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Robotics gets less attention than it should given its potential impact


LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: A pair of 1X androids are displayed at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) at ExCel on May 30, 2023 in London, England. The event is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and a forum for robotics researchers to present and discuss their work. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

IF WE take the assertions of prominent tech CEOs at face value, humanity could be risking extinction if artificial intelligence is left to its own devices. Large language models like those that power ChatGPT have shown the first sparks of intelligence, they say, and might lead to armageddon (although the specifics of exactly how have yet to be fleshed out). A few weeks ago, I found myself in an alternate AI reality – with zero mention of human extinction or analogies to nuclear war – when I attended the world’s largest robotics summit, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics …



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