Artificial skin could pave the way for true AI
Boffins at Stanford University have posted a rather interesting video that shows off a flexible artificial skin, which makes use of nanotubes in order to deliver very accurate capacitive feedback whilst maintaining flexibility.
The skin consists of an array of compressible transparent pressure sensors, which not only give feedback on the area which is touched but also the pressure. As such it has massive potential, not only to revolutionise the way we interact with touchscreen gadgets, but more importantly deliver feedback to people with artificial limbs and perhaps even replace skin that has been lost through burns.
There is also an important application where artificial intelligence is concerned; one of the great barriers between what is called AI now, and what it could be in the future are the senses. Without accurate feedback on the outside world it is very difficult for artificial systems to learn - this skin, if accurate, could catapult the development of AI no end. All very exciting.
Still, it looks as though it's still in its early stages.