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Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs

Google engineers are showing videos of real dogs to train an AI to do doggy things like walk, walk backward, hop-turn and even wag its tail.

The algorithm tries random movements, and gets a digital “reward” if it gets closer to the dog’s reference motion—basically a thumbs-up message that says that was good, do that kind of thing again. If it tries something that’s not so hot, it gets a digital “demerit”—don’t do that kind of thing again. With this reward system, over many iterations the simulated robot teaches itself to move like the dog.

The next challenge is known as sim-to-real; that is, taking what the system has learned in simulation and getting it to work in a physical robot. This is tricky because a simulation is an imperfect and highly-simplified version of the real world. Mass and friction are represented as accurately as possible, but not perfectly. The actions of the simulated robot in the digital world don’t map precisely to movements of the real robot in the lab.

I think science fiction writer Anthony Boucher had this idea about eighty years ago.

I got one of those new electronic cameras - you know, one thousand exposures per second... So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second. The proper proportion of vuzd, in case you're interested, works out to three-point-six-five-four-seven eight-two-three drops. It's done with a flip of the third joint of the tentacle on the down beat.
(Via Robot learns from video)

Via Wired.

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