, little is known about the developmental processes underlying their origin and evolution. We combined hormonal manipulation, gene expression, and phylogenetic analyses with field observations to understand how novel worker subcastes evolve. We uncovered an ancestral developmental potential to produce a “supersoldier” subcaste that has been actualized at least two times independently in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole. This potential has been retained and can be environmentally induced throughout the genus. Therefore, the retention and induction of this potential have facilitated the parallel evolution of supersoldiers through a process known as genetic accommodation. The recurrent induction of ancestral developmental potential may facilitate the adaptive and parallel evolution of phenotypes.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-supersoldier-ants-lab-reactivating-ancestral.html

Offline All4truth

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Re: Supersoldier ants created in the lab by reactivating ancestral genes
« Reply #102 on: January 07, 2012, 11:22:17 AM »
Oh great now will have killer ants.  Why can't they leave things alone.  :-\

Jordan

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Re: Supersoldier ants created in the lab by reactivating ancestral genes
« Reply #103 on: January 07, 2012, 02:03:27 PM »
Oh great now will have killer ants.  Why can't they leave things alone.  :-\

Thats what I was thinking. It's the stuff you'd seen in older B Sci Fi movies.. someone loses control of some GMO and then it becomes a huge problem.


Offline Letsbereal

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Humanoid robot makes storefront debut in Valentine's experiment - Vid
« Reply #105 on: February 16, 2012, 04:21:31 PM »
Humanoid robot makes storefront debut in Valentine's experiment http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/02/10/humanoid-robot-makes-storefront-debut-in?videoId=229981688&videoChannel=2602

Feb. 10 - Flowers, chocolates and romantic greeting cards are flying out the doors of department stores around the world this week, ahead of February 14th - Valentine's Day.

Romance is in the air, but for scientists in Japan, Valentine's Day is also providing the ideal opportunity to test the public's love of robots. Rob Muir reports.
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Offline Constitutionary

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Re: Humanoid robot makes storefront debut in Valentine's experiment - Vid
« Reply #106 on: February 16, 2012, 05:36:41 PM »
I could see the NWO requiring all unfit mothers and fathers in America having one of these so the government can keep track of them.

They can act as recording devices and everything.

Just you wait.....

Offline Scarbo

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Re: Humanoid robot makes storefront debut in Valentine's experiment - Vid
« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2012, 12:35:43 AM »
They won't be required in our homes. They'll become so lifelike in every way, programmed with realistic personality traits, and programmed to befriend and then spy. I'm thinking Blade Runner.

Offline Nailer

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Re: Humanoid robot makes storefront debut in Valentine's experiment - Vid
« Reply #108 on: February 17, 2012, 06:23:36 AM »
Robot prostitutes..  just place your debit card in slot A to gain access to slot B..hahahahaha
I am a realist that is slightly conservative yet I have some republican demeanor that can turn democrat when I feel the urge to flip independant.
 
The truth shall set you free, if not a 45ACP round will do the trick.. HEHE

Offline Letsbereal

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World’s first robot marathon held in Osaka - Vid
« Reply #109 on: April 08, 2012, 08:29:16 AM »
World’s first robot marathon held in Osaka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4BkyAB_Ipo

Feb, 2011 - Five knee-high androids have crossed the starting line in the world’s first marathon for two-legged robots, held last Thursday in Osaka, Japan.

The Robo Mara Full race was organised by robot technology firm Vstone Co, and the robots had to complete 423 laps on a 100-metre indoor track for a total of 42 kilometers.

Operators were only allowed to change the robots’ batteries and motors but if the machines fall over they must get up by themselves.

It took the robot winner, Robovie-PC, 55 hours to complete the marathon..

Wow! These operators must have been really patient!


First robot marathon kicks off in Osaka, Japan (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12565909
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Robotics Revolution Slashing Need For Human Labor - Changing Global Industry
« Reply #110 on: November 04, 2012, 11:54:54 PM »
New Wave Of Adept Robots Changing Global Industry

Skilled Work, Without the Worker
18 August 2012
, by John Markoff - Drachten, The Netherlands (The New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html

Section: THE iECONOMY - Part 5: Artificial Competence

At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way.

