John Biggs of Tech Crunch reports, “A new research project by a computer science team at Cornell University is using human volunteers to train robots to perform tasks. How is it unique? They’re showing robots how to infer actions based on very complex, human comments. Instead of having to say ‘move arm left 5 inches’ they are hoping that, one day, robots will respond to ‘Make me some ramen’ or ‘Clean up my mess.’ The commands are quite rudimentary right now and focus mostly around loose requests like “boil the ramen for a few minutes” which, with enough processing, can be turned into a step-by-step set of commands. For example, in the video above a subject asks for an affogato, basically coffee with ice cream. The robot has learned the basic recipe and so uses what is at hand — a barrel of ice cream, a bowl, and a coffee dispenser — to produce a tasty treat for its human customer.” Read more