The Singularity is Near

by on April 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

Oh, this is a thing of beauty.  Forget the iPad I want one of these asap!

Hat tip Boing Boing. More here.

1 Kelvin April 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

That is ADORABLE. Curse my anthropomorphizing instincts!

2 Bergamot April 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

They’ve finally invented a machine that can fold laundry slower than I do.

3 Wayne April 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Patrick: It is sped up by 50x, so the 2 minute clip would have actually taken 1 hr and 40 minutes, hence the apparent stop-motion appearance. Takes so long probably for image processing and such, if I had to guess. I thought the same thing until I went to the journal site and looked at the actual data in their PDF for this conference. I believe it is legit.

4 JamieNYC April 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Movie clip is sped up 50 times – so, for this to become practical, we need about 50 times more processing power. At 1.5 times performance speedup per year (Moore’s law), that’s about 15 years (13.57). Quite plausible, but singularity doesn’t appear that ‘near’ when you crunch the numbers.

5 Stan April 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

JamieNYC: Robots are not mortal; it matters not to them if they are “slow.”

William: The robot war IS the singularity.

Bergamot: I hear you man, I hear you.

6 Dan * April 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm

The fun bit about AI is that there is a lot of room for algorithm improvement. There are so many methods out there to do these kinds of routines. This particular algorithm may take 15 or so years to be useful, but now that a proof of concept is out there we can dump vast quantities of money into AI towel folding. Might not sound like much, but outside of video gaming, AI’s future mostly lies in simulation (which is essentially what video games are) and performing mundane tasks more efficiently than humans. One of the major hurdles has mostly been getting robots to do mundane tasks…regardless of speed. So now that we have what appears to be effective sensors for a robot to do this task, different groups can apply their methodologies to greatly improve on this guy. We could have a fully automated dry cleaner in 15 years. That would be exciting.

7 SPEPost April 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

lol, very cool.

8 Matthew April 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

It’s Flexible Frank!

9 Erik Brynjolfsson April 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer?

That’s so 20th century. Robots will do it with lasers:

10 get your girlfriend back April 2, 2010 at 5:19 am

Awesome!The robots are on the move-leaping, scrambling,rolling,flying,climbing.They are figuring out how to get here on their own.They come to help us, protect us,amuse us and some even do floors.Now we just have to wait and see how these robots will going to change our lives!Hope to hear from you in future.

11 iedge card April 2, 2010 at 6:13 am

The Singularity is technological change so rapid and so profound that it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history….

12 Andrew April 2, 2010 at 8:34 am

Shooting an AK-47 at moving pink things is much easier than folding towels.

13 Yancey Ward April 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

Now we know why the cat was found folded neatly in the towel closet.

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