At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human.
One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.

All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.

This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers.

“With these machines, we can make any consumer device in the world,” said Binne Visser, an electrical engineer who manages the Philips assembly line in Drachten.

Many industry executives and technology experts say Philips’s approach is gaining ground on Apple’s. Even as Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, continues to build new plants and hire thousands of additional workers to make smartphones, it plans to install more than a million robots within a few years to supplement its work force in China.

Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”

The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”

In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today. The analogy is not only to the industrialization of agriculture but also to the electrification of manufacturing in the past century, Mr. McAfee argues.

“At what point does the chain saw replace Paul Bunyan?” asked Mike Dennison, an executive at Flextronics, a manufacturer of consumer electronics products that is based in Silicon Valley and is increasingly automating assembly work. “There’s always a price point, and we’re very close to that point.”

But Bran Ferren, a veteran roboticist and industrial product designer at Applied Minds in Glendale, Calif., argues that there are still steep obstacles that have made the dream of the universal assembly robot elusive. “I had an early naďveté about universal robots that could just do anything,” he said. “You have to have people around anyway. And people are pretty good at figuring out, how do I wiggle the radiator in or slip the hose on? And these things are still hard for robots to do.”

Beyond the technical challenges lies resistance from unionized workers and communities worried about jobs. The ascension of robots may mean fewer jobs are created in this country, even though rising labor and transportation costs in Asia and fears of intellectual property theft are now bringing some work back to the West.

Take the cavernous solar-panel factory run by Flextronics in Milpitas, south of San Francisco. A large banner proudly proclaims “Bringing Jobs & Manufacturing Back to California!” (Right now China makes a large share of the solar panels used in this country and is automating its own industry.)

Yet in the state-of-the-art plant, where the assembly line runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are robots everywhere and few human workers. All of the heavy lifting and almost all of the precise work is done by robots that string together solar cells and seal them under glass. The human workers do things like trimming excess material, threading wires and screwing a handful of fasteners into a simple frame for each panel.

Such advances in manufacturing are also beginning to transform other sectors that employ millions of workers around the world. One is distribution, where robots that zoom at the speed of the world’s fastest sprinters can store, retrieve and pack goods for shipment far more efficiently than people. Robots could soon replace workers at companies like C & S Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest grocery distributor, which has already deployed robot technology.

Rapid improvement in vision and touch technologies is putting a wide array of manual jobs within the abilities of robots. For example, Boeing’s wide-body commercial jets are now riveted automatically by giant machines that move rapidly and precisely over the skin of the planes. Even with these machines, the company said it struggles to find enough workers to make its new 787 aircraft. Rather, the machines offer significant increases in precision and are safer for workers.

And at Earthbound Farms in California, four newly installed robot arms with customized suction cups swiftly place clamshell containers of organic lettuce into shipping boxes. The robots move far faster than the people they replaced. Each robot replaces two to five workers at Earthbound, according to John Dulchinos, an engineer who is the chief executive at Adept Technology, a robot maker based in Pleasanton, Calif., that developed Earthbound’s system.

Robot manufacturers in the United States say that in many applications, robots are already more cost-effective than humans.

At an automation trade show last year in Chicago, Ron Potter, the director of robotics technology at an Atlanta consulting firm called Factory Automation Systems, offered attendees a spreadsheet to calculate how quickly robots would pay for themselves.

In one example, a robotic manufacturing system initially cost $250,000 and replaced two machine operators, each earning $50,000 a year. Over the 15-year life of the system, the machines yielded $3.5 million in labor and productivity savings.

The Obama administration says this technological shift presents a historic opportunity for the nation to stay competitive. “The only way we are going to maintain manufacturing in the U.S. is if we have higher productivity,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Government officials and industry executives argue that even if factories are automated, they still are a valuable source of jobs. If the United States does not compete for advanced manufacturing in industries like consumer electronics, it could lose product engineering and design as well. Moreover, robotics executives argue that even though blue-collar jobs will be lost, more efficient manufacturing will create skilled jobs in designing, operating and servicing the assembly lines, as well as significant numbers of other kinds of jobs in the communities where factories are.

