16 October 2018

AI and Robotics Conference

I went down to London for the AI and Robotics/CXTech double conference on Friday as a guest of the organisers having been a speaker at least year's conference.

The event opened with three good big picture talks on the wider AI scene, from Daniel Hulme (Satalia), Dr Chris Brauer (Goldsmiths) and Calum Chace (author of the Surviving AI and The Economic Singularity). All recognised the difference between machine learning type implementations of AI and the bigger SF/AGI version of AI. A few key points:

  • Very few people had heard of Ray Kurzweil!
  • Calum thought that achieving AGI would immediately lead to the singularity - can't say I'm so sure
  • Calum had a nice graphic (from NPR) that showed the change in the most dominant US occupation by state, and how just from 1978 to 2014 it had basically shifted from farm wroker to truck driver - and so what might the impact of autonomous trucks be!
  • Calum has created The Economic Singularity Club with a book of “Stories from 2045” coming out shortly.

The other presentations were interesting, but nobody showing anything earth shattering. If anything it was interesting how little customer AI type chatbots had evolved over the last decade.

Not a bad day though, and some good chats over coffee, and the chance to try out a telepresence VR rig (very nausea inducing!)

One thing I didn't realise from Amazon though was that in their warehouses it is the shelves that move, not the people!

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