Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Way We Live Now

The robot vacuum cleaner that spread dog shit over an entire apartment feels like the go-to metaphor for just about everything.


jimf said...

> The robot vacuum cleaner that spread dog shit over an entire apartment. . .

Did that really happen? :-0

Yeah, I guess it did:

Tesla, meet Roomba. But, but. . .
AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots
Mankind's creations are almost better than the real thing
28 Jan 2016
Alistair Dabbs

[A] robovac is an elementary example of AI and mechanics put
into practice. Artificial intelligence does not mean an ability
to speak and interact with humans but simply to be automated
in an intelligent way. A robovac wakes itself up, recognises
the difference between carpet and solid flooring, navigates
the furniture and stores itself for recharging when it’s finished.
The Dyson 360 Eye even plans out its own work strategy,
knows its whereabouts in the room, and keeps track of the
bits of floor still remaining to be cleaned. . .

Well, take heart. As Canadian marine biologist and SF author
Peter Watts once said (via ):

"Science is alchemy: it turns shit into gold." ;->

"HAL, I think we just stepped in something!"

"I'm sorry, I don't smell anything, Dave."

jimf said...
Roomba creator responds to reports of ‘poopocalypse’: ‘We see this a lot’
Olivia Solon
15 August 2016

. . .

It turns out that this isn’t an isolated incident.

It’s happened to neuroscientist Becca (she didn’t want her
full name published) between five and 10 times over the past two years.

She and her husband bought the Roomba to tackle the hair shed
by their four cats Aretha, Bert, Merry and Pippin. “It does
an amazing job,” she said.

That is, until there’s a stray cat turd. Sometimes this
happens when one of the cats simply misses the litter box,
while at other times it’s down to the cat having “a little
dangling one” that falls off somewhere in the apartment.

“It’s awful. The poop gets stuck in these tiny treads in
the wheels, gets sucked inside and in all the brushes,”
Becca explained. “That’s on top of the poop smeared all
over the house.”. . .

“Quite honestly, we see this a lot,” said a spokesman from
iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba.

“We generally tell people to try not to schedule your vacuum
if you know you have dogs that may create such a mess. With
animals anything can happen.”

Are there any plans to introduce any poop detection technology
to the product? “Our engineers are always trying to figure out
ways to help people with their problems, and we’ve known this is
an issue people deal with.”

He suggests that it might be possible to introduce a
specific sensor or feces-specific image recognition.

Not face(s) recognition, feces recognition.

The existential threat folks missed this one. The real
threat wasn't grey goo, it was brown goo.


jimf said...

Turing Test corollary: A successful AI must be able to
distinguish shit from shinola. ;->