Robotics and artificial intelligence at Bar-Ilan University (A report from the trenches)
This informal talk will survey recent advances in robotics and artificial intelligence research, worldwide, and specifically at Bar Ilan University's computer science department. It will present the quiet commercial and scientific revolution enabled by these advances, and introduce little-known, but common challenges, opportunities, and surprises. The talk will highlight milestone achievements in the 12 years since robots firstcame to Bar Ilan, and discuss open challenges that may be of particular interest to physicists: phase transitions in computational problems; a possible relationship between crowds, magnetism, and social psychology; Asimov's vision of prediction technology (psychohistory), and programmable nano-scale robots. The talk assumes no prior knowledge of computer science or robotics.