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The Robot and Automation Almanac - 2018: The Futurist Institute Kindle Edition
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While the topic of this book may be challenging to the lay reader, Jason shares its purpose in a well written Introduction: ‘The history of robots is being written now. In this book. When people look back a decade from now, they will want to know how robots and automation evolved. They will want to understand how robots emerged from the factories. They will wish they had known more when it was happening. But rather than wait for a historian to document the future, The Robot and Automation Almanac captures perspectives on imminent pivotal changes now, in the tectonic transition from the information age to the automation age. We are standing on the edge of the age of automation. What’s next for robots and automation in the year ahead? This is the question that almost two dozen contributors have answered in this book. Robots and automation received a lot of media attention in 2017. But this visibility and emergence in the technological Zeitgeist was a shadow of what is likely to happen in 2018. Our authors have presented a view of a world in which robots and automation will make more rapidly accelerating progress. It may not be the year in which robots are a raging river of technological disruption in our daily lives, but 2018 is certain to be a year in which what had been a trickle will be emerging as a babbling brook. Where there was a little activity before, there will be much more in the year ahead. In the essays in this book, you will see a common thread among the different authors: 2018 is a year of ramping up activity. While it may not be the year of full escape velocity, it is going to be a big year. We will likely look back at 2018 as a critical year of transition, of momentum, of activity, of investment, and of technological potential.’
What follows is a series of essays that address both robots we see and robots we don’t see. Putting it mildly, this book is illuminating – information we once was the purview of science fiction animated movies is ‘walking among us’ right now. The views stated in this informative book are both startling and reassuring – that robots and automation just may promise a more secure future. Red it slowly, absorb the learned thoughts and then walk to the window or door or elevator in a skyscraper and shake your head and think ‘Aha!’ – they were right. A taste of tomorrow. Grady Harp, March 18
My personal view is there are a number of problems. One example is the poor woman run over by an autonomous vehicle in Arizona. I do not believe that robots are yet clever enough to be left on their own. On a somewhat lower level, I had my own issue, given that one chapter was praising the value of chatbots. I had to fix an iphone because the camera stopped working (still under guarantee) and it came back and I had to reload the various steps. I could not connect with my wifi, after about 7 efforts, so I try a chatbot. What happened? Well, first I had to find what overall subject I should ask about. Whatever I tried, the bot had no idea. (What actually happened was that next day I disregarded Einstein's dictum that trying the same thing again and expecting a different result was stupid – next morning it worked.) So what did I get out of this? First, Chatbots are useless unless someone has loaded the answer to the specific question you ask, in the way you ask it. Second, equipment is unreliable. What happens to an autonomous car if the camera stops working, as it did on my phone? What happens if for some inexplicable reason, links between equipment fail? The book simply ignores any possibility that things could go wrong, and it reads more as if the authors are making pitches for finance. Sorry, but I see no value in this at all.
The thing which I appreciated about the book was that its language was simple and devoid of any academic or scientific term and so was easy for me to read. The book could have been more interesting (according to me) if it had added pictures of robots in action such as each writer had summarized.
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It's about a topic that is quickly transitioning from the fictional world of...Read more