Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Even the smartest robots are limited by their physical form

57 sec read

What happens when you pack an incredibly intelligent computer into an incredibly useless box? You get a box that’s really smart but doesn’t do anything. That’s one of the limitations of robotics and artificial intelligence, it doesn’t matter how smart a device is because its still going to be limited to what its physical form is capable of. A good example of this is how SoftBank wants to put IBM’s Watson AI into its Pepper robot. How can that possibly improve the cute, clumsy robots functionality? 

What do you get if you take a cute humanoid robot and pair it with one of the world’s best artificial intelligence programs? A smarter humanoid with few practical skills. Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank introduced a talking household machine called Pepper last year, and it’s now hooking up with Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform. The prospect of the AI, a winner on the “Jeopardy!” quiz show, becoming embodied in the doe-eyed droid may be frightening or enchanting depending on your perspective. But it’s unlikely to make the robot any more useful due to its physical limitations. SoftBank and IBM are planning to use Watson with Pepper, but they haven’t specified how. The quiz show champ is a cloud-based platform that can be used to sift through large volumes of data and answer questions posed in natural language. IBM has billed “cognitive computing” as a nimble form of AI that will be able to look at and use unstructured data. Watson has been deployed in the U.S. to help doctors identify treatment options for cancer patients.

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Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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