Flops, brought to you by A.I.

"To err" is to be robotic — apparently.

  • About 3.1 million individuals could lose their job to self-driving cars.
  • A.I. is not a monolith. It makes a lot of mistakes.
  • To better understand how to navigate our economic future, we should pay attention to these mistakes.

Artificial intelligence can drive a car, buy and sell stocks, and perform healthcare tasks, amongst numerous other tasks as the technology grows and changes each day. Despite how impressive some of these developments are, concern has consistently been expressed over humans losing jobs to robots powered by A.I.

At the end of 2016, for instance, the White House predicted that 3.1 million individuals who drive for work could see their jobs replaced by autonomous vehicles. However, A.I. isn't going to take every job in the world — not just yet, at least. In order to better understand that fact and the nature of what constitutes artificial intelligence, it's worth taking a look not just its successes, but its failures, curiosities, and hiccups as well.

A list has been making its way around Twitter's scientific community featuring, as one individual put it, "instances of A.I. doing what creators specify, not what they mean." It is a delight. Here are some of our favorites:

1. A robotic arm trained to move a block to a certain point on the table opted to move the table to the block instead.

2. A.I. was charged with evolving a creature built for speed — and so grew a really tall creature who generated high velocities by. . . falling over.

3. In one A.I.-overseen simulation, where creatures required energy and giving birth cost no energy, one species evolved themselves into a lifestyle that consisted of them sitting around, mating, and then eating their children.

4. A four-legged creature trained to carry a ball on its back decided to, instead, drop the ball between its legs and wiggle across a floor.

5. A pancake-making robot decided that the best way to make a pancake would be to throw it as high in the air as possible to keep it as far away as possible from the ground.

6. A creature learns to bait an opponent into following it off a cliff, which gives the creature enough points to get an extra life — which is a strategy the creature then pursues in an infinite loop.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Florida's higher education system ranks best in the nation

A 2019 ranking of all 50 states' education systems shows the Sunshine State serves its college students well.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Florida may be the butt of many jokes, but its higher education system is second to none.
  • However, the state's PreK-12 education lacks comparatively, giving Massachusetts the top spot for the best education overall.
  • Americans believe their state governments should prioritize education, but much work needs to be done to catch up to other countries.
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5 of Albert Einstein's favorite books

Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.

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Culture & Religion
  • Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
  • The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
  • The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
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Space-faring humans: Why billionaires, not NASA, will get us there

Mega-rich entrepreneurs are taking us where no human being has gone before.

Videos
  • During the first golden era of space exploration, we went to the moon. Then we sort of dropped the ball for 50 years.
  • The problem is space travel is very expensive, especially the way governments do space travel.
  • Because it costs $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit around the planet, we need to have an infusion of public and private funds. That's where billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come into the picture. With their help, we have new energies, new strategies, and new plans to go back into outer space.