July 11, 2012

Birthday among the robots

Bridge arcToday is my 40th birthday. Or it will be... since 8.00 Swedish time is still ahead of the Sydney time I am on. And thinking like that, doubts soon creep in due to leap years, leap seconds and the complexities of Earth's orbit: is the birthday defined relative to the planet crossing a particular line from the sun to Earth set at the birth moment, when the right spot is turned towards the sun at the right angle, or just a social convention?

In any case I am attending the 2012 Robotics Science and Systems Conference. I am having great fun, despite jetlag, exhaustion and a case of the cold. See the papers presented - everything from rocket propelled insects to applied differential geometry. SLAM, optical flow, biomimetic robots, swarming quadcopters and 3D cameras galore.

I gave a talk on The Robot and the Philosopher: charting progress at the Turing centenary. My point is that philosophy and robotics are intimately connected and can help each other a lot. Not just in terms of robot ethics, but also in solving deeper problems in philosophy and robotics.

Bridge by nightI have also been all over the media: yesterday ABC and SBC interviewed me (about robotics risks and transparency) - see the the ABC show here. Today I will be on ABC The Drum and later ABC radio's Late Night Live (with Jaan Tallin).

In any case, official birthday party in Sweden will follow when I get there, likely one of the days of August 4-5. Until then I regard myself as 39. Or 0.39 centuries old.

Personally I think the Harbour Bridge is much cooler engineering than the Sydney Opera House.

Posted by Anders3 at July 11, 2012 07:02 AM