Those who attended this year’s CRA Snowbird conference may have heard Moshe Vardi’s provocative panel session on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work, discussing the potential impact of computing technologies on employment and the nature of work over the coming years. Vardi makes a compelling case that the computing research community ought to be concerned with the impact its innovations will have on society, both positive and negative. To that end, Vardi has led an effort to pull together some of the leading thinkers from the computing, economics, and social science communities to consider the issue in Houston in December. The De Lange Conference on Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work will be held December 5-6, 2016, at Rice University. Here’s an announcement from the organizers (CRA is a co-sponsor).
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Robots mimicking the form of insects have been making headlines recently. This May, researchers from UC Berkeley who are developing cockroach inspired robots presented their research at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm, Sweden. The paper describes how the researchers developed a springing mechanism that allows the robot to “jump” more than a meter in the air.