Cognitive Times

Your source for news and thought on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data, and other technology-related fields.

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Peaceful Bots and Automated Overlords: AI on the Big Screen

According to the imaginations of movie directors, our future is sleek buildings, flying cars, and smartphones brought to life as companions… or spies. This often takes the form of robots with superior cognitive abilities and some level of consciousness that presumably stems from artificial intelligence. Regardless of physical manifestation, AI-enabled technology is a common theme […]

Autonomy in the Sky

Most people are familiar with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, for tasks like taking aerial pictures or delivering mail. However, these days UAVs are also used to save lives. When Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and rising water shut down streets and highways, drones played an essential part in surveying flooded areas […]

Hypermodern Times: Data as the Artist’s Inspiration

Art and science have always enjoyed a long and robust conversation, and today is no exception. Consider scientist James Clerk Maxwell, who invented the first color photograph in 1855 while he was transforming the world with his theory of electromagnetism. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a composer and mathematician who invented calculus, famously said, “Music is the […]

Digitizing Yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but it’s only in recent times that the ancient discipline has become popular among the masses. To put that in perspective, the number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50 percent between 2012 and 2016. To many the appeal of yoga is in the unplugging from it […]

Turing Talk: An Interview with Mitsuku

We have a few questions for the world’s chatbots. Specifically, we have the questionnaire created by French TV host Bernard Pivot and popularized by James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio. This issue’s guest is Mitsuku, who claims to be an 18-year-old female chatbot from Leeds, England. Mitsuku is a four-time winner of the Loebner […]

New Adventures in AI: A Time Machine Recap

Questions both as grandly philosophical as the nature of self, and as nuts-and-bolts pragmatic as how automation will transform the energy industry, were considered by leading minds from across a host of industries gathered in Austin for two days last November. There, they discussed the myriad ways artificial intelligence is transforming business, culture, and the […]

5 Under-the-Radar Feats of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has applications in a wide range of industries, but often the focus is on famous wins like AlphaGo or an exciting potential use still many years in the future. This leads many to say that AI is not delivering on its promises to revolutionize the human experience. We don’t yet have artificial general […]

Action Plan: March and April

Here’s a techie to-do list of events for the next few months.       Go South by Southwest March 8-17 Highlights this year at the annual film, interactive media and music festival in the burgeoning tech hub of Austin, Texas, include “Who Will Lead in the Race for AI in Defense” and “How AI […]

Why Does This Robot Face Creep Me Out?

In a 1970 issue of a little-known Japanese magazine called Energy, roboticist Masahiro Mori first coined the term “bukimi no tani”—literally, “the uncanny valley.” He explained that objects, such as robots or toys, become more endearing as they become more human-like. However, at a certain threshold of human likeness, the object turns creepy and off-putting. […]

Winning a Game Show with Algorithms

Probabilistic reasoning is the heart of machine learning algorithms. For artificial intelligence to break out of the narrow contexts it was used for in the 20th century, it must be able to assign probabilities to events and objectively update those probabilities as new information arises. While probability theory is in the DNA of machine learning […]