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  • Robot-phobia could exacerbate hotel, restaurant labor shortage May 20, 2024
    Using more robots to close labor gaps in the hospitality industry may backfire and cause more human workers to quit, according to a new study. The study, involving more than 620 lodging and food service employees, found that 'robot-phobia' -- specifically the fear that robots and technology will take human jobs -- increased workers' job […]
  • Large language models can't effectively recognize users' motivation, but can support behavior change for those ready to act May 16, 2024
    Large language model-based chatbots can't effectively recognize users' motivation when they are hesitant about making healthy behavior changes, but they can support those who are committed to take action, say researchers.
  • Building a better sarcasm detector May 16, 2024
    Sarcasm is notoriously tricky to convey through text, and the subtle changes in tone that convey sarcasm often confuse computer algorithms as well, limiting virtual assistants and content analysis tools. So researchers have now developed a multimodal algorithm for improved sarcasm detection that examines multiple aspects of audio recordings for increased accuracy. They used two […]
  • To optimize guide-dog robots, first listen to the visually impaired May 16, 2024
    What features does a robotic guide dog need? Ask the blind, say researchers. A new study identifies how to develop robot guide dogs with insights from guide dog users and trainers.
  • Animal brain inspired AI game changer for autonomous robots May 15, 2024
    A team of researchers has developed a drone that flies autonomously using neuromorphic image processing and control based on the workings of animal brains. Animal brains use less data and energy compared to current deep neural networks running on GPUs (graphic chips). Neuromorphic processors are therefore very suitable for small drones because they don't need […]
  • Robots' and prosthetic hands' sense of touch could be as fast as humans May 15, 2024
    Research could pave the way for a prosthetic hand and robot to be able to feel touch like a human hand. The technology could also be used to help restore lost functionality to patients after a stroke.
  • Cats purrfectly demonstrate what it takes to trust robots May 13, 2024
    Would you trust a robot to look after your cat? New research suggests it takes more than a carefully designed robot to care for your cat, the environment in which they operate is also vital, as well as human interaction.
  • When consumers would prefer a chatbot over a person May 13, 2024
    Actually, sometimes consumers don't want to talk to a real person when they're shopping online, a new study suggests. In fact, what they really want is a chatbot that makes it clear that it is not human at all. In a new study, researchers found that people preferred interacting with chatbots when they felt embarrassed […]
  • A better way to control shape-shifting soft robots May 9, 2024
    A new machine-learning technique can train and control a reconfigurable soft robot that can dynamically change its shape to complete a task. The researchers also built a simulator that can evaluate control algorithms for shape-shifting soft robots.
  • Robotic system feeds people with severe mobility limitations May 9, 2024
    Researchers have developed a robotic feeding system that uses computer vision, machine learning and multimodal sensing to safely feed people with severe mobility limitations, including those with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
  • Generative AI that imitates human motion May 9, 2024
    Walking and running is notoriously difficult to recreate in robots. Now, a group of researchers has overcome some of these challenges by creating an innovative method that employs central pattern generators -- neural circuits located in the spinal cord that generate rhythmic patterns of muscle activity -- with deep reinforcement learning. The method not only […]
  • New study finds AI-generated empathy has its limits May 8, 2024
    Conversational agents (CAs) such as Alexa and Siri are designed to answer questions, offer suggestions -- and even display empathy. However, new research finds they do poorly compared to humans when interpreting and exploring a user's experience.
  • Caterbot? Robatapillar? It crawls with ease through loops and bends May 6, 2024
    Engineers created a catapillar-shaped robot that splits into segments and reassembles, hauls cargo, and crawls through twisting courses.
  • Stretchable e-skin could give robots human-level touch sensitivity May 3, 2024
    A stretchy electronic skin could equip robots and other devices with the same softness and touch sensitivity as human skin, opening up new possibilities to perform tasks that require a great deal of precision and control of force.
  • Robots invited to help make wind turbine blades May 2, 2024
    Researchers have successfully leveraged robotic assistance in the manufacture of wind turbine blades, allowing for the elimination of difficult working conditions for humans and the potential to improve the consistency of the product.
  • Random robots are more reliable May 2, 2024
    New algorithm encourages robots to move more randomly to collect more diverse data for learning. In tests, robots started with no knowledge and then learned and correctly performed tasks within a single attempt. New model could improve safety and practicality of self-driving cars, delivery drones and more.
  • Machine listening: Making speech recognition systems more inclusive April 30, 2024
    One group commonly misunderstood by voice technology are individuals who speak African American English, or AAE. Researchers designed an experiment to test how AAE speakers adapt their speech when imagining talking to a voice assistant, compared to talking to a friend, family member, or stranger. The study tested familiar human, unfamiliar human, and voice assistant-directed […]
  • Trotting robots reveal emergence of animal gait transitions April 30, 2024
    A four-legged robot trained with machine learning has learned to avoid falls by spontaneously switching between walking, trotting, and pronking -- a milestone for roboticists as well as biologists interested in animal locomotion.
  • Built-in bionic computing April 26, 2024
    The use of pliable soft materials to collaborate with humans and work in disaster areashas drawn much recent attention. However, controlling soft dynamics for practical applications has remained a significant challenge. Researchers developed a method to control pneumatic artificial muscles, which are soft robotic actuators. Rich dynamics of these drive components can be exploited as […]
  • Computer vision researcher develops privacy software for surveillance videos April 25, 2024
    Computer vision can be a valuable tool for anyone tasked with analyzing hours of footage because it can speed up the process of identifying individuals. For example, law enforcement may use it to perform a search for individuals with a simple query, such as 'Locate anyone wearing a red scarf over the past 48 hours.'

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