And robot makers point out that their industry itself creates jobs. A report commissioned by the International Federation of Robotics last year found that 150,000 people are already employed by robotics manufacturers worldwide in engineering and assembly jobs.

But American and European dominance in the next generation of manufacturing is far from certain.

“What I see is that the Chinese are going to apply robots too,” said Frans van Houten, Philips’s chief executive. “The window of opportunity to bring manufacturing back is before that happens.”

A Faster Assembly Line

Royal Philips Electronics began making the first electric shavers in 1939 and set up the factory here in Drachten in 1950. But Mr. Visser, the engineer who manages the assembly, takes pride in the sophistication of the latest shavers. They sell for as much as $350 and, he says, are more complex to make than smartphones.

The assembly line here is made up of dozens of glass cages housing robots made by Adept Technology that snake around the factory floor for more than 100 yards. Video cameras atop the cages guide the robot arms almost unerringly to pick up the parts they assemble. The arms bend wires with millimetric accuracy, set toothpick-thin spindles in tiny holes, grab miniature plastic gears and set them in housings, and snap pieces of plastic into place.

The next generation of robots for manufacturing will be more flexible and easier to train.

Witness the factory of Tesla Motors, which recently began manufacturing the Tesla S, a luxury sedan, in Fremont, Calif., on the edge of Silicon Valley.

More than half of the building is shuttered, called “the dark side.” It still houses a dingy, unused Toyota Corolla assembly line on which an army of workers once turned out half a million cars annually.

The Tesla assembly line is a stark contrast, brilliantly lighted. Its fast-moving robots, bright Tesla red, each has a single arm with multiple joints. Most of them are imposing, 8 to 10 feet tall, giving them a slightly menacing “Terminator” quality.

But the arms seem eerily human when they reach over to a stand and change their “hand” to perform a different task. While the many robots in auto factories typically perform only one function, in the new Tesla factory a robot might do up to four: welding, riveting, bonding and installing a component.

As many as eight robots perform a ballet around each vehicle as it stops at each station along the line for just five minutes. Ultimately as many as 83 cars a day — roughly 20,000 are planned for the first year — will be produced at the factory. When the company adds a sport utility vehicle next year, it will be built on the same assembly line, once the robots are reprogrammed.

Tesla’s factory is tiny but represents a significant bet on flexible robots, one that could be a model for the industry. And others are already thinking bigger.

Hyundai and Beijing Motors recently completed a mammoth factory outside Beijing that can produce a million vehicles a year using more robots and fewer people than the big factories of their competitors and with the same flexibility as Tesla’s, said Paul Chau, an American venture capitalist at WI Harper who toured the plant in June.

The New Warehouse

Traditional and futuristic systems working side by side in a distribution center north of New York City show how robotics is transforming the way products are distributed, threatening jobs. From this warehouse in Newburgh, C & S, the nation’s largest grocery wholesaler, supplies a major supermarket chain.

The old system sprawls across almost half a million square feet. The shelves are loaded and unloaded around the clock by hundreds of people driving pallet jacks and forklifts. At peak times in the evening, the warehouse is a cacophony of beeping and darting electric vehicles as workers with headsets are directed to cases of food by a computer that speaks to them in four languages.

The new system is much smaller, squeezed into only 30,000 square feet at the far end of the warehouse and controlled by just a handful of technicians. They watch over a four-story cage with different levels holding 168 “rover” robots the size of go-carts. Each can move at 25 miles an hour, nearly as fast as an Olympic sprinter.

Each rover is connected wirelessly to a central computer and on command will race along an aisle until it reaches its destination — a case of food to retrieve or the spot to drop one off for storage. The robot gathers a box by extending two-foot-long metal fingers from its side and sliding them underneath. It lifts the box and pulls it to its belly. Then it accelerates to the front of the steel cage, where it turns into a wide lane where it must contend with traffic — eight robots are active on each level of the structure, which is 20 aisles wide and 21 levels high.

From the aisle, the robots wait their turn to pull into a special open lane where they deposit each load into an elevator that sends a stream of food cases down to a conveyor belt that leads to a large robot arm.

