Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Robots Teach Each Other New Tricks (technologyreview.com) 27

schwit1 writes with this story from the MIT Technology Review about a robot at Brown University who was taught to perform a task from another robot at Cornell. According to the article: "the ability to acquire and then share knowledge is a central component of human culture and civilization. A small milestone in the exchange of robot knowledge has now been demonstrated by two bots working in different academic research labs. Researchers at Cornell University previously devised an online game, called TellMeDave, through which volunteers can help train a robot to perform a task and associate different actions with commands given in everyday language. By guiding the robot through a task, a volunteer trains a machine-learning algorithm so the robot can perform the task again. And this learned behavior is stored in a central repository called RoboBrain that's accessible by other robots (see 'The World's First Knowledge Engine for Robots')."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Robots Teach Each Other New Tricks

Comments Filter:
  • last time i go that website.
  • by Sowelu ( 713889 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @07:31PM (#50829287)

    Robots, or rather a human-driven learning program, can contribute facts to a shared database. Any robot based on this system can pull facts out of that database. Having "one robot teach another" seems like it implies that they don't share a database, and instead communicate information through some other way. This article is pretty neat because of its fact database, but not as cool as gorillas teaching each other sign language.

    • by Nahor ( 41537 )

      Indeed, schwit1 seems that have missed the point article, or at least didn't really explain clearly. The point of the is not about a robot teaching a other robot. That's just a save/restore.
      And as you point out, it's not about the teaching part either, i.e. not about how the information is transferred from one robot to another, that's just simple shared database and a network connection.

      It's about what is transferred from any robot to any other robot, and in particular, robots of different types, with diff

      • by calque ( 4296327 )
        Haven't we been trying for decades to put restrictions on the execution of programs in order to stop computer viruses? What is impressive about removing the restrictions? You could take Linux, remove all the security features, and install every possible emulator set up to automatically be invoked, and say that's the future of computing...
        • by Nahor ( 41537 )

          Nobody said the learning robot shouldn't have a vetting process (which may even be one of those meatbags called "humans").

          For that matter, what you're talking about is applicable today but limited to robots of the same kind. So should we disable the save/restore functionality in current robots for the sake of security because a corrupted save from an infected robot could infect another robot?

          And even if it was unsafe, researching how to do it is not a bad thing in and of itself. It could still be useful in

        • We should probably track down the robot that taught you how to insert bold tags andscrap it. Your doctor advised you to ease off on the bold tag use until your condition subsides.

          • by Nahor ( 41537 )

            I assume that was reply to my comment, not calque's? If you can't read bold as emphasis, not my problem. Or if you don't understand why I put the emphasis... well, still not my problem. ... and I'll change my doctor, his advise was not very constructive.

  • You could teach them to do a little dance after they've assembled 100 widgets.
    Or flip the bird every time a particular colleague walks past

    • If you taught robot "A" to disconnect the power on robot "B", and that gets into the database, you could make robot "B" learn to spend all it's time protecting it's power connection!
      Then add some old late night TV input and you end up with this scene:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsmCG2A_Sok [youtube.com]
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      One of my first, truly interactive, experiences on the World Wide Web was (and it was painfully slow) a setup at some lab. They'd taken a slushie machine and an ice cream scoop and attached the scoop to a robotic arm. You can see where this is going. Anyhow, you could watch the live video (again, painfully slow) and try to time it so that you could throw a scoop of slushie balls (snowballs) at the researchers when they walked past.

      Today, I guess, we could actually target one, have it wait for them, and then

  • They are running a rules engine, and storing inferred facts in a central repository. Seems like a reasonable thing to do, but I really don't understand what the "milestone" is.
  • The displacement of humans in the work force is accelerating and still nobody is getting any public attention as to what to do with excess workers. One thing is obvious in that capitalism can be destroyed by technology. No wages means no buyers in our current system. Right now like the Richard Pryor comedy routine about who has got the damned money. The government says it is broke. The banks and wall Street whine about how poor they are. the public is suffering as well and small business people are i
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Sometime, before your mentioned 1875 (which seems an odd year to choose but I'm sure you have your reasons), they invented this thing called the paragraph. I did notice the 1875 bit but, other than that, I stopped sometime around the second sentence.

      If you want to be read then it may help to make it readable. Given the posts just prior to your own, I first figured your post was spam. I then tried to parse it, gave up out of laziness, and noticed the 1875. Then I figured I'd reply.

      I'm also making this reply

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
    But can they teach each other to LOVE?

    Oh, wait, they probably can. That means the window for man-robot love is going to be precariously short. The robophiles in the audience are going to have to act quickly, or they're going to miss the action!

    • You seem to be suggesting that once robots learn to love one another, they will stop loving humans. Perhaps the robots will love both. Many pro-love people often suggest that love isn't a zero sum game.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      The missus is in the room, albeit sleeping. I don't need to have her wake up while opening some page that screams at me or otherwise seem like I need to make a long explanation. I don't even want her to wake up and see me typing it into Google...

      Are there actually robophiles? As in, those attracted to robots and not to robots that are programmed to to act and look like humans?

      I'm thinking there are but even in my unnecessarily vast browsing (for a friend, of course) I've yet to come across anything of that

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        People'll get fixated on anything. I like to play a dangerous game where I turn safe search off and search for word combinations in Google that really should never be put together. The only thing that really sticks in my mind, as far as this is concerned, is a fanfic I stumbled across about a homoerotic encounter between Optimus Prime and Megatron. Of course due to rule 34, even if there wasn't a robo porn site before I mentioned it, one should be created before I finish typing this sentence... and in fact,
        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          My friend says I should actually do some research into this. He's a curious sort... *nods* SWMBO is alert and whatnot, she gave an odd look when I described the conversation. I think that I'll skip the search engine and rely on my imagination. It's probably for the best. I really don't want to see what happens when soft squishy human bits meet an unforgiving spot welder.

  • This RoboBrain may not be evil or bent on extermination of humans, but it will nevertheless be in control. Luddites arise!

  • That's not news. Wake me when they teach _old_ robots new tricks.

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.