Robotics: Humans Need Not Apply

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Google Getting Scary

One of the bigger IT news stories during the past few weeks is Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamics, a company that makes robots. Forbes notes three things. The first is that the company makes robots that can outrun Usain Bolt and throw cinderblocks 17 feet. The second is that Google has assembled one of the bigger artificial intelligence teams in the world. The third is that Boston Dynamics is the eighth robot company Google has bought in the past year. It’s almost needless to say that the obvious conclusion is that Google is scary.

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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