Making Smarter Robots
The days of robots performing simple manufacturing tasks manually controlled by humans are far from over, and yet there’s a land rush going on among startups vying to build a better robot brain which would allow machines to operate autonomously.
There’s Baxter, of course, Rethink Robotics’ famously friendly-looking research robot, which is already on the market, and can be actually be trained. Others, like Hanson Robotics, have invented remarkably human-like robots, capable of carrying a conversation (albeit a peculiar one) and recalling personal history.
Making Smarter Assistants
Ubiquitous and beloved as Siri is, she’s far from perfect. That’s why some ambitious entrepreneurs are seeking to build an artificially intelligent assistant that’s even better than Siri. Incredible Labs, a Khosla Ventures-backed startup, has already developed Donna, a personal assistant app that not only reminds you when you have an appointment, but tells you when to leave, how to get there, and memorizes your preferences.
Taking that a step farther is Jarvis Corp, a startup, which so far, is still in the conceptual phases of building a virtual assistant that can access the Internet and answer questions, but can also act as a control for all the connected devices in a house, and act as an Internet server. Whether Jarvis’s creators can deliver on this bold promise, though, still remains to be seen.