Your online shopping habit is fueling a robotics renaissance (Wired)

 
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WIRED (DEC 2017) - At a San Francisco startup called Kindred, for example, engineers are teaching robots to do that final step of fulfillment. Using a technique called imitation learning, engineers steer the robot to show how best to grasp a wide range of objects you’d find at a marketplace like Amazon. “Some are soft and squishy, some are hard, some are heavy, some are soft,” says George Babu, co-founder of Kindred. “And there's no way you can program that.”

The Business of Artificial Intelligence

 
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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW (JUL 2017) - Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee report on the potential of AI, its practical implications, and the barriers to its adoption. The article notes a small but growing area within the field isreinforcement learning, highlighting robots created by Kindred that use machine learning to identify and sort objects they’ve never encountered before, speeding up the “pick and place” process in distribution centers for consumer goods.