Computer scientist Alan Turing's infamous Turing test--possibly the thing he's known best for out of a long resume--is a simple, solid bar for artificial intelligence that's held up since the 1950s. But this weekend that bar was nearly reached. Judges surveyed in the largest-ever Turing competition agreed 29 percent of the time that Eugene Goostman was a 13-year-old boy, and that was good enough for the chatbot to win.
Sure, you can make a robot walk or cook or even play beer pong, but can you make a robot friendly? Ben-Gurion University of the Negev wants to know, so the Israeli university will host the world’s first international competition to build a robot that can shake a human hand.
After 50 years and countless dead ends, incremental progress, and modest breakthroughs, artificial intelligence researchers are asking for a do-over. The $5 million Mind Machine Project (MMP), a patchwork team of two dozen academics, students and researchers, intends to go back to the discipline's beginnings, rebuilding the field from the ground up.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.