About 10 feet tall, the arm has the grace and dexterity of a skilled supermarket bagger, twisting and turning each case so the final stack forms an eight-foot cube. The software is sophisticated enough to determine which robot should pick up which case first, so when the order arrives at the supermarket, workers can take the cases out in the precise order in which they are to go on the shelves.

When the arm is finished, the cube of goods is conveyed to a machine that wraps it in clear plastic to hold it in place. Then a forklift operator summoned by the computer moves the cube to a truck for shipment.

Built by Symbotic, a start-up company based in the Boston area, this robotic warehouse is inspired by computer designers who created software algorithms to efficiently organize data to be stored on a computer’s hard drive.

Jim Baum, Symbotic’s chief executive, compares the new system to a huge parallel computer. The design is efficient because there is no single choke point; the cases of food moving through the robotic warehouse are like the digital bits being processed by the computer.

Humans’ Changing Role

In the decade since he began working as a warehouseman in Tolleson, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, Josh Graves has seen how automation systems can make work easier but also create new stress and insecurity. The giant facility where he works distributes dry goods for Kroger supermarkets.

Mr. Graves, 29, went to work in the warehouse, where his father worked for three decades, right out of high school. The demanding job required lifting heavy boxes and the hours were long. “They would bring in 15 guys, and only one would last,” he said.

Today Mr. Graves drives a small forklift-like machine that stores and retrieves cases of all sizes. Because such workers are doing less physical labor, there are fewer injuries, said Rome Aloise, a Teamsters vice president in Northern California. Because a computer sets the pace, the stress is now more psychological.

Mr. Graves wears headsets and is instructed by a computerized voice on where to go in the warehouse to gather or store products. A centralized computer the workers call The Brain dictates their speed. Managers know exactly what the workers do, to the precise minute.

Several years ago, Mr. Graves’s warehouse installed a German system that automatically stores and retrieves cases of food. That led to the elimination of 106 jobs, roughly 20 percent of the work force. The new system was initially maintained by union workers with high seniority. Then that job went to the German company, which hired nonunion workers.

Now Kroger plans to build a highly automated warehouse in Tolleson. Sixty union workers went before the City Council last year to oppose the plan, on which the city has not yet ruled.

“We don’t have a problem with the machines coming,” Mr. Graves told city officials. “But tell Kroger we don’t want to lose these jobs in our city.”

Some jobs are still beyond the reach of automation: construction jobs that require workers to move in unpredictable settings and perform different tasks that are not repetitive; assembly work that requires tactile feedback like placing fiberglass panels inside airplanes, boats or cars; and assembly jobs where only a limited quantity of products are made or where there are many versions of each product, requiring expensive reprogramming of robots.

But that list is growing shorter.

Upgrading Distribution

Inside a spartan garage in an industrial neighborhood in Palo Alto, Calif., a robot armed with electronic “eyes” and a small scoop and suction cups repeatedly picks up boxes and drops them onto a conveyor belt.

It is doing what low-wage workers do every day around the world.

Older robots cannot do such work because computer vision systems were costly and limited to carefully controlled environments where the lighting was just right. But thanks to an inexpensive stereo camera and software that lets the system see shapes with the same ease as humans, this robot can quickly discern the irregular dimensions of randomly placed objects.

The robot uses a technology pioneered in Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensing system for its Xbox video game system.

Such robots will put automation within range of companies like Federal Express and United Parcel Service that now employ tens of thousands of workers doing such tasks.

The start-up behind the robot, Industrial Perception Inc., is the first spinoff of Willow Garage, an ambitious robotics research firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The first customer is likely to be a company that now employs thousands of workers to load and unload its trucks. The workers can move one box every six seconds on average. But each box can weigh more than 130 pounds, so the workers tire easily and sometimes hurt their backs.

Industrial Perception will win its contract if its machine can reliably move one box every four seconds. The engineers are confident that the robot will soon do much better than that, picking up and setting down one box per second.

“We’re on the cusp of completely changing manufacturing and distribution,” said Gary Bradski, a machine-vision scientist who is a founder of Industrial Perception. “I think it’s not as singular an event, but it will ultimately have as big an impact as the Internet.”


