Future Tech: "Artificial Intelligence" takes on world hunger & pain

June 9, 2016 Tom Connon

Here's what has us buzzing in the world of tech this week.

We're looking at everything to do with Artificial Intelligence. And there's no shortage when it comes to high-tech farming to feed the world, the education system 'fooling' their students with robot TAs, and other robots that are learning to have feelings - in particular, pain.

AI Food Supply: The Future of Humanity's Food Supply is in the Hands of AI

"Humanity's got itself a problem. As Homo sapiens balloons as a species—to perhaps nearly 10 billion by 2050—the planet stubbornly stays the same size, meaning the same amount of land must support way, way more people. Add the volatility of global warming and consequent water shortages, and the human race is going to have some serious trouble feeding itself.

"Perhaps it’s serendipitous, then, that the machines have finally arrived. Truly smart, truly impressive robots and machine learning algorithms that may help usher in a new Green Revolution to keep humans fed on an increasingly mercurial planet. Think satellites that automatically detect drought patterns, tractors that eyeball plants and kill the sick ones, and an AI-powered smartphone app that can tell a farmer what disease has crippled their crop."

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AI Teachers: This prof tricked his class using a robot TA for an entire year

"Imagine discovering someone you thought was human is, in fact, a robot.

"It sounds like the stuff of science fiction. But that's what happened to a class full of Georgia Tech students recently, when they learned that "Jill," their teaching assistant, was actually a piece of software.

"The story starts with a computer science professor named Ashok Goel, who teaches at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

"For the past few years, he's been teaching a graduate-level online course on artificial intelligence (AI). It's a popular class. About 300 students enrol in the course every semester, and it's run by Goel and eight teaching assistants."

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AI Robots & Feelings: German scientists are training robots to 'feel' pain

"Pain is important. It triggers the appropriate response to prevent even greater injuries or even to save your life. A couple of German researchers think so too, so they're working on a way to make robots "feel" -- or, more accurately, to detect and respond to -- pain. That way, they can move away from anything that could damage them, thereby lengthening their lifespans and preventing the need for costly repairs."

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See more IT & Tech innovation stories and let us know the interesting technology stories you come across. We may feature them in future stories.

About the Author

Tom is a previous small business owner/operator and now has over 17 years of telecom experience. As a Portfolio Manager he specializes in product/service development, managing technical workforces and Customer/Segment Marketing. Outside of the office, Tom can be found shuttling his kids around from Lacrosse, hockey and ringette practices at a rink near you.

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