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DARPA AI Colloquium Week

Last week (March 6-7, 2019) saw the DARPA AI Colloquium, where program managers, with some researchers, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency presented overviews of US defense related research in a TED talk-like format. One of my friends, a former program manager would introduce DARPA with “DARPA, the bad guys on the X-Files” though DARPA, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t bad and in the early days heavily funded computer science to the benefit of all. This week, we’ll review science fiction that touches on the several of the themes of the colloquium. We will start with the review of The Complete Roderick, a screwball comedy about a robot that learns like a baby - with is the goal of Dr. Josh Tenenbaum’s work. DARPA is still at work on cyborgs, hoping to create effective brain-computer interfaces for controlling prostheses like Alita: Battle Angel (or maybe guided weapons, it wasn’t so clear from Dr. Brock Wester’s presentation). As Dr. Sandeep Neema’s talk made clear, getting rid of the bugs and error-riddled updates that plague The Murderbot Diaries is hard work. And Dr. Hava Siegelmann’s programs in computer vision and machine learning could have been a chapter out of The Robots of Gotham.

- Robin

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