Vein-pattern recognition is the latest technology driving China’s AI, robotics revolution

“Because we programme machines, they will react the way we do. The best AI is that which behaves closest to the human way,” Chen says.

Technology will lead to the loss of many jobs, either because of an increase in productivity or because machines take the place of humans [altogether].

“Fast forward 100 years; now we have machines and the [population] has increased several fold. But unemployment is not higher than it was then. And what has happened to the efficiency of the global population? It may surprise you, but it has actually decreased.”If we look forward another century, we will see machines taking over many of the tasks humans do, so humans can concentrate on other things.

“Technology will lead to the loss of many jobs, either because of an increase in productivity or because machines take the place of humans [altogether],” Wu says during an interview in Shanghai.

“We thought human intelligence could never be copied, much less replaced. We are still very far from that because AI is not yet able to reason, but we need to understand that human intelligence is not irreplaceable. Machines will eventually make decisions, and do so better than us.”

Chen has put a time frame on developments: “The computational ability of a machine increases exponentially every year, and machines are getting smaller and smaller. A human brain has around 30 billion neurons. In about two years a chip will surpass this capability. In China, we have already reached the equivalent of 8 billion neurons.”

“The future is made up of human consciousness, which can’t be replicated because it’s unique to each individual, and the computational ability of machines,” says Chen.But will that superintelligence be free of human bias?

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Walmart’s latest hire: Robotic janitors that clean floors and collect data

Walmart’s latest custodial tool may look like a mini Zamboni, but it’s more like a Roomba, the robotic sweeper sliding across floors worldwide.

The robot custodians are powered by Brain Corp, a San Diego-based technology company that has partnered with Walmart.

Before the scrubbers can be set free, a Walmart employee is required for an initial “Training ride” that creates a map of different routes the machine can follow inside the store, the company said.

The robots look fairly one-dimensional in nature, but their onboard sensors allow them to collect useful analytical data, the company said.

The data may prove useful, providing the company with information about peak shopping hours or “Which shelves are empty,” as a Walmart spokesman told NBC News.

Blazing speed is hardly the point, Alan Smith, a Walmart assistant manager, said in a video produced by the company.

Some of those jobs sound a lot like cleaning floors at Walmart.

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