Humanoid robots governed by AI: Nvidia, Intel, Microsoft and Amazon are investing in it

Humanoid robots governed by AI: Nvidia, Intel, Microsoft and Amazon are investing in it

So far we have talked about generative models and artificial intelligence applications useful for improving decision-making processes in the company. The next step, at least according to the leaders of various technology companies, is to get to the design and implementation of humanoid robots based on AI.

The new startup Figure A.I. has attracted considerable interest, catalyzing investments from major companies. Microsoft gave out 95 million dollars while NVidiaalong with an Amazon-affiliated fund, made $50 million bets each. Jeff Bezosfounder, owner and president of the Amazon group, has pledged to allocate $100 million.

I’m also part of the game Intelwhich brings 25 million dollars into Figure AI’s coffers, and LG Innotek, which contributes $8.5 million. Also Samsung participates by pledging 5 million dollars, exactly as OpenAI. Indeed, the company led by Sam Altman had even previously evaluated the acquisition of all the assets of Figure AI.

What Figure AI does and what its goals are

In the panorama of technological innovation, Figure AI aims to extend human abilities through the advanced use of AI. Founded by Brett Adcock, an entrepreneur with a solid background in building successful technology companies, Figure AI has the ambitious goal develop humanoids for general use.

The goal is that these AI-driven robots can have a positive impact on humanity, creating a better life for future generations. Adcock’s vision is to eliminate the need for humans to perform dangerous or unwanted work.

The creators of Figure AI observe that the world is shortage of manpower: never before has there been such a shortage of workers globally. L’automation it thus becomes a necessity to guarantee the continuity of economic growth.

We are therefore at the dawn of an era in which robots capable of learning, even from their own errors, carrying out inference activities, interacting with the surrounding environment, could be useful in many sectors.

The employment opportunities humanoid robots, according to what Figure AI spokespersons say, range from work in companies, to home care, to caring for the elderly, up to space exploration to build new worlds. Are we going a little too far? Perhaps.

Humanoid Robot Figure AI

Figure 01: The first humanoid that performs tasks using artificial intelligence

We were saying that the models mainly used up to now are of the stochastic type, therefore they are based on a broad and careful phase of initial training which however leads to the generation of variable results. In another article we outline the differences between stochastic and deterministic approaches.

Yet, Figure AI’s challenge is to design fully electromechanical humanoids that possess the elements to perform daily tasks without errors.

Figure AI’s first robot is called Figure 01 and is already visible on the official project website. The company explains that the choice of the human form for the robot comes from the fact that “our world” is human-scale. The hands allow you to open doors and use tools; arms and legs allow you to move efficiently, climb stairs, lift weights and more.

Using the human form for Figure 01 allows it to offer a versatile tool in key industries such as manufacturing, logistics, warehouse management and retail.

Figure 01, the humanoid robot

Figure 01 is approximately 170 centimeters tall, weighs 60 kg, can lift loads of up to 20 kg, moves at a speed of 1.2 m/s and has an operating autonomy of 5 hours.

The interest is therefore discounted Amazonfor example, which could use humanoids in its warehouses to speed up order management and retrieval of products to ship to customers.

It is not a prototype but a project destined to arrive on the market soon

According to Figure AI, the company would already be in a position to minimize the unit cost of humanoids. Through high-volume production, the company aims to develop a sustainable economy of scale. The design would also allow for safe interaction with humans in the workplace, while meeting industry standards.

The company’s plan consists of three key phases: building a complete electromechanical humanoid, enabling it to perform human-like manipulations, and integrating humanoids into the workforce. “Figure AI sees enormous potential to change the course of history and significantly improve millions of lives“, we read in the presentation of the project.

In the background, problems that are anything but irrelevant stand out

The future use of humanoid robots, such as Figure 01, raises a number of ethical problems which need to be carefully considered and addressed. First of all, the use ofintensive automationespecially in industries that Figure AI aims to revolutionize, could lead to the replacement of human workers with humanoids.

With the aim of cutting on labor costs, many companies could evaluate the use of humanoids instead of flesh and blood personnel. The use of these robots, therefore, could go well beyond their adoption for carrying out potentially dangerous or particularly demanding jobs.

Humanoids can be equipped with data collection, recording, and analysis tools. This is an aspect that raises concerns about the security and privacy of information. Not to mention that frequent interactions with humanoids could impact human mental health and the quality of social relationships.

Then there is the issue of legal liability in case of accidents or damage caused by robots IA-based: should the blame fall on the owner of the humanoid or on the manufacturing company? And above all, what would be the discriminating factors for defining the various profiles of responsibility?

Still, theenvironmental impact is anything but negligible: the identification of materials to assemble the robots should favor reuse in order to promotecircular economy and push the accelerator on sustainability.

Beyond the technical feasibility of a plan like the one described by Figure AI, therefore, the legislator and the competent authorities will find themselves on the table with a whole series of truly thorny issues to face and weigh in an analytical manner.

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