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  • Beyond drone warfare: Prof warns of ‘automated killing machines’

    5/28/2015 - In an op-ed piece for the science journal Nature , Stuart Russell, an expert in artificial intelligence, outlines the debate over the use of AI weapons systems, and notes widespread agreement on the need for “meaningful human control” over targeting and engagement decisions. “Unfortunately,” he adds “the meaning of ‘meaningful’ is still to be determined.

  • Two engineering faculty named Bakar Fellows

    5/28/2015 - Computer science professors Pieter Abbeel and Michael Lustig are now members of the Bakar Fellows Program, which is designed to translate research discoveries to marketable ventures. The fellows will receive up to five years of funding to help them introduce and scale new technologies that are likely to stimulate California’s economy.

  • Robotic coackroach launching a bird-like robot
    Robotic cockroaches are perfect tiny aircraft carriers for robotic birds

    5/27/2015 Gizmodo - Researchers in the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab created a robot system capable of running and flying by combining their VelociRoACH (a ground-based robot modeled after a cockroach) with the H 2 Bird ornithopter (a birdlike robot).

  • BRETT aligns Lego blocks
    New ‘deep learning’ technique enables robot mastery of skills via trial and error

    5/22/2015 - UC Berkeley researchers have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence.

  • Robott scientists help BRETT learn new tasks
    New approach trains robots to match human dexterity and speed

    5/22/2015 New York Times - Linking several powerful software techniques, as Berkeley engineers have done with BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), makes it possible for a robot to learn tasks rapidly with a relatively little training.

  • Robots are really bad at folding towels

    5/20/2015 NPR - Seven years ago, Berkeley researcher Pieter Abbeel set out on a quest: to teach a robot how to fold laundry. This proved to be a remarkably difficult task — and the difficulty of the task illuminates some key things about the limits of machines. See story and hear four-minute podcast.

  • How smart is today’s artificial intelligence?

    5/20/2015 PBS News Hour - How far away are we from making intelligent machines that actually have minds of their own? Berkeley researchers Stuart Russell and Pieter Abbeel weigh in on this nine-minute PBS News Hour segment, along with Elon Musk and Google’s Ray Kurzweil.

  • A way to brew morphine raises concerns over regulation

    5/20/2015 New York Times - A fermentation process that produces heroin’s raw ingredient has stirred debate over whether the drug trafficking trade could benefit more than the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Congratulations graduates!

    5/18/2015 - In case you missed it: Watch the 2015 commencement ceremonies.

  • Poppy field
    Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs, prompts call for regulation

    5/18/2015 - Research led by Berkeley bioengineers has completed key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing therapeutic drugs. But because the work could lead to home-brewing of opiates and other controlled substances, the researchers warn that regulators and law enforcement need to pay attention, too.

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