Browse Month

March 2016

Let The Games Begin

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Perhaps one of the most famous forms of artificial intelligence to come into people’s homes was, Watson. If you are familiar with the popular quiz show Jeopardy, you will remember Watson. Named after IBM’s first CEO and industrialist, Thomas J. Watson, the computer contestant went up against Jeopardy’s two all time- highest earning players, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

The challenge was to see if a machine could out-think humans in an actual question and answer contest. Watson walked, or more accurately rolled away with the grand prize earning of $1 million dollars. We’ve witnessed AI on TV in science fiction movies and our favorite weekly shows, yet when it enters our home we are still duly impressed. It’s the everyday duties and gadgets that we rely on to make living more convenient and fun.

The other day when I had to have my car towed, naturally I didn’t expect the driver to show up with a little robot buddy, but I wasn’t surprised to discover that even the local tow service had a tool or two that is tied back to artificial intelligence. It’s insinuating itself into our lives in the most subtle of ways. AI can deliver a better quality of performance, which potentially makes for a better life.

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Robots and Elder Care

robotsGeneration after generation aging parents become the responsibility of the following generation. It’s the way life is set up to work. However, just taking care of ourselves is a full time job, let alone a parent or other family member that needs assistance in their later years.

For most, taking care of an aging parent is an act of love, but for many it’s a job they would rather hand over to someone else. Because of the fast, busy and full pace of life, many younger people simply don’t have the time to give. It’s an understandable position to be in, but fortunately or unfortunately, taking care of one another as we get older is part of being a family and a community.

We need to keep in mind when we are in our 3rd, 4th and 5th decades that some day we will be 70, 80 or 90 years old, and will require a helping hand. But what will things be like when we get to that stage of life? I recall a short film I saw a couple of years ago in which a young man pulls up to his father’s house in a chauffeured limousine.

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