AI On the Rise Weekly: Robots Work While Humans Party During the Holidays


No humans, no problem. It’s business as usual for Wall Street even with its “human” power partying at homes with their loved ones for the holidays. The robots equipped with algorithms are working for the traders. A parcel of the Wall Street Journal’s pre-holiday update reads:

“Across Wall Street, more than a dozen firms trading everything from currencies to equities and fixed-income products say they plan to rely on computer-based trading programs and on their colleagues in Asia to cover for them. Traders at global investment banks including Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc. said their U.S. desks would be staffed by only a small contingent next week…”

This is not the first time that stockbrokers went on holidays and relaxed while money never sleeps. It is just that financial algorithms have been aggressively created and rampantly utilized for trading this year. IBM’s Watson became a hot item in Wall Street earlier this year.

Many are not fond of algorithmic trading; they think this is not the smartest thing especially during high-frequency trading. This is why artificial intelligence experts are putting so much effort in perfecting financial algorithms to alleviate flushing down millions in the drain.

Speaking of AI’s participation in businesses, tele-presence puts faraway workers in touch with their physical workplace. Engineer Dallas Goecker communicates with his colleagues in his Silicon Valley company while he is sitting on his couch in Seymour, Indiana. Thousand miles away, but Beam, a mobile video-conferencing machine makes interaction possible. Beam is a 5-foot-tall device topped with a large video screen provides Goecker a physical (in a virtual setting) presence that makes him and his colleagues feel like he’s actually there.

“This gives you that casual interaction that you’re used to at work,” Goecker said, speaking on a Beam. “I’m sitting in my desk area with everybody else. I’m part of their conversations and their socializing.”

These tele-presence robots are very useful for those who are always traveling but needs to be physically present in the office. Somehow, this gives technology gives them a sense of that purpose. Scientists are eventually looking at improving controls to wireless Internet connections

But robot functionalities are not confined inside the corners of workplaces and academes. These machines can also swing its way to sports. The golfer’s robo-caddy is among the top 9 robots of the year.

Robots and Holidays

You got it wrong when you think that rigid machines do not care about Christmas or New Year. In fact, robots have been equally cheerful greeting and celebrating the merry-making season. The DMX singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer signaled the start of the Christmas season last December 1st.

Sphero on the other hand entertained the public with their dancing robotic balls controlled by Android/iOS systems. These robots grooved to the beat of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.”

Search engine giants show they care as they thank “Androiders” for taking part in one of the most successful years of the organizations. Google released a video that shows even robots can get drunk and cheerfully greeting users.

We are about to welcome 2013. But before we bid farewell to 2012, we will be bringing you this year’s highlights in artificial intelligence here at