Category Archives: Robots

AI Play No More Opaque than Beckett

Sunspring | A Sci-Fi Short Film Starring Thomas Middleditch
In the wake of Google’s AI Go victory, filmmaker Oscar Sharp turned to his technologist collaborator Ross Goodwin to build a machine that could write screenplays. They created "Jetson" and fueled him with hundreds of sci-fi TV and movie scripts. Building a team including Thomas Middleditch, star of HBO’s Silicon Valley, they gave themselves 48 hours to shoot and edit whatever Jetson decided to write.

You can see it at Sunspring | A Sci-Fi Short Film Starring Thomas Middleditch – Ars Technica Videos – The Scene.

It is no more obscure than some Samuel Beckett.

More info at Ars Technica’s Movie written by algorithm turns out to be hilarious and intense…including the somewhat disturbing fact that the AI has named itself Benjamin.

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Drone Debate

In a Wall Street Journal debate today I argue that drones should not be allowed to overfly private property without the inhabitant’s consent due to the privacy risks, the consequent erosion of the 4th Amendment, and other dangers. This echoes some of the arguments in Self-Defense Against Robots and Drones, the recent Connecticut Law Review article I wrote with Zak Colangelo.

Ryan Calo gives the other side, arguing that overflights should be allowed in order to spur innovation. I think the WSJ sees him as the Bolshevik here, as they sum up the debate like this:

A. Michael Froomkin, the Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein distinguished professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law, says that drones pose a huge threat to security and privacy, and that property owners should be able to keep them from flying over their land. Ryan Calo, an assistant professor of law at the University of Washington, says decisions about where and when drones can fly should be made collectively, not by individual landowners.

Who would have imagined I’d be the right-winger in a debate on the pages of the Wall Street Journal? I suspect that my former boss, Judge Stephen F. Williams, would be quite amused, although he’d probably describe it as vindication.

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Spear 1 Drone 0

At a festival in Russia, a costumed re-enactor was preparing for a mock battle when he spotted an aerial invader from the future filming the action. Footage shows the medieval knight hurling his spear at the camera drone and knocking it out of the sky. The spear thrower later apologized for getting carried away, although there’s now talk of making drone spearing an official event next year.

— Renee Montagne, Hurled Spear Takes Out Camera Drone : NPR

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Robot Radio

Ian Kerr and i had a great time talking robots on WLRN’s Topical Currents. They’ve posted the podcast as Our Robot Future And Bizarre Circumstances To Ensue and now you can listen too.

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On Topical Currents Today

TC-Logo-smI’m going to be on WLRN’s “Topical Currents” call-in show today at 1pm, to discuss our book Robot Law, and the topic of robots more generally. I’ll post a link to the podcast version when I have it.

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Zeitgeist Alert

robots-vogue-cover-april-2016

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