A version of this article appeared in print on August 19, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Skilled Work, Without the Worker.
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Offline Letsbereal

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Robotics revolution slashing need for human labor
« Reply #111 on: November 05, 2012, 12:03:01 AM »
Robotics revolution slashing need for human labor
21 August 2012
, by Jay Bookman (Jay Bookman Blog)
http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/08/21/robotics-revolution-slashing-need-for-human-labor/

In a story with potentially profound implications, The New York Times (above) writes about two Philips Electronics factories, one on the coast of China that employs hundreds of low-wage workers, and another in the Netherlands that employs several dozen. They both produce the same product, but thanks to increasing high-tech robotics, the Netherlands plant does so more efficiently. As the story notes, the robots “do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.”


“This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers….

Many industry executives and technology experts say Philips’s approach is gaining ground on Apple’s. Even as Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, continues to build new plants and hire thousands of additional workers to make smartphones, it plans to install more than a million robots within a few years to supplement its work force in China.

Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”

The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”

In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today.


That’s a compelling comparison. The mechanization of agriculture changed the face of the nation, particularly here in the South. The Great Migration of black Americans out of the rural South into places such as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and later to points west was driven to a significant degree by the introduction of the mechanical cotton picker and other devices, rendering their farm labor useless. For many white workers in Appalachia, mechanization of the coal industry played a similar role.

For decades, America’s growing industrial base absorbed that excess labor, and the nation as a whole transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial economy. But if mechanization is in the process of performing a similar transformation in the industrial world — replacing even the millions of low-wage “animals” now doing that work in China and elsewhere — where does that excess labor turn next for employment?
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Offline Letsbereal

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The Real News: Romney’s Lies, the Real China story, and More Robots
« Reply #112 on: November 05, 2012, 12:19:07 AM »
The Real News: Romney’s Lies, the Real China story, and More Robots http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga59DCN6zjw

Frank Hammer: Romney’s fiction about the Jeep plant moving to China has distracted from the real jobs headed to China and loss of jobs due to investment in robotics.
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Offline Letsbereal

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Foxconn rolls out 10,000 ‘Foxbots’ as it moves to replace 1 million workers
« Reply #113 on: November 14, 2012, 09:48:58 AM »
Foxconn rolls out 10,000 ‘Foxbots’ as it moves ahead to replace 1 million workers
13 November 2012
, by Raymond Wong (BGR)
http://bgr.com/2012/11/13/foxconn-robots-arrive-worker-replacements/

Foxconn announced in August last year that it was planning to have 1 million robots up and running in its factories within three years.

As promised, the first batch of 10,000 “Foxbots” have already made an appearance in one Chinese factory, with 20,000 more planned by the end of the year.

The Foxconn-built Foxbots are estimated to cost between $20,000 and $25,000, but reportedly aren’t good for anything beyond repetitive tasks that involve item “lifting, selecting and placement.”

The mechanical arm-like Foxbots are likely not capable of producing products such as the iPhone 5 that require extremely intricate assembly.

With 1.2 million employees, and 1 million robots planned, the big question is how many workers will actually be put out of work?

After all, Foxconn will still need people to oil up the Foxbots if they ever malfunction.
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Offline Letsbereal

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What Can be Automated, Will be Automated
« Reply #114 on: December 17, 2012, 02:23:03 AM »
What Can be Automated, Will be Automated: Video of Automated Meat Processing Plant Without a Soul in Sight
16 December 2012
, by Mike Shedlock (MISH'S Global Economic Trend Analysis)
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.nl/2012/12/what-can-be-automated-will-be-automated.html

The days of getting carpal tunnel syndrome from cutting meat are now over, at least as measured by a meat processing plant in Greece, shown in the video below.

The video starts out a bit slow, but is rather fascinating once it gets going. I played it until the end. Eventually a single person comes into view, but that person runs and monitors the machines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoO1Yzq7cuk

Automation Rules:

- What can be automated, will

- The number of things that can be automated increases every month
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The Library Where Robots Pick the Books
« Reply #115 on: January 07, 2013, 02:03:15 AM »
The Library Where Robots Pick the Books https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siN0qTRX--E

Jan 6, 2013, (AP)

Yes, the high-tech James B. Hunt Library has books, but they're not visible when you walk into the building on the campus of North Carolina State University.

