There is the old saying of a computer is only as smart as the programmer. However, when combining all programmers together, which includes all information stored on the Internet and in digital form, it is possible to understand how a single robot can quickly become smarter than humans. While computers and robots are not self sufficient (yet), many of these devices are smarter than a human in multiple ways. This is not fiction, but in fact non fiction, so looking at these different robots and understanding how each is smarter than a human is important.
The IBM Watson is an industrial computer that is best known for appearing on the television game show Jeopardy. In the show, the super computer took on two former champions in a battle of witts. However, IBM Watson has access to much more information, which allowed it to essentially dominate the two day competition. Although the two humans taking on the super computer were the best of the best, with one individual winning several million dollars on the game show, IBM Watson proved that when it comes to an industrial computer, the super computer truly is smarter than even the best humans. Of course, this robot is few and far between, but it shows the potential and where computing may go in the future.
It is odd to see a thermostat included here, but smart home technology has seen a rather amazing improvement over the last several years. The Nest thermostat uses embedded microcontrollers in order to monitor the temperature inside of the home. Not only is it able to alter the temperature based on if someone is present or if nobody is, but it learns based on the daily actions of those inside of the house and who use the thermostat. This way, it can increase and decrease the temperature, humidity and other living conditions and learn while it goes, while most humans are unable to identify an increase or decrease in temperature by a degree or two. This makes the technology superior to what humans can perform.
There have been protests and demonstrations around the country about fast food workers demanding $15 an hour. However, these positions are lowest on the worker totem pole, and what many of these workers do not realize is that their jobs are almost obsolete, so asking for an almost 100 percent pay raise would surely speed up this process and leave them without work (all of this without getting into whether someone who works fast food deserves $15 an hour or not). The Stockroom Worker has already proven to be smarter than actual stockroom employees. These robots work at Amazon plants and move through the warehouses picking up the desired items and products in order to ready the material for shipment. Amazon found the Stockroom Worker not only does the job faster as it can scan over 300 items an hour (versus a top of 100 for the best human workers), but it is also more efficient with fewer errors. By making fewer mistakes and at a greater rate, the Stockroom Worker has proven it is smarter than the average worker. it also is a likely sign for other low level positions to be forced out.
The N1-C and B1-0
Using a microcontroller system, this robot is basically the smartest bartender anyone can encounter. When working at a local bar, a human bartender might be able to remember a few handful of drink combinations. The best can recall one or two hundred after extensive work. However, the robot bartenders which are now working on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise liners are able to recall over 300 cocktails and make each within seconds as many of the beverage requirements are fitted into the arm of the robot. This also makes sure nobody receives more or less alcohol when ordering a drink. Now, it does open up some issues when requesting a specialty made drink, but for the most part, in terms of sheer volume and the number of cocktails it can make, this is one of the robots that is far smarter than humans, not to mention faster and more accurate.
The cost of human lives during wartime can’t be measured in dollars. That is why armies such as the United States have been looking at implementing robot soldiers into combat for years. Now, there are smaller robots used during combat, ranging from vehicles designed to help disarm IEDs and drones. However, there are current tests being performed on robot soldiers who are more efficient than human soldiers, by being able to fire at a target with exact precision all while taking into account multiple variables at the same time. These robots are able to dismantle land mines and engage in front-line combat. The United States plans on having a quarter of its forces made up of robots in the next 15 years. Each robot is going to come with an embedded PC built into the system, although these are also extremely complex based on the way each robot is able to interact with the local environments around them.
For anyone who has gone to the pharmacist ever, they understand it often takes them hours to obtain a prescription, especially if they did not have a chance to call it in ahead of time. This has been a running joke for comedians for decades who like to comment on how long it takes the pharmacist to perform the task. Whether these observations are accurate or fare may be a moot point due to the pharmacy robot. There is a robot at the University of California, San Francisco who filled 350,000 prescriptions without making a single error on the kind of medication or the dosage. This is far superior to what traditional pharmacists have been able to do. So, like the warehouse workers, this is another position the robot is smarter, better and faster than the human counterpart. When it comes to medication, all of these are important selling points and a major reason why full-time pharmacists might be quickly heading out the door.
A bomb defusing robot uses a single board computer built inside which is also controlled by a human at a safe distance. This robot is able to use multiple sensors built into the device to determine the kind of bomb and how to disarm it, all of which a human simply couldn’t do, even an experienced one, just by looking at the bomb. With the robot, not only does it reduce the potential cost of human life but it is far more successful at disarming the bomb due to the receptors and having a steady hand for disarming it. Now, many of these bomb defusing robots are still controlled by a bomb squad, so while it can do many things a human can’t, at least safely, it still does take the two put together in order to make a quality team. Eventually though, a bomb squad robot is likely to exist without the aid of a human controller.
Paralegals and Document-Review Attorneys
Piling through millions of lines of information can be extremely difficult for any human. Not only does it take time but it is far too easy for someone to miss vital information. Thanks to industrial computer and rack mount servers, it is possible to comb through all of this information in the matter of seconds. This way, a document reviews based attorney can obtain vital data in order to represent someone or to look back and find similar situations in different cases. This can save man hours and cut costs for both the attorneys and the individuals and companies that hire the attorneys. This is extremely valuable and it shows how robots are able to speed up the process and frankly perform tasks in a more intelligent manor than what humans can.
Car technology is far superior now than it ever has been before. While there has been an evolution in car tech, from cruise control all the way up to park assist, it has always depending on a human to control the vehicle. However, this is no longer the case. Thanks to the creation of self driving cars, internal computers now use sensors and other embedded micro controllers in order to read the surroundings, not just the road and weather conditions but also the actions of local drivers around the vehicle and pedestrian traffic. In a recent test involving Google’s self-driving cars, the company reported that since the release of the vehicles, four of the 50 had been involved in some sort of an accident. While this might seem like a lot initially, when looking further into the numbers, it shows that in two of the cases, the self-drive mode had been turned off, and in every single case, the self-driving vehicle was not at fault. This shows that human driving is far more dangerous than robot driving vehicles. Thanks to the assistance of the Intel server computer programming built into these vehicles and all the tech that is used, it is now possible to say robots are smarter than humans when it comes to driving cars.