Amazing TED Talks about Robots and Coding

  • admin
  • 2023-08-16
  • 4 min read

They are intuitive! They are inspiring! And they are fun! Whether you are excited or scared of the idea of robotics, one thing is sure the gap between sci-fi and reality has begun to shrink. So, if you are fascinated to learn more about robotics and its future, consider watching these thought-provoking TED Talks by outstanding scholars.

1. Why do we emotionally connect to robots – By Kate Darling?

When we see those viral videos – for example, Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot – we all feel bad when operations intentionally knock over or kick robots to stress-test their performance and agility. And there’s a reason why we do so. The human brain is biologically hardwired to project life onto robots – especially in the form of humanoids and pets. So, we name our robots just like we name our pets. In her TED Talk, Kate Darling discusses how and why human minds develop an emotional connection to robots in a modern world where robots are integrated into our daily lives.

“But in other cases, fostering this emotional connection to robots can be useful. We are already seeing some great use cases – for example – robots working with autistic children to engage them in ways that we haven’t seen previously or robots working with teachers to engage kids in learning with new results, and it’s not just for kids!” 

2. What’s it like to be a robot? – By Leila Takayama

Through a brilliant example of humans learning how to drive, Leila Takayama discusses the future of human-robot interactions. What’s more interesting was how those interactions could also reshape existing experiences with other humans. This started when one company decided to develop a robot to make video conferencing easier and addressed some unique challenges and experiences that one may experience once interacting with more and more robots. Watch the full video to listen to what Leila Takayama has to say.

“We spend so long learning how to drive that they have become extensions of ourselves. You know where your corners are when you park that car in that tight garage. And when you drive a rental car – that maybe you haven’t driven before – you take some time to get used to your new ‘robot body,’ and this is also true!”

3. The artificial muscles that will power the robots of the future – By Christoph Keplinger

What if someone tells you that you have already made excellent progress in developing computer algorithms for doing stuff, but it’s the hardware part setting you back? That’s what Christoph Keplinger demonstrated with a clunky robot attempting to get out of a vehicle. It’s painstakingly slow! The audience wondered when he revealed that the video was sped up. With this, he provides a demo of what the future of robotics could look like – from developing prosthetic bodies for patients to enhancing and restoring the mobility of aging people.

“We can build any robot for almost any type of use. People have tried for so many decades to replicate the astonishing capabilities of the muscle, but it’s been hard. Then, about ten years ago, when I did my Ph.D. in Australia, my colleagues and I rediscovered what was likely one of the very first publications on artificial muscle in 1880!” 

4. Can we build AI without losing control over it – By Sam Harris

Sam Harris got inspired from either Terminator or iRobot – or both! According to Harris, the idea of collateral damage by robots is a “fun” concept that has inspired many sci-fi movies. However, you need to change your emotional response to this idea since hyper-intelligent robots are already on the horizon. The future robots will likely be more intelligent than you can imagine, and they will treat humans no better than ants. While Harris may sound like he’s arguing fiction purely, watch his video to know what point he has to make.

“This is a little more than an assumption, and we have already built narrow intelligence into our machine, and many of these machines already perform at a level of superhuman intelligence. And we know that mere matter can give rise to general intelligence and the ability to think flexibly across multiple domains because of our brain!” 

5. Why should we trust robots, and should they trust us? – By Dr. Ayanna Howard

Countless examples of machine learning algorithms have demonstrated sexual and racial biases. They are unintentional, of course! But we continue to use such systems. Why? Because they improve our lives, provide comfort, and take away everyday chores. 

In some cases, robots can be very beneficial to assist patients, help children with learning, and do them with unprecedented efficiency. However, it’s common to find someone who questions the need for robots in our lives. What should be noted is that everyone has a different voice, says Howard.

“Everyone has this concept of a robot – and it might be right or wrong – but it is an opinion. So, some of these robots are the ones at Georgia Tech. There we have robots that assist patients with ALS,d, so they come into the home and assist in aid. We have robot musicians who do a little jig and play with people!”

 What does the future of robotics look like?

Whether we are talking about Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot, Atlas, or even Sophia, which is highly sophisticated (pun intended) in intelligence, robots are now hardwired to solve problems beyond a mortal human’s capabilities. As a result, the future seems quite promising, even if they are silly and undeveloped – to some people’s opinions. Whose TED Talk did you like? Let us know in the comments!



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