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Published on Feb 15, 2012
Cornell University professor Hod Lipson demonstrates how a robot can teach itself to walk without any knowledge of its form and function. "Within a relatively small number of these babbling actions, it will figure out what it looks like," Lipson says. He adds that eventually "it can figure out how to move."
Join an audience at swissnex San Francisco as scientists from Switzerland and the US discuss their research on humanoid robots, cognitive robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Hear how some robots self-reflect, self-improve, and adapt to new circumstances, and whether it's possible for robots of the future to possess the same cognitive characteristics as humans.
Cornell University's Hod Lipson is seeking to understand if machines can learn analytical laws automatically. For centuries, scientists have attempted to identify and document analytical laws underlying physical phenomena in nature. Despite the prevalence of computing power, the process of finding natural laws and their corresponding equations has resisted automation. Lipson has developed machines that take in information about their environment and discover natural laws all on their own, even learning to walk.
Rolf Pfeifer directs the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich. Together with his scientific assistant Pascal Kaufmann, Pfeifer presents current AI research and a humanoid robot in the Ecce family referred to as Cronos. Instead of copying only the outward form of a human, Cronos mimics the inner structures as well—bones, joints, muscles, and tendons—and thus has more human-like actions and interactions in the world.