Data protection methods like cryptography, despite being effective, inadvertently signal the presence of secret communication, thereby drawing undue attention. Here, we introduce an optical information hiding camera integrated with an electronic decoder, optimized jointly through deep learning. This information hiding-decoding system employs a diffractive optical processor as its front-end, which transforms and hides input images in the form of ordinary-looking patterns that deceive/mislead human observers. This information hiding transformation is valid for infinitely many combinations of secret messages, all of which are transformed into ordinary-looking output patterns, achieved all-optically through passive light-matter interactions within the optical processor. By processing these ordinary-looking output images, a jointly-trained electronic decoder neural network accurately reconstructs the original information hidden within the deceptive output pattern. We numerically demonstrated our approach by designing an information hiding diffractive camera along with a jointly-optimized convolutional decoder neural network. The efficacy of this system was demonstrated under various lighting conditions and noise levels, showing its robustness. We further extended this information hiding camera to multi-spectral operation, allowing the concealment and decoding of multiple images at different wavelengths, all performed simultaneously in a single feed-forward operation. The feasibility of our framework was also demonstrated experimentally using THz radiation. This optical encoder-electronic decoder-based co-design provides a novel information hiding camera interface that is both high-speed and energy-efficient, offering an intriguing solution for visual information security.
Establishing lunar infrastructure is paramount to long-term habitation on the Moon. To meet the demand for future lunar infrastructure development, we present CraterGrader, a novel system for autonomous robotic earthmoving tasks within lunar constraints. In contrast to the current approaches to construction autonomy, CraterGrader uses online perception for dynamic mapping of deformable terrain, devises an energy-efficient material movement plan using an optimization-based transport planner, precisely localizes without GPS, and uses integrated drive and tool control to manipulate regolith with unknown and non-constant geotechnical parameters. We demonstrate CraterGrader's ability to achieve unprecedented performance in autonomous smoothing and grading within a lunar-like environment, showing that this framework is capable, robust, and a benchmark for future planetary site preparation robotics.
Language models demonstrate both quantitative improvement and new qualitative capabilities with increasing scale. Despite their potentially transformative impact, these new capabilities are as yet poorly characterized. In order to inform future research, prepare for disruptive new model capabilities, and ameliorate socially harmful effects, it is vital that we understand the present and near-future capabilities and limitations of language models. To address this challenge, we introduce the Beyond the Imitation Game benchmark (BIG-bench). BIG-bench currently consists of 204 tasks, contributed by 442 authors across 132 institutions. Task topics are diverse, drawing problems from linguistics, childhood development, math, common-sense reasoning, biology, physics, social bias, software development, and beyond. BIG-bench focuses on tasks that are believed to be beyond the capabilities of current language models. We evaluate the behavior of OpenAI's GPT models, Google-internal dense transformer architectures, and Switch-style sparse transformers on BIG-bench, across model sizes spanning millions to hundreds of billions of parameters. In addition, a team of human expert raters performed all tasks in order to provide a strong baseline. Findings include: model performance and calibration both improve with scale, but are poor in absolute terms (and when compared with rater performance); performance is remarkably similar across model classes, though with benefits from sparsity; tasks that improve gradually and predictably commonly involve a large knowledge or memorization component, whereas tasks that exhibit "breakthrough" behavior at a critical scale often involve multiple steps or components, or brittle metrics; social bias typically increases with scale in settings with ambiguous context, but this can be improved with prompting.
Mobile robots are increasingly being deployed in public spaces such as shopping malls, airports, and urban sidewalks. Most of these robots are designed with human-aware motion planning capabilities but are not designed to communicate with pedestrians. Pedestrians encounter these robots without prior understanding of the robots' behaviour, which can cause discomfort, confusion, and delayed social acceptance. In this research, we explore the common human-robot interaction at a doorway or bottleneck in a structured environment. We designed and evaluated communication cues used by a robot when yielding to a pedestrian in this scenario. We conducted an online user study with 102 participants using videos of a set of robot-to-human yielding cues. Results show that a Robot Retreating cue was the most socially acceptable cue. The results of this work help guide the development of mobile robots for public spaces.
* 6 pages, 5 figures. Submitted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
and 2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Automation