Toyota Wants Its Cars to Expect the Unexpected

Toyota revealed more details of an ambitious plan to invest in artificial intelligence and robots during a keynote speech by Gill Pratt, CEO of the new $1 billion Toyota Research Institute (TRI) at CES in Las Vegas.
Toyota will open two TRI facilities, near Stanford and MIT, and Pratt announced several high-profile new appointments and advisors. TRI will have a technical team consisting of several project managers formerly of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and a number of professors working part-time, including James Kuffner, who previously led robotics research at Google. The advisory board will include luminaries such as the robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks and the NYU and Facebook AI researcher Yann LeCun.
Pratt also described two projects—one at Stanford, the other at MIT—that would feed into Toyota’s efforts to develop self-driving vehicles. These efforts could also produce fundamental and broad-reaching advances in artificial intelligence.
The Stanford project, entitled “Uncertainty on Uncertainty,” will focus on teaching cars how to deal with novel situations without specific programming. This could help in unpredictable situations that might result in traffic accidents, and it could ultimately help make automated cars a lot more practical.  
For more see:  Fundamental advances are needed in order for computers and robots to be much smarter and more useful.

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