Physicist Stephen Hawking‘s final book, which was completed by his family after his death, was just published on October 16.
Brief Answers to Big Questions offers responses to questions that Hawking received the most when he was still alive, including those about the existence of aliens.
“There are forms of intelligent life out there. We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further.”
Others addressed the possibility of artificial intelligence outsmarting humans and ones referring to time travel.
“Travel back in time can’t be ruled out according to our present understanding.”
He also predicted that “within the next hundred years we will be able to travel to anywhere in the Solar System.”
The scientist, who died on March 26, also wrote about the existence of God.
“There is no God. No one directs the universe. For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God.
“I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature.”
In most of his adult life, Hawking suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
He passed away while working on the said book.
Did you know that an amazingly affordable price equivalent to that of a high-end smartphone ($599 or around P26,500), you can already have a personal robot in your house? Move over Siri because Jibo will soon hitting the market, offering better capabilities than what the ever-popular Siri has to offer.
Jibo’s capabilities are quite surprising – there’s no need to input a lot of information manually on its memory because this robot has artificial intelligence. It records and notes everything it learns, then draws upon these stored data for future reference. It can learn new skills up to limits of its physical capabilities. Its head can rotate, so it can easily follow action across the room – perfect if you want to monitor your kids or wish for Jibo to take pictures of the fun action in the room during fun gatherings and exciting activities.
You interact with Jibo. You can tell it to take a photo like this one:
There won’t be any need for tripods, monopods, etc. because Jibo can also double as your cameraman – you can even ask it to film the scene on video mode. Truly, the capabilities of this 11-inch tall little bot are quite endless.
If you’re alone in the house and just want someone to talk to, not only can Jibo be a great listening ear, it can also interact with you and speak like it was another person. But wait! Before you say, “That’s creepy! I don’t want another human being in the house!”, we tell you that Jibo was not designed to replace a human. Its developer, roboticist Cynthia Breazeal, made Jibo a great companion, especially for those who are alone in the house or enjoy a nice new addition to the home, but in no way are they trying to make it appear that this tiny bot is going to replace human communication.
It makes a great companion to the elderly or those people who have a hard time keeping track of schedules. The lady in the photo, Anne, is busy baking and has forgotten that she has to go out with Melissa to go grocery shopping. Jibo politely catches her attention and tells her Melissa will pick her up; it then turns on the timer for 30 minutes because Melissa said she will arrive in half an hour.
The kids will also love Jibo because he can transform into a storyteller and entertainer. It can download interactive apps that transform it into a teacher for your kids, too.
Photo credit: YouTube/Jibo
Jibo also takes video conferencing to a higher level, enabling users to track movement around the room or interact with individuals. One perfect example of this is a family dinner wherein one is not physically at the table, yet could still participate in conversations and ‘enjoy the food’ despite being far away.
Jibo takes the family member’s spot on the table. In so doing, he gets to interact with the family and join the meal despite not being physically present!
Projected to become a family’s valuable personal assistant, Jibo can do a range of other excellent activities. In this example, it is connected with the lights system so that when a family member arrives home late at night, Jibo turns on the light for him, then orders him food over the internet. What’s surprising is that not only did Jibo recognize him, saying, “Welcome home, Eric,” it also knew his preference for Chinese takeaway. It really did seem like the little bot was an intelligent little person in the house!
Just imagine how wonderful that would be, especially during times of emergency or if a child is left alone in the house. Perhaps the developers could soon find a way for Jibo to call the police or the fire department in cases of emergency. Truly, Jibo is the face of the future. We have always seen robots with artificial intelligence in movies and news about robotics yet this will be first time that a personal robot with artificial intelligence makes its way to homes.
“What if technology actually treated you like a human being?” asks roboticist Cynthia Breazeal. That’s the premise of Jibo, yet it does not stop there. Jibo also helps you get closer to the ones you love. She also said hat Jibo can help you as a partner, not just stay as a tool. Exciting, isn’t it?
We’re not the only ones excited about Jibo, actually. The YouTube video which introduced this little bot has gained over 7.7 million views since it was posted in July 2014. Also, crowd funding quickly became the must-funded campaign on Indiegogo, reaching the $100,000 goal within 4 hours and gaining $1 million in just 7 days!
Watch the full video and be amazed by Jibo: