the robots are coming

Study: People Are More Likely to Open Up to a Talking Computer Than a Human Therapist

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.27.25 AM

It only takes five minutes with Siri to realize that robots are miserable replacements for help from a real person. But artificial intelligence researchers haven’t given up on making robots that can do something more useful than answering basic trivia and telling us where to hide a body.

A team of researchers created an artificially intelligent robot psychologist named Ellie who can ask probing questions, read emotions with 3D cameras and get through a basic therapy session, the Economist reports. Early experiments are showing that people are more likely to be candid and emotional when they think no one is sitting there judging them. Read More

Mr. Roboto

The Future Will Consist of Tiny Flying Robots Bumping Into Your Face

(Screengrab: YouTube)

Flying cars, whole meals in pill form, bras that actually fit–we’ve all got hopes and dreams of what the future holds. Robots that bump into things rather than learning to navigate might not be high on many people’s lists, but hey, they exist now, and that’s fun.

The Gimball is a flying robot that contains a stable inner body within a spherical outer body, according to Mashable. When it hits an obstacle, its circular cage enables it to bounce away and keep flying. It mimics the movement of an insect, Mashable reports. Read More

Rise of the Machines

Soldiers Are So Emotionally Attached to Their Combat Robots, They Hold Funerals For Them

"ILU BB" - a solider. (Photo: Army)

The battlefield can be a lonely and often times depressing place for soldiers. So much so that they are attributing human feelings towards the robots they regularly use on the job. A new study out of the University of Washington discovered that military members are personifying their robots by giving them names, personality traits and even apply empathy toward them when they “die.” Read More

Rise of the Drones

These Tiny House-Cleaning Fairy Drones May Just Make Life Perfect

If you look closely, you can see the tiny magical fairies. (Photo: Electrolux Design Lab)

Cleaning your house is probably the most boring thing you can choose to do with your time. But finally, a genius college student from Colombia has devised a system through which tiny robot fairies would clean your nasty ass abode for you while you keep chillin.

Adrian Perez Zapata’s design incorporates “a spherical hive of tiny flying drones,” DVice reports. “The hive itself is designed to function as both a charging station for the drones as well as a depository for your home’s refuse.” Read More

Mr. Roboto

British Robot Comedian Is Even Harder to Watch Than an Actual Amateur Comic

"Take my wife, please!" (Screengrab: YouTube)

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could turn funny into an algorithm, wrap it up in a talking metallic box and plop it on a stage? A group of researchers has done just that–or at least they tried to–by creating a robot comedian.

The scientists from Queen Mary’s Cognitive Science Research Group created a RoboThespian “to study how the audience relates to a robot performer,” io9 reports, “and what adjustments the robot can make on the fly to better connect with its audience.” Read More


Live From e-G8 in Paris–Jeff Jarvis Takes on Mr. Sarkozy, Also…Jazz Robots

jazz connect

American in Paris Tech

Nicolas Sarkozy’s e-G8 summit kicked off this morning, Paris time, in big white tents in the Tuileries Gardens off the Rue di Rivoli. It’s supposed to draw an assortment of heavy hitters regarding e-commerce, copyrights and the expansion of web access.

Betabeat was scarfing suacisson when we noticed a robot wandering the main hall, where hundreds of tech industry people, journalists and French politicians stood about, stuffing themselves and chatting. Read More