EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT

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By Nanotechnology Now – February 22nd, 2017

 

Space 4.0: A New Era for Space Exploration panel (L-R): Daniel Hastings, CEO and Director, Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) & Former Chief Scientist, US Air Force; Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor Chair, MIT; David Oh, Project Systems Engineer and Former Lead Flight Director, Curiosity Mars Rover, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab; Matthew Bold, Principle Researcher, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company Advanced Technology Center; Kay Soon Low, Professor/Director of Satellite Technology And Research (STAR) Centre, National University of Singapore and Rohit Jha, Engineer and CEO, Transcelestial

“EmTech Asia is always a great event. We meet amazing men and women from around the world and we talk about technology that is going to change the future. There is work in bio-medical areas, in artificial intelligence, computer vision, virtual reality. It also gives many people a chance to get together and talk about new things they might be able to collaborate on, might be able to discover and, most importantly, how they can contribute to positive things for all of humanity. And we mean that sincerely, that’s why EmTech Asia is so important and that’s why Singapore is proud to host it.” said Steve Leonard (pictured above), Founding CEO of SGInnovate and Disruptive Innovation Partner of EmTech Asia.

One of the key themes was space exploration, featuring speakers from NASA and MIT such as Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor Chair, MIT and Former Deputy Director of NASA; and David Oh, Project Systems Engineer and Former Lead Flight Director, Curiosity Mars Rover, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. Both speakers were also engaged in a conversational panel hosted by the ArtScience Museum (ASM) in collaboration with EmTech Asia. The panel was held in conjunction with the NASA exhibition at the ASM, and was attended by over 130 students, teachers and media representatives.

The MIT Hacking Medicine Robotics Singapore 2017, was held the weekend leading up to EmTech Asia 2017 where the winners took to the stage to discuss their hackathon experiences and the potential for robotics to provide long-term solutions in elderly care and the overarching healthcare industry in Singapore. Held from 10 to 12 February at SGInnovate, the hackathon aimed to address unmet needs in elderly care and medicine and how robotics can play a role in aiding an ageing society. The winning team, Botler, created a patient-friendly autonomous transport for social robotics in eldercare.

This year’s conference featured a session on materials science with Jackie Ying, Executive Director, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, A*STAR. Her presentation, Nanostructured Materials for Energy and Biomedical Applications, described the synthesis of metallic, metal oxide, semiconducting and organic nanoparticles and nanocomposites of controlled size, morphology and architecture while discussing their unique properties. The cybersecurity session was led by Walter O’Brien, CEO, Scorpion Computer Services and Executive Producer of hit TV series Scorpion, who spoke about how countries can better protect themselves against cyber security threats.

According to Ron Cellini, Analog Garage/Emerging Business Group at Analog Devices and Cybersecurity Partner of the event, “The main take away from EmTech Asia is not just the ideas presented but the enthusiasm behind them. It is great to see the speakers go up the stage and feel the passion for what they are doing. What’s different at EmTech Asia compared to other conferences is the quality. The quality of the presentations, the quality of the folks you meet. You are not going to come here just to hear presentations that you’ve heard before. You’re going to hear things that are new and that challenge you. The pace, the interactivity with some of the talks, the ability of questioning that continually. This conference really encourages you to participate. I definitely met the right people here. I’ve got a whole stack of things I need to do when I leave this conference and for me that’s the best metric for when I go to conferences.”

EmTech Asia 2017 also featured a session on a Brave New (Bio-Engineered) World, which featured Le Cong, Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who introduced advances on genome editing tools using CRISPR system, and highlighted how genomics analysis could be integrated to transform our ability to understand and treat complex diseases such as cancer. Other sessions include The Story and The Prototype, by Mike North, Host of Prototype This!, on the Discovery Channel. Mike shared his rapid prototyping philosophy of designing story and prototype, testing them as fast as possible, seeing where they work and fail, and then iterating to deliver well-branded relevant products. A light-hearted demo was presented by Adrian David Cheok, Director, Imagineering Institute & Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing, City University of London during his Everysense Everywhere Human Communication presentation, where he demonstrated the Kissenger, Thermal and Electric taste applications with the help of conference delegates.

10 innovators under the age of 35 took to the stage to present their elevator pitch at the conference, highlighting their work and research. EmTech Asia celebrated these 10 young innovators under the age of 35, recognised on the 2017 regional ‘Innovators under 35’ list by MIT Technology Review. Their inventions and research were found to be most ground breaking and exciting from more than 100 nominations from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

For one of the Innovators Under 35, Dhesi Raja, Chief Scientist and Cofounder of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME), the event turned into an opportunity to raise capital, “Emtech Asia (and Singapore) is definitely the next hub after Silicon Valley that you want to be part of, where great minds meet. Besides the mind blowing convergence of technology, engineering, medicine & entrepreneurship, a vast network of investors has also enabled us to verbally secure a deal worth S$ 200,000, just after a 3 minute pitch. Yes! This is the next valley! Singapore valley!”

