Educational Technology

December 29, 2015

A Master Algorithm Lets Robots Teach Themselves to Perform Complex Tasks

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

By Will Knight, Technology Review

One researcher has developed a simple way to let robots generate remarkably sophisticated behaviors. If they are to become useful assistants and workmates, robots will need to figure out how to do complicated things in unfamiliar settings. For all the talk of machines becoming intelligent, getting a sophisticated robot to do anything complex, like grabbing a heavy object and moving it from one place to another, still requires many hours of careful, patient programming. Igor Mordatch, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, is working on a different approach–one that could help hasten the arrival of robot helpers, if not overlords. He gives a robot an end goal and an algorithm that lets it figure out how to achieve the goal for itself. That’s the kind of independence that will be necessary for, say, a home assistance bot to reliably fetch you a cup of coffee from the counter.

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