Instead, the 1.5 million books are retrievable by robots.
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The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go - Baxter
« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2013, 06:55:25 AM »
The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go
26 March 2013
, by Blaire Briody (The Fiscal Times - CNBC)
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100592545

If you meet Baxter, the latest humanoid robot from Rethink Robotics – you should get comfortable with him, because you'll likely be seeing more of him soon.

Rethink Robotics released Baxter last fall and received an overwhelming response from the manufacturing industry, selling out of their production capacity through April.

He's cheap to buy ($22,000), easy to train, and can safely work side-by-side with humans.

He's just what factories need to make their assembly lines more efficient – and yes, to replace costly human workers.

But manufacturing is only the beginning.

This April, Rethink will launch a software platform that will allow Baxter to do a more complex sequencing of tasks – for example, picking up a part, holding it in front of an inspection station and receiving a signal to place it in a "good" or "not good" pile.

The company is also releasing a software development kit soon that will allow third parties – like university robotics researchers – to create applications for Baxter.

These third parties "are going to do all sorts of stuff we haven't envisioned," says Scott Eckert, CEO of Rethink Robotics.

He envisions something similar to Apple's app store happening for Baxter.

A spiffed-up version of the robot could soon be seen flipping burgers at McDonalds, folding t-shirts at Gap, or pouring coffee at Starbucks.

"Could [Baxter] be a barista?" asks Eckert. "It's not a target market, but it's something that's pretty repeatable. Put a cup in, push a button, espresso comes out, etc.

There are simple repeatable service tasks that Baxter could do over time."

(More From The Fiscal Times: The Rise of Robots and Decline of Jobs) http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/01/14/The-Rise-of-Robots-and-Decline-of-Jobs-Is-Here.aspx#page1

Companies might not need to wait for a more advanced version of Baxter – MIT already has a BakeBot that can read recipes, whip together cookie dough and place it in the oven.

The University of California at Berkeley has a robot that can do laundry and fold T-shirts.

Robot servers have started waiting tables at restaurants in Japan, South Korea, China and Thailand – and just last week, a robot served Passover matzah to President Obama during his trip to Israel.

"Every year, machines are getting more capable of doing low-level tasks," says Professor Seth Teller, a robotics researcher at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.

The Great Job Transformation

Many experts worry about what robots in the service sector could do to employment.

The national unemployment rate remains at 7.7% – not remotely close to the 4.7% unemployment in 2007 before the recession.

Job growth isn't expected to return to pre-recession levels until 2017, and the recent sequestration could easily derail it.

Manufacturing has already shed nearly 6 million jobs since 2000.

"When machines and robots start taking over service sector jobs, that's when we'll really start to notice," says Martin Ford, robotics expert and author of The Lights In the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future.

"If you're making hamburgers or Starbucks drinks, that's really just high manufacturing."

(More From The Fiscal Times: The Robot Revolution: Your Job May Be Next) http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/07/12/The-Robot-Revolution-Your-Job-May-Be-Next.aspx#page1

What's worrisome to Ford is that these jobs have been offering a huge safety net to the middle class.

They're jobs he calls "the jobs of last resort."

When someone can't find a salaried job, they look for lower-paying service jobs to get by – and because the jobs typically have a high turnover rate, they're more likely to be available.

Think of all the college graduates who take jobs as cashiers or baristas before they find salaried work.

If those jobs were to vanish, those workers would be forced to file for unemployment instead."

Retail and service industries are the largest employers in the U.S., accounting for nearly 20% of total employment in 2011, according to the latest data available from the BLS.

The retail sector employs nearly 14.8 million people, with Walmart employing 10% of them.

On top of that, one in five retail workers are the sole income earners in their household.

The U.S. restaurant industry employs 9.5 million people, and nearly 50% of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their life, according to a 2012 report from the Workforce Strategies Initiative at the Aspen Institute.

Compare these numbers to the tech job "boom" at companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google – and you get a mere 190,000 people.

Restaurant work also supports aging boomers as they transition out of the workforce – 12% of restaurant workers are 55 and older.

