Robotics: Humans Need Not Apply

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Drive, It Said

In mid-December, Ford Motor Company introduced Lidar, its nascent autonomous driving technology. The device was mounted atop a 2014 Fusion. GigaOm says that Lidar features 360-degree radar that creates “a visual and topographical representation of the world around it,” which is compared to 3D maps. Subsequently, directions are given to the driving apparatus.

Strictly speaking, robotics, drones, automated telephone calling and autonomous (driverless) cars are only tangentially related. They all work without human intervention and utilize tools such as machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors, artificial intelligence and advanced imaging.

At a higher level, the key is that they replace something that most folks probably intuitively feel wouldn’t be replaced: intelligence for a conversation, eyes and muscles for driving, a way of getting products from a distribution point to a buyer, and an exoskeleton for locomotion.

And, at an even higher level, they are all a bit creepy.


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