jan_jes writes: UC Berkeley researchers turned to a new branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which they 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. Tasks such as "putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more" without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. The challenge of putting robots into real-life settings, like homes or offices, is that those environments are constantly changing. The robot must be able to perceive and adapt to its surroundings. This latest developments will be presented on Thursday, May 28, in Seattle at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
Steven King writes: The U.S. Senate rejected a contentious surveillance-reform bill just after midnight Saturday morning, all but guaranteeing that key provisions of the USA Patriot Act will expire.
The Senate failed to reach agreement on passage of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to reauthorize and reform Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which the government has used to conduct bulk surveillance of Americans' phone records. The House of Representatives passed the bill last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, but Senate Democrats, who unified behind the bill, did not get enough Republican votes to assure passage.
Lucas123 writes: In what is likely to be a strong rival to NAND flash memory, IBM today announced it has been able to successfully store more than one bit of data per cell in a more stable non-volatile memory called phase-change memory (PCM). Unlike NAND, Previously, PCM couldn't contend with flash because of its low capacity points. PCM does not require that data be erased before new data is written to it, which reduces a write amplification or wear out and it has 100 times the write performance of flash. IBM researchers say they plan to license the technology to memory manufacturers instead of producing it themselves.