Key sponsors and partners of EmTech Asia this year included Host Partner, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA); Diamond Sponsor, Accenture; Disruptive Innovation Partner, SGInnovate; Innovation Partner, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART); Cybersecurity Partner, Analog Devices (ADI); Silver Sponsors L’Oréal Research & Innovation and SAP Innovation Center. Partners, MIT Professional Education, MIT Hacking Medicine, Solve and Workforce Singapore. Media Partners included Asia-Pacific Biotech News, Asian Scientist, Biotechin.Asia, Geeks in Cambodia, Research SEA, Startup Bangkok, The Tech Portal India and TechStorm TV.

EmTech Asia will return in January 2018. Visit www.emtechasia.com to learn more.

You Might Be Able To Marry A Robot By 2050

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By Shannon Ullman – February 21, 2017 – Your Tango.

http://www.yourtango.com/2017300158/you-might-be-able-marry-sex-robot-by-2050

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Robots are the future… in more than one way.

Single people: everything is going to be OK. If you’ve given up on ever finding someone and have vowed to be alone with your cats until the end of time, you may want to reconsider.

With technology taking over pretty much everything these days, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that it may take over our love lives, too. I mean, sex robots are kind of a thing and virtual porn is heading towards a market takeover. It won’t be long before the robots who fill our sexual desires start to satisfy our emotional desires, too.

At a recent “Love And Sex With Robots” conference (it’s a real thing… seriously) at the University of London, David Levy, expert and author of a book on love between humans and robots, predicated that sex robot marriages would be legal by 2050. The director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, Adrian Cheok, said that the prediction seems pretty valid.

During his speech at the conference, Cheok was quoted as saying, “That might seem outrageous because it’s only 35 years away. But 35 years ago people thought homosexual marriage was outrageous… Until the 1970s, some states didn’t allow white and black people to marry each other. Society does progress and change very rapidly.”

I’ve got to say, the man makes a pretty good point. In fact, Cheok is full of logical wisdom and just listening to his point of view makes the whole robot-human marriage sound rather lovely.

He goes on to argue that marrying robots could make huge improvements to society as many human-to-human marriages are unhappy or end up in divorce. He also argues that while society assumes that everyone has the ability to meet someone, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after, this is simply not the case for a huge part of the population.


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When comparing a bad marriage to a human or a marriage to a robot, Cheok believes that the robot relationship is a much better option.

While there are still massive yet doable improvements to be made to sexrobots, the biggest challenge for making them lovable is the skill of conversation. By making robots look like they love you and, more importantly, make you FEEL like they love you, you are going to feel that same kind of connection as you would get with human love.

Humans are capable of loving pets and fictional characters, which is why Cheok believes that falling in love with robots is not a big stretch. Cheok offers up some pretty convincing arguments, but there are two sides to every story and others are not so convinced that human and robot marriages will be successful.

Professor at The University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland, Oliver Bendal, argues that love and sex robots will have no moral standing. He believes that the whole contract of marriage involves duties that robots can’t actually perform, such as taking care of the children. However, he somehow still believes that this marriage option can become legal by 2050, simply because of public pressures.

With the possibility of the government taking action against this kind of marriage, the professor thinks that anything could happen and that we should prepare ourselves for any outcome.

Falling in love and marrying a robot — the pro and con lists for this topic are both long. What do you think? Would marrying a robot ever seem appealing to you?

 

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Schools are meant to prepare learners for the future outside of school. Current developments

in AI, machine learning and robotics suggests a future of fully shared social spaces, including

learning environments (LEs), with robotic personalities. Today’s learners (as well as teachers)

should be prepared for such a future. AI in Education (AIED) has focused on implementation

of online and screen-based Pedagogical Agents (PAs); however, research findings support

richer learning experiences with embodied PAs, hence, recent studies in AIED have focused

on robot as peers, teaching assistants or as instructional materials. Their classroom uses

employ gamification approaches and are mostly based on a one-robot- one-student interaction

style whereas current educational demands support collaborative approaches to learning.

Robots as instructors are novel, considered a major challenge due to the requirements for

good teaching, including the demands for agency, affective capabilities and classroom control

which machines are believed to be incapable of. Current technological capabilities suggest a

future with full-fledged robot teachers teaching actual classroom subjects, hence, we

implement a robot teacher with capabilities for agency, social interaction and classroom

control within a collaborative learning scenario involving multiple human learners and the

teaching of basic Chemistry in line with current focus on STEM areas. We consider the PI

pedagogical approach an adequate technique for implementing robotic teaching based on its

design with inherent support for instructional scaffolding, learner control, conceptual

understanding and learning by teaching. We are exploring these features in addition to the

agentic capabilities of the robot and the effects on learner agency as well as improved

learning in terms of engagement, learner control and social learning. In the future, we will

focus on other key concepts in learning (e.g. assessment), other types of learners (e.g.

learners with cognitive/physical disabilities), interaction styles and LEs. We will also explore

and cross-community approaches that leverage on integration of sibling communities.