Tues 31 March 2 – 4 pm James HightUndercroft by Dr Ronald C Arkin, an IEEE SSIT Distinguished Lecturer
ABSTRACT: A recent meeting (May 2014) of the United Nations in Geneva regarding the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons considered the many issues surrounding the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems from a variety of legal, ethical, operational, and technical perspectives. Over 80 nations were represented and engaged in the discussion. This talk reprises the issues the author broached regarding the role of lethal autonomous robotic systems and warfare, and how if they are developed appropriately they may have the ability to significantly reduce civilian casualties in the battlespace. This can lead to a moral imperative for their use due to the enhanced likelihood of reduced noncombatant deaths. Nonetheless, if the usage of this technology is not properly addressed or is hastily deployed, it can lead to possible dystopian futures. This talk will encourage others to think of ways to approach the issues of restraining lethal autonomous systems from illegal or immoral actions in the context of both International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, whether through technology or legislation.
BIOGRAPHY: Ronald C. Arkin is Regents' Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He served as STINT visiting Professor at KTH in Stockholm, Sabbatical Chair at the Sony IDL in Tokyo, and in the Robotics and AI Group at LAAS/CNRS in Toulouse. Dr. Arkin's research interests include behavior-based control and action-oriented perception for mobile robots and UAVs, deliberative / reactive architectures, robot survivability, multiagent robotics, biorobotics, human-robot interaction, robot ethics, and learning in autonomous systems. Prof. Arkin served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) AdCom, and is a founding co-chair of IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robot Ethics. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and a Fellow of the IEEE.
A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players.
David Altimira has been researching in the university’s HIT Lab NZ to balance a game by giving the weaker player greater chances of success. He will present a paper to the 11th Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology Conference in Madeira, Portugal, in November.
As part of his project Altimira, who is collaborating with researchers from Melbourne’s RMIT University, changed the size of the table tennis bat and the table to make it more difficult for the better of the two players.
His supervisor, world croquet champion and University sports researcher Dr Jenny Clarke, says sensors were mounted under the table to detect and could project onto the table where the ball bounced and measured factors such as length of rallies and ball speed. He also used a ceiling-mounted camera to monitor other dynamics.
Dr Clarke says the research was aimed at getting more young New Zealanders to exercise. Nearly 11 percent of children in the 10 to 14 age group are obese and in adulthood, the proportion swells to 28 per cent.
David also had a better player using a half-sized bat or for that player to have to aim for a target area much smaller than the usual size of a table tennis table if their lead stretched out to six points.
A challenge can be more important than competition itself, especially if it is for fun. People might not like to play for competition but enjoy being challenged.
The motive behind this research could benefit families where the younger children are generally less skilled. The same applies in a social setting where some friends are much more skilled than others. This new system makes it competitive and fun for everyone.’’
Altimira, who has studied computer science in Barcelona and an internship in Chicago, says he digitally reconfigured one side of the table tennis table to make the target area more restricted for the better player to balance the game up.
This made it harder for the good player so overall we helped encourage people to do more physical exercise, which has mental, health and social benefits. Making it harder does not necessarily mean people will exercise more but by making physical activity more engaging it can increase people’s physical activity.’’
Robot first of its kind in NZ and the plans are free online.
The field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is evolving quickly. Can robots develop emotional intelligence? To what extend robots can influence human behavior? Are humans capable to distinguish between genuine robot emotions and manipulation? Sandra Angelous has been researching Human Robot Interaction for most of her life. Finally she and her team have unified all the behavioural, social and psychological theories behind artificial intelligence. Her research is promising involving cloud computing resources and cutting edge robots that could suddenly change the future of our relationships forever.
Eduardo Sandoval and Tim Pomroy were on Radio New Zealand to talk about there project to make a life-sized robot from 3D printed parts to study human-robot interactions.