Manuela Veloso and ‘Symbiotic Autonomy’: Humanity and AI will be Inseparable

Professor Manuela Veloso, head of the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has been interviewed by Verge, as part of a special called “The Verge 2021: Five Years Into the Future with Top Ten Leaders”. This interview has been republished by the Portuguese tech periodical ComputerWorld.

In the interview, Manuela Veloso talks about her vision of a future in which humans and intelligent systems are inseparable, together in a continuous exchange of information and goals that she calls “symbiotic autonomy.” She is already testing this idea on the CMU campus, with roving, segway-shaped robots called “cobots”, that autonomously escort guests from building to building and ask for human help when they need. It’s a new way to think about artificial intelligence, and one that could have profound consequences in the next five years.

On the future coexistence of humans and AI, the professor shares her beliefs: “I am a complete optimist. I think that the research we’re doing on autonomous systems — autonomous cars, autonomous robots — it’s a call to humanity to be responsible. (…) It’s the human mind that conceived such technology, and it’s up to the human mind also to make good use of it.”

Read the Portuguese article at ComputerWorld Online (November 16, 2016)