Rise of the machines in Sydney

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 09 June, 2017

Alpha 2 robot. credit   ubtech 281 29

The University of Sydney and UBTECH Robotics have jointly launched a new research centre dedicated to solving major problems in artificial intelligence.

The UBTECH Sydney Artificial Intelligence Centre at the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies will target challenges involved with intelligent machines, such as robots, self-driving cars and drones.

AI luminary professor Dacheng Tao will lead the new facility as its director. Tao said the researchers will focus on areas including machine learning and autonomous decision-making for robots.

“As humans, our perceptions of our environments allow us to understand events, make logical deductions and learn how to behave in certain situations. We expect that one day in the not-too-distant future, machines will be able to do these same things, just like us — or possibly even better,” he said.

“With this vision, the UBTECH Sydney Artificial Intelligence Centre will drive progress in AI to endow machines with the capabilities to perceive, learn, reason and behave. There are a number of research groups in Australia focusing on either AI or humanoid robotics, but our unique advantage is the marriage between these two fields.”

China’s UBTECH is focused on commercialising intelligent humanoid robots capable of interacting with and assisting people. Tao said that by using UBTECH’s advanced technology, the centre’s researchers will be able to develop and evaluate AI algorithms and theories for humanoid robots.

“We’re working towards a future where humanoid robots walk out of our research centre and into ordinary people’s households,” he said.

Image caption: UBTECH’s Alpha 2 robot. Image credit: UBTECH.

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