Open source powering the next generation of AI

Open source offers the robotics industry a better way to build AI.

The next generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots could be developed by private industry and sold in a traditional proprietary fashion. But what happens when the majority of the robotics research pool comes from academia?

Open source happens, as EE Times describes:

For the researchers involved, one crucial characteristic of the new robot is that both the hardware and software are open-source and designed for easy collaboration. Whether the researchers build better cognitive architectures, learning algorithms, sensors or limbs, once their work has been proved on the European Commission-funded iCub, it can be shared and used to improve the next generation of machines....

"Open-source is an open faucet in a desert," said Olivier Sigaud, a professor at the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Robotics in Paris.

It turns out that academic researchers have long been stymied in their research by the NDAs and cumbersome processes promoted by private, proprietary industry. Opening up the field with open source thus makes a lot of sense.

Who knows? Perhaps your Jetsons lifestyle will be powered by open source.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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