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Old 14th October, 2005, 04:02 PM
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Stanford wins Darpa Challenge

Stanford University won the Darpa Challenge last weekend. You can read more about that here.

What I find interesting about all of this is that:
  1. Last year, none of the entrants in the challenge completed the course. In fact, none of them got more than 7.5 miles.
  2. This year, no less than 5 entrants completed the entire 150 mile course.
  3. Of the 5 that finished, 4 actually completed the course in less than the allotted 10 hours.
  4. The Stanford team completed the course in just under 7 hours.
Now remember, these are robots. No human assistance allowed. And this isn't your average Sunday drive on the highway. These 'bots were traveling cross-country. Now granted, crossing the Mojave isn't exactly like driving over the Rocky Mountains, but you still have to navigate around things; you can't exactly plow over a cactus, for example, and there are other obstacles on the course that have been deliberately placed.

For the contestants to have made such significant improvements in just about a year is, well, amazing.

Now, granted, this is DARPA. This stuff is being designed with a military application in mind. However, it isoften the case that stuff developed for the military eventually finds its way into civilian applications. This is, I think, an application that can have definite civilian appeal, provided the cost can be reduced. After all, 7 Pentium-M chips, a radar system, a GPS tracker, 4 laser range finders, and 2 camera systems (one stereoscopic) aren't cheap.

Leaving aside the subject of cars driving themselves, though, what this all suggests to me is some major leaps in Artificial Intelligence. This has been one of the Holy Grails of computing for the better part of the last 40 years. We have science fiction stories of machines that are self-aware (anybody remember 'HAL' from 'Space Odyssey'?). We might finally be getting close to science fiction becoming fact.

What do you think?
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Old 14th October, 2005, 05:23 PM
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I Think that growth in the area will continue to be incredible. I mean, how many people are now involved and committed to this world wide?

twice it tomorrow and again the next day.

But I also think we are a long time and far away from creating another being capable of resenting "it's" creation/creator....

(Why should this work out better for us than it did for God? ":O}
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Old 14th October, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~
But I also think we are a long time and far away from creating another being capable of resenting "it's" creation/creator....

(Why should this work out better for us than it did for God? ":O}
There's the old saw about "Just because you can do a thing, it doesn't necessarilly follow that must do a thing".

In this case, assuming we can (at some point) build a self-aware machine, the logical question to ask is "Should we?".
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Old 14th October, 2005, 05:41 PM
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An answer? We won't be able to stop ourselves. When have we ever had a capability we did not sooner or later exersize?

Let's hope that there is something inherent in the creation process that we are not a particularly good example of... something like graditude, which I admin is stretching hope a bit thin...

If they are like their creators, we will meet ourselves, selves which, on the whole, we never cared to much for but wouldn't or couldn't change...
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Old 14th October, 2005, 07:01 PM
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A quote from Albert E.:

"I wonder if God had any choice in the way he made the Universe?"

Which points to the possibility of an inherent limitation in the creation process. This in turn gives rise to the old speculation that:

"This is the best of all possible Worlds."

"IF" this is so, we had better do what we haven't done before, Very carefully consider the beginning and the end we wish to attain; While mindful of the possibility of such an inherent limitation.

In short we may not be able to create a being better than our selves, just faster smarter and stronger....
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Last edited by Daniel ~; 14th October, 2005 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 14th October, 2005, 11:57 PM
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A lot of things were devoloped for the military and later help improve technology for civilians. Computers are the prime example. Duct tape is another.

I like the fact of a prize for completing a task. It gets many involved and brings new ideas to the for front without the high cost of government contractors. NASA has started a program that is also sure to bring in a much faster and cheaper rate of advance in the space industry. They are starting a "Pay for milestones" program. This is were anyone can make a plan for a new idea and present it to NASA. They will then give it consideration and approve it (or not). If they aprove it then a small sum of money will be given to them, then after they meet a milestone they will be given just enough money to make it to the next mileston and so on and so forth.

One such example is a team that is building a transport vehicle to replace the Soyuz. They are planning to use a traditional rocket with a small reuseible passenger capsul. The innovation comes from the launch method. They want to strap this thing to the belly of a specially built plane and fly it to above 50,000' and drop it and use a small chute to make it vertical then fire the engines. Pretty neat stuff. Not something that would be thought up by an old stuffed shirt that has worked is way through the ranks of some large Aerospace firm.

Also with SpaceX pionerring in the private sector and actually looking like they may start a revolution, this is an exciting time for small upstarts with grand ideas.

