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These Robots Learn How to Cook by Watching YouTube. Forget ‘MasterChef’

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Researchers have developed a way for teaching robots how to properly use tools by having the robots watch videos on YouTube.

The researchers that developed the method are from NICTA, which is Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence, and the University of Maryland. The researchers published a paper regarding the study, which the team will be presenting within the month at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence’s 29th annual conference.

The demonstration of the work of the researchers shows the latest breakthrough in using a kind of artificial intelligence called deep learning.

Acquisitions in deep learning technology have been increasing lately, as companies and businesses foresee the importance of the technology in the future of robotics.

Deep learning uses training systems that are called artificial neural networks for acquiring massive amounts of information gathered from different kinds of sources, including pictures and sounds. The information is presented to the artificial neural networks, which then send inferences in response.

For the study, the researchers used convolutional neural networks, the same ones used in several companies such as Facebook, for the identification of activities such as a hand’s grasp on an object, and for recognizing specific objects. The system is then capable of predicting the action that involves both the hand’s grasping action and the object.

For training the model, the researchers chose to collect data from a total of 88 videos in YouTube of different people cooking. The researchers then generated commands that robots could execute, resulting in the robots learning how to cook.

“We believe this preliminary integrated system raises hope towards a fully intelligent robot for manipulation tasks that can automatically enrich its own knowledge resource by ‘watching’ recordings from the World Wide Web,” concluded the researchers in their paper.

While the research presents an exciting development for artificial intelligence and robots, not everyone is thrilled of the continued development of artificial intelligence, recalling memories of what transpired in the Terminator movies.

Concerns of artificial intelligence posing as a threat to mankind’s existence are not simple ramblings, though, as Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking have made statements that warn of the possibility of such an event.

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” said Hawking.

“[I would] keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence … I think there’s potentially a dangerous outcome there,” Musk said.

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“These Robots Learn How to Cook by Watching YouTube. Forget ‘MasterChef’”