WSJ – IRobot Introduces System to Help Machines Think for Themselves

Logo for iRobotA confluence of articles on Robots have caught the media’s attention recently about the ‘rise of robots’, including the WSJ’s article – ‘IRobot Introduces System to Help Machines Think for Themselves’ by journalist Doug Cameron.

What’s material is the shift to autonomous machines programmed to process Big Data in real-time, and its impact on our economy presaged by ‘Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy’ by two MIT heavy-weights (Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist and associate director at the MIT Center for Digital Business at the Sloan School of Management).  The authors address how “digital technologies are rapidly encroaching on skills that used to belong to humans alone” and provide insights on:Race Agains the Machine

  • “Why has median income stopped rising in the US?”
  • “Why is the share of population that is working falling so rapidly?”
  • “Why are our economy and society are becoming more unequal?”

The WSJ article highlights the pace of innovation, noting that, “the Pentagon and private-sector companies developing the next generation of robots are aiming to give them more autonomy so they can decide what to do—without external controls—when confronted with challenges in tough environments such as a battle zone or disaster area”.

On October 7, the Washington Post journalist Sam Chaltain wrote ‘We’re failing to prepare our kids for the impending robot takeover​. Here’s what we should teach them’.  He writes of ‘Singularity’, the “moment when the whole game board changes, when artificial intelligence pulls even with, and then rapidly exceeds (or merges with), human intelligence”, noting that technologists predict this to occur in 2044.  He references Ray Kurzweil, the Director of Engineering at Google, and links to his TED Talk ‘Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking’ that is well worth watching.

WSJ - IRobot Introduces System to Help Machines Think for ThemselvesIn ‘Are Robots Coming for Your Job’ by Washington Post journalist Jena McGregor, the Pew Research Center Internet Project is noted:

“Forty-eight percent of the nearly 1,900 industry experts, Internet analysts and tech enthusiasts queried by the research organization imagine a more dystopian future, one in which robots and “digital agents” have displaced many jobs and where there are “vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable, and breakdowns in the social order,” according to the report”.

If your company is not leveraging big data and predictive analytics now, the time may have been yesterday to get started to cast your vision and reorganize your company’s processes to prepare for the future.

Glib initiatives on Big Data and Cloud-Computing, such as those noted in the WSJ’s article today ‘Peter Thiel Tells CIOs to be Skeptical of ‘Buzzwords’ Such as Cloud’, should be recast with an urgency to save one’s life.

While Lewis Carroll was noted for saying “If you don’t  know where you are going, any road will get you there”, more than a business’s failure is at risk this time.  Society, as we know it, may be at risk.  Get ready.

To read ‘IRobot Introduces System to Help Machines Think for Themselves’ on the Wall Street Journal web site, click here.

To read ‘We’re failing to prepare our kids for the impending robot takeover’ on the Washington Post web site, click here.

To read ‘Are Robots Coming for Your Job’ on the Washington post web site, click here.

To watch Ray Kurzeil’s TED Talk – ‘Get Ready for Hybrid Thinking’ click here.

To read ‘Peter Thiel Tells CIOs to be Skeptical of ‘Buzzwords’ Such as Cloud’, click here.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Intelligent Response specializes in operationalizing Predictive Analytics, Cause Marketing and Digital Advocacy in Washington DC.

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