6. 1 canine thing: The world through Kelp's eyes
A group of University of Washington researchers say they have a new program that sees the world like a dog, specifically Kelp, a Malamute belonging to a member of the AI team, writes the Verge's James Vincent.
What it's all about: Machine learning requires a lot of data, so Kiana Ehsani, the lead researcher, began with 380 videos of Kelp going about his daily routine — fetching, walking, sniffing, and so on, according to the team's paper. Her aim was to discern what a program trained to think like a dog would do with that frame of reference.
Just one achievement: The program figured out how to quickly decipher where it's easy to walk, and where it's not, which otherwise would be difficult to teach a robot.
Why it matters: "This seems to be the first time anyone has ever tried learning from a dog, and the fact that it worked suggests that animals could be a useful source of training data," Vincent writes. "After all, dogs know plenty of other things that would be very useful for robots. What humans look like, for example, or the difference between an adult and a baby."