The first DARPA challenge taugt a lot of people a lot of lessons. Some bright minds at Stanford and Carnigie Melon learned from them.
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Old 15th October, 2005, 09:52 PM
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Asimo is our friend....(At least I think so :P)

Asimo
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Old 17th October, 2005, 05:29 AM
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My friend was working for a company for the grand challenge. He programmed much of the AI for Team ENSCO. I don't know a whole lot about what he did, except for that he worked from home most of the time and just used telnet to work remotely on the software. His machine was on par to at least finish (and quite possibly even beat the others) but it got a flat tire after 110 miles or so. Just to think that if they had spent a couple hundred more dollars on tires they could have won the $2 mil prize. Maybe next time.....
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Old 18th October, 2005, 11:27 PM
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this is good news since I plan to be a robotic engineer.
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Old 18th October, 2005, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~
In short we may not be able to create a being better than our selves, just faster smarter and stronger....
something better would be smething that doesn't kill it'sself blow it's self up-take hostages-is honest... Without oue bad cahriteristics we wouldn't have gotten this far.
If that farmer adn't suspected his neigbor of sttealing crops he wouldn't have sharpenend his stick malking the first pike. The other farmer got nervouns and created the first shiled....
thats how it works, not my comments above are directed to umanity no group in perticluer. AMericas torered a few people ouselves. (comming from South Africa with aprthied I can't really talk)
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"The motherboard installation section essentially said "refer to motherboard manual for installation instructions". My motherboard manual of course said "refer to case manual for further installation instructions"."
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Old 18th October, 2005, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
In this case, assuming we can (at some point) build a self-aware machine, the logical question to ask is "Should we?".
why would it do that. Humans are the Lazy ones. We are the jelous ones. Why are thier terroirist? Becuase they want to live like America....................
wow I'm being philsophival today.
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"The motherboard installation section essentially said "refer to motherboard manual for installation instructions". My motherboard manual of course said "refer to case manual for further installation instructions"."
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Old 19th October, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcatmk3
something better would be smething that doesn't kill it'sself blow it's self up-take hostages-is honest... Without oue bad cahriteristics we wouldn't have gotten this far.
If that farmer adn't suspected his neigbor of sttealing crops he wouldn't have sharpenend his stick malking the first pike. The other farmer got nervouns and created the first shiled....
thats how it works, not my comments above are directed to umanity no group in perticluer. AMericas torered a few people ouselves. (comming from South Africa with aprthied I can't really talk)
Please, do some of us (non native English language speakers) a favour and check the following websites:
http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/index (for Firefox/Mozilla),
http://www.iespell.com/ (for IE),
http://aspell.net/ (for Opera).
Thanks.
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Old 19th October, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoinar
Please, do some of us (non native English language speakers) a favour and check the following websites:
http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/index (for Firefox/Mozilla),
http://www.iespell.com/ (for IE),
http://aspell.net/ (for Opera).
Thanks.
Dude, don't be sarcastick. He is useing a verry gut Aleinware computer, ve don't event smell around these parts of the Globe and because it's from alien origin is retranslating for austrALIENS with a special disorder sharp translation tool! Be cool !
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Old 19th October, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Ok that's two who could further their experience of the English language with a spell check.

I submit to you that you are reading this ONLY because I take the time to sp check. Without Sp check you would be trying to de-code it!

Don't believe me? look for the words my sp check can't handle. I spent two hours yesterday try to nail "Concessness"

Never got it. There is a reason I go to such troubles. I want to be understood, if it becomes to much trouble, I will be ignored.

This message had 23 mis-spelled words BTW.. and at lest one that is still mis-spelled...":O}
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Old 19th October, 2005, 09:41 PM
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I can spell but then I have to type slowly. and I do a few things at once. Sorry if it annoys some of you I can't help it I'm to lazy to take time to write it AND check it.
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Last edited by madcatmk3; 19th October, 2005 at 09:42 PM. Reason: spelling mistake :D
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Old 19th October, 2005, 10:15 PM
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Just so your prepared to be ignored more often than you would like.":O}
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Old 20th October, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcatmk3
I can spell but then I have to type slowly. and I do a few things at once. Sorry if it annoys some of you I can't help it I'm to lazy to take time to write it AND check it.
Mate, you don't annoy me...it's just that I want to understand what you say. Try some typing tutorials and you'll improve your skills. That's how I did
Sorry for the off-topic Giz!
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Old 20th October, 2005, 01:42 PM
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The way threads wander around here, it doesn't bother me in the least, Hoinar.
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Old 20th October, 2005, 09:24 PM
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heh. sorry about all the mistakes I just type and somethimes don't proof read. From now on if I'm typing something important I'll will proofread it. Also I'm just bad at splelling.
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Old 21st October, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
The way threads wander around here, it doesn't bother me in the least, Hoinar.
I see that myself! Lol! I've been wondering...have we all drunk too much coke or something like this?
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