The buzz around artificial intelligence suggests that it will soon enable fully autonomous vehicles, allow robots to easily serve people’s daily needs, and change how work is done. In late June, global leaders converged at RE•WORK’s Deep Learning for Robotics Summit in San Francisco to learn more about deep learning, neural networks, reinforcement learning, and other advanced AI techniques. More than 300 attendees and 60 speakers discussed current research and real-world AI solutions for industrial applications.
Innovative startups shared their case studies and lessons at the Deep Learning for Robotics Summit. Dr. Shay Zweig, head of AI at Intuition Robotics Ltd., discussed how proactive AI agents are used for decision-making. The Ramat-Gan, Israel-based company’s first application is ElliQ, a social robot for the elderly aimed at reducing loneliness and increasing the quality of life.
Zweig explained that Intuition Robotics has combined algorithms from cognitive computing with heuristics and a variety of learning techniques, from simple statistical models to reinforcement learning. As a result, it can apply active learning to get to know users better and create an agent with multiple goals.
Smart homes benefit from AI advances
“Caspar is building the biggest robot ever, and people will live in this robot,” claimed Ashutosh Saxena, founder and CEO of Caspar AI, which has offices in Redwood City, Calif., and Las Vegas.
Caspar is an intelligent, coherent operating system for homes that uses multi-modal deep reinforcement learning, an intelligent voice assistant, and computer vision to understand the environment in which its users live. It’s also designed to understand the users’ individual needs and to contextualize their requests, Saxena said.
For example, residents can use Caspar for verbal requests such as “Caspar, who is at the door?” “Caspar, can you adjust the shades to block the sun?” or even “Caspar, where are my glasses?”
The real-world AI solutions can also learn to be inactive. For instance, if a user is watching a movie, and someone else walks behind him or her, the light will not turn on because the user gave such feedback by turning off the light with the switch previously.
The entire smart home is based on the Caspar Platform of new advances in deep learning for robotics and user-preference features such as the RealWorld Caspar Activity Monitor and Caspar Fall Detection. Caspar is launching now and plans to be in tens of thousands of homes in 2019.
Real-world AI solutions improve efficiency
Brandon Romero, chief engineer at Robotic Materials Inc., explained that its real-world AI solutions use self-supervised learning to allow a collaborative robot to adapt to an end-user’s specific environments and tasks. Instead of training cobots with deep reinforcement learning, which requires too many samples and too much time, the Boulder, Colo.-based company developed interpretable algorithms, he said.
Robotic Materials also developed a graphical user interface to instruct a worker to deploy a robot to a new or updated task in less than an hour, Romero explained. Afterwards, self-supervised deep learning is used to augment the program to allow the robot to become more efficient at a task as it performs it, such as in self-supervised bin picking.
Other case studies around real-world AI solutions from the two-day conference covered the subtopics of imitation learning, reinforcement learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and robotic grasping applications.
Presenters came from leading companies such as Facebook, Google, and Uber, as well as research institutions like Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Ethics and industry
Ayanna Howard, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and David Gunkel, a professor at Northern Illinois University, closed the summit with a panel discussion entitled, “Where Does the Social Responsibility Lie in Human-Robot Interaction?”
The event on real-world AI solutions was co-located with the AI in Industrial Automation Summit, giving attendees full access to two tracks of presentations and more than seven hours of networking with industry experts.
RE•WORK is a female-led event organizing company that brings together breakthrough technology, cutting-edge science, and entrepreneurship shaping the future of business and society. Robotics Business Review readers can apply the discount code “RBR20” when registering for one of its global events, such as the Applied AI Summit in Houston in November.