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February 2016

Human-like Robots

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It’s been said that by the year 2050 every task that is currently performed by humans will be done by humanoid like machines. That’s only thirty-four years from now. I have footwear older than that! We’ve heard these Asimov type predictions before, but now with advancements in technology burning a trail on a daily basis there is an artificial intelligence revolution. Thirty-four years at the present speed of development makes the above prediction seem more a probability than an possibility.

Imagine you are gliding to work in your driver-less car and it looses power. You don’t know how to drive – cars have been doing the driving for years and since your knowledge of automobile technology is limited, you try a couple of things, but come to the conclusion you need to call for a tow. A compact tow truck glides up to your lane and a human like robotic creature steps outs to greet you. He does an electronic sweep, determines the problem and within minutes it is on its way to service one of the other 3 billion cars occupying the highways in the year 2050. It was a simple, efficient, no fuss no muss transaction and off you go with a feeling of well-being. All’s right with the world.

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Artificial Intelligence

AI 2

The innovation of the programmable digital computer was birthed in the 1940s out of a necessity to “think” faster and solve complex problems. However, it is the human mind that initially built the firmware and software to enable the machines to perform feats of intelligence normally reserved for the limited number of geniuses and savants on the planet. A threshold was crossed when software was designed that replaced human intelligence in terms of decision making supported by speech and visual recognition, a machine that acted through its own sense perceptions. Artificial Intelligence or AI entered the world of the living.

The question foremost in the minds of computer scientists everywhere was, “Can machines think?” Unlike 3D Scanning and printing where a program is designed as an application to reproduce a set of instructions, AI is using stored data to think through a problem. A flow of logic is applied to deliver a reasonable solution – an end result based on the principle of reasoning.

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