Robo pot: Aphria says automation key to low-cost cannabis production

Posted by & filed under Automation.

On the eve of legalized recreational marijuana and concerns about supply shortage, one of Canada’s largest producers believes automated machines will be the key to producing more cannabis. Leamington-based Aphria currently has supply agreements with every province and Yukon, boasting about plans to produce roughly 20,000 kilograms of marijuana a month by spring. As they… Read more »

London Fashion Week 2018: Robots take over the runway

Posted by & filed under Automation.

A catwalk show at London Fashion Week has divided opinions about the future of fashion. Source: BBC Trends Date: September 20, 2018 Link to video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-45548805/london-fashion-week-2018-robots-take-over-the-runway Discussion 1) Whether or not this is just a gimmick, why does it matter that robots are featured in fashion? 2) The robots in this “fashion” show are no where near realistic. … Read more »

How talking machines are taking call center jobs

Posted by & filed under Automation, Chatbots.

The biggest threat to jobs might not be physical robots, but intelligent software agents that can understand our questions and speak to us, integrating seamlessly with all the other programs we use at home and at work. And call centres are particularly at risk. Last week we learned that British retail giant Marks & Spencer… Read more »

Robot dogs are coming, but they may be destined for the unemployment line

Posted by & filed under Automation, robotics.

SpotMini, the robotic dog and social media sensation, is looking for a job. Boston Dynamics, the company behind the cybernetic canine, excels at two things: designing cool robots, and making viral videos of them in action. SpotMini has racked up an impressive 30 million YouTube views in just a few years, and a photo of the robot strolling… Read more »

A Swiss weedkiller robot could curb our dependence on herbicides

Posted by & filed under Automation, Autonomous Vehicles, robotics, Uncategorized.

  Some $26 billion is spent on herbicides each year. These chemicals are often indiscriminately sprayed over entire fields of crops that have been genetically modified to resist the chemical onslaught. And it’s agrochemical giants like Bayer, DowDuPont, and Syngenta that usually create both the genetically modified seeds and the chemicals that are sprayed on them.  The… Read more »

An AI System for Accomplishing Real-World Tasks Over the Phone

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality, Automation.

Google recently announced Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like… Read more »

Will Robots Take My Job?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Autonomous Vehicles, Careers.

