9 - Autonomous Vehicles with Boris Sofman from Waymo
What’s the deal with autonomous vehicles? For starters, saving 40,000 lives per year and answering some of the most interesting questions in artificial intelligence.Boris Sofman, Head of Perception and Trucking Engineering at Waymo, came in to discuss the methods used to train autonomous vehicles, covering where datasets are gathered, how performance is evaluated, and how knowledge gained through AV can be leveraged across different industries.Monte's speaking at some cool events! He'll be presenting at the Feature Store Meetup and TWiMLCon. Find out more at mlminutes.com/events.Hear more of the juicy details in the Bonus Minutes on our website, mlminutes.com, where you can also find episode transcripts, additional resources, and more. To stay up-to-date on upcoming guests & giveaways, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.Our intro music is Funkin' It by the Jazzual Suspects, and our outro music is Last Call by Shiny Objects, both on the OM Records label.
With its robotaxis already on the road in Arizona, Waymo has been quietly moving toward the autonomous trucking space for some time. To find out more of why the original AV developer is looking at the opportunities in logistics, we spoke with Head of Trucking Boris Sofman. In today's episode, Boris explains how Waymo's two main programs relate to each other, reveals that the safety case is critical intellectual property and briefly discusses his past life building entertainment-focused robots as founder and CEO of Anki.
Anki, known for creating “robots that move you,” just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their new home robot, Vector. Anki CEO Boris Sofman sat down with Nilay for this week’s interview episode of The Vergecast to talk about the new companion robot, why gendering the robots is important, and how to avoid the uncanny valley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
How to do consumer robots right, with guest Anki CEO Boris Sofman
In case you missed it, the robots are here. No, not the apocalyptic hordes of artificially intelligent machines that some believe are destined to enslave or eradicate us (hello, Boston Dynamics!), but the everyday devices and companions that are rapidly becoming commonplace. After decades of lofty sci-fi-inspired promises, robots like iRobot's Roomba vacuums and the many iterations of the Sony Aibo robodog are slowly carving out their places in our domestic lives. Even Amazon's Alexa is arguably a disembodied robot. A new entry into the field is Anki's Vector. Vector is a small tabletop robot with big features. First and foremost, unlike other "robots" like those from Sphero or even WowWee, Vector doesn't need a smartphone to control it. It's fully autonomous and loaded with sensors, enabling it to interact with and learn from its environment from the get-go. Vector is another milestone for Anki, a company that's had one of the most interesting stories in tech. Unknown to the world before its splash launch at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2013, the robotics company has come out with several products, including intelligent toy race cars and a previous, more limited robot, Cozmo. Where does the robustly funded company go next? And when will it move its robotics business into something more capable (i.e. not a toy). Anki CEO Boris Sofman dropped by Mashable's MashTalk podcast this week to give us the full story of his young company, why it's so focused on the "personality" of its robots, and what he sees in the future for domestic robots and AI.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Boris Sofman, founder of Anki, a maker of AI-powered toys, to talk about why he chose toys (2:45), convincing investors to back him (5:25), starting out making a real life Mario Kart (7:20), using a prototype to pitch (9:50), creating a Pixar-style robot (13:05), putting software at the heart of its toy (17:00), engineering emotion (18:05), the importance of eye contact (21:15), if toys can get ‘too good’ (23:50), the difference from old-school companies (25:25), the future of ‘the family robot’ (27:15), why Anki won’t be a toy company for long (31:40), growing up in Russia and Texas (34:30), studying robots at Carnegie Mellon (35:30), and the explosion of the robotics industry (37:30).See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Anki CEO Boris Sofman talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the future of robotics and why his company is starting with robots that entertain people: The artificially intelligent toy cars Anki Drive, released in 2013, and the emotive pet-like Cozmo, which came out in 2016. Sofman says designing for cuteness makes it easier for humans to accept when the robot makes an error, and is a low-risk way to make all robots better at skills like computer vision. He also talks about the current state of self-driving cars and why the biggest danger robots currently pose to humanity is being misused by human operators. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices