"Blah Blah Blah."
"Fuck Off Simon."
The International Space Station will get its first AI-powered friend-droid by next week, after it was bundled into a Dragon capsule and launched into orbit aboard a Space X Falcon Rocket on Friday. It’s a weird looking circular unit measuring five kilograms with no arms or legs, just a rectangular screen, kind of like a giant …
If that picture shows the actual face of the bot, I'm fairly certain what will become a target fairly soon after it is deployed. I mean, would YOU want that thing smirking at you all the time? WTF were the designers thinking?
Note to NASA: I don't need or want a face on a floating ebook viewer.
As soon as I started reading, that was the first thought that crossed my mind too. Anyone who manages to get to the ISS is highly trained, highly intelligent and very dedicated. They are not going to be the best people to test drive a Fisher Price toy in a highly challenging and potentially highly dangerous environment where it's untested abilities are more likely to slow down the work than assist in it.
Stick some wheels on it and do it somewhere safer, on Earth, where the range of people who can be testers is wider. At least then, when someone punches its lights out, all the sharp bits will fall to the floor.
Its interesting to see IBM doing space-rated equipment for NASA again.
Its been a while, but they did design and build the onboard command and control computers used in both the Apollo CM and LM spacecraft. IIRC they were the first computers designed for direct interaction with people, i.e. fitted with a calculator-style keyboard and numeric display panel rather than requiring a teletype or greenscreen terminal. They were among the first computers to use transistor logic and were similar in power to an Apple II, Trash-80 or Commodore PET.
They were built by Raytheon.
Edit: I'm no fan of Wiki, but on a whim I took a look. They actually have a fairly decent article on the subject. Worth checking out, if you're unaware of this bit of history.
(My spall chucker doesn't know Raytheon, thinks it should be Pantheon ... rectifying, but it makes me wonder what else they aren't teaching the kids coding things these days ...)
IOW a bit f**king sinister.
In other news
Robot tries Turning Test with German scientist
A game with no winners?
It can float around like a beach ball. That just reminds me of the Rovers in The Prisoner.
Something else you didn't want to be caught by.
MC: Morning Alexander! How's things
AG: Err... fine thanks MC
MC: How's CIMON working out? Has he been a big help on board?
AG: Oh, yes! He.. yes!
MC: Put him on, one of the engineers wants to check something
AG: ..... Er... your breaking up ...
MC: Strange, all comms look good this end
AG: .....<crumples paper>... <makes white noise sound> ...
MC: Can you hear us AG? One more thing, if you could investigate an anomaly we spotted from the airlock 12 hours ago, we'd appreciate it, seems like some debris was jettisoned outside of the normal schedule.
MC: AG? You hear us? OK, we'll pick this up tomorrow.
How well does a caffetiere perform in zero-G?
I would imagine that the actual coffee-pressing bit works quite well (it works from pressure, not gravity). However, the pouring bit might not work so well in micro-gravity (*not* zero-G.. to get zero-g you'd need to be in an absolutely flat bit of space-time - and even then you would be generating some gravity. And being in orbit round a massive chunk of rock doesn't qualify).
Nope, that was the first thing that struck me. I am guessing that Kevin Spacey didn't get the gig to voice it though.
To all the people sounding off about how punchable this thing seems, perhaps that is the point. Nothing unites a team better than getting together to rag on a common enemy. Probably still best to turn up the aircon fan and cover your lips with a hand while you do it though
...so it can float, y'know, just like _all_ AI assistant type things do in the movies, wherever they are.
Of course, in "real life" (or what passes for it these days) the only place they can readily do this is in micro-gravity.
Seems a poor reason to harass the ISS crew with it though.
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For this purpose it's not really necessary to have a rectangular view.
There's actually a pretty good alternative, which could be built although it would require an alternative fab facility, which is not going to happen soon.
Back in the mid-1980s a company whose name I forget, in the Denver area, was working on an interesting scanning and display architecture that merged the vectorizing/recognition task and the image capture and compression task. It was based on a fractal tiling based on hexagonal cells. At the display resolutions available at that time it was not a very good fit with the common rectangular viewports - vertical lines were represented by slightly wiggly lines. But today that's no longer a problem.
The cool thing about it (without going in to detail) was that the breakdown of the image into hexagon-based fractal trees accomplished a substantial compression of the data and _simultaneously_ a first order vectorization of the image. It was also demonstrated that a similar image reconstruction algorithm was as fast or faster than a pure rectangular bit map.
As a bonus of sorts, it mapped well to many other non-rectangular display - or scan - viewports, such as facial simuations - essentially it was better at every 'natural' object than rectangular viewports.
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