"Many older Americans have fallen back on jobs in the restaurant industry, as they seek to transition to a new career or are simply unable to find other work," write the authors of the Aspen Institute report.

Teller at MIT argues that economic disruption from technology is nothing new – we've seen it before with inventions like the cotton gin, the automobile, and the personal computer.

"One way to frame this is robots are taking human jobs away, but technology has, throughout history, transformed the nature of human jobs," he says.

"As machines get more capable, they take on functions that were previously performed by people.

There's a displacement, certainly, but we're still seeing this transformation play out, so you just don't know whether there's going to be a net gain or a loss [of jobs]."

According to Teller, Baxter and other robots could create jobs in new industries we haven't even envisioned yet.

The PC, for example, eliminated plenty of jobs while creating millions of others.

And he has a point – Baxter is creating some jobs.

Rethink Robotics employs 85 people at their Boston headquarters that would've never existed without Baxter – though most are high-level engineers, designers and salespeople.

(More From The Fiscal Times: Ten Jobs That Won't Be Taken By Robots…Yet) http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/06/07/10-Jobs-that-Wont-Be-Taken-By-Robots-Yet.aspx#page1

At the factories that are buying Baxter, employers now create robot "managers" to oversee Baxter.

Baxter is also made in the U.S., and Rethink employs some 100 people in factories and distributors – though in an ironic twist, they're already planning to use Baxter to help build Baxter.

As robots move into other sectors and the home, Teller says the job opportunities are abundant.

Robot IT and maintenance personnel, designers and salespeople for robot accessories, software, and apps, and robot security developers are just a few examples.

"If personal robots are the next thing and everyone wants one in their house, doing the laundry and unloading the dishwasher, we're talking about another decade of massive economic activity," says Teller.

The PC, however, also created a decade of economic wealth – but the wealth has largely stayed at the top.

Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google don't employ many people, relatively speaking, but they have about 6.25% of the market cap of all U.S. companies.

Yes, PCs have created IT jobs and software developers, but the tech industry is small compared to retail and restaurant industries.

Computer and mathematical jobs make up about 3% of the labor force, according to the BLS, and require advanced degrees and years of training.

Will the U.S.'s higher education system be prepared for massive retraining?

Will service employees have the time and resources to learn new skills?

Will enough high-skill jobs be available for them?

No one is quite sure where they'll go when robots like Baxter push them out.

Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business and co-author of Race Against the Machine, has been warning economists about the coming job disruption for years.

"Technology doesn't automatically lift the fortunes of all people," Brynjolfsson said recently to a crowd at Wharton University in San Francisco.

"Profits [in the U.S.] have never been higher, innovation is roaring along, GDP is high, but job creation is lagging terribly, and the share of profits going to labor is at a 60-year low.

This is one of the most important issues facing our society."
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Offline jerryweaver

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Well maybe they need to make robot consumers cause intelligent people are organizing local economies that serve the community and not the corporations.

If you are not getting out from in front of your computer and getting involved in those types of projects you're going to regret it.

Offline madasheck

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Well maybe they need to make robot consumers

indeed. All this talk of efficient production is hollow if no humans have jobs and thus aren't able to buy anything. Of course we know the real purpose: the so called "elites" want to replace the bothersome humans entirely.
Clamabat ille miser se civem esse Romanum...cum imploraret saepius usurparetque nomen civitatis, crux-crux, inquam-infelici et aerumnoso, qui numquam istam pestem viderat, comparabatur. ~Cicero, Verrine Orations

Offline Letsbereal

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Billion euro project to recreate the human brain gets underway - Vid
« Reply #119 on: April 27, 2013, 07:31:27 PM »
Billion euro project to recreate the human brain gets underway - Vid (2:57)
http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/04/25/reuters-tv-billion-euro-project-to-recreate-the-hum?videoId=242466818&videoChannel=118065

April 25, 2013

Scientists have begun working to recreate a human brain inside a supercomputer, one of the most ambitious scientific projects ever undertaken.

The Human Brain Project, led by Swiss institute, the EPFL, aims to build the replica organ within ten years. Jim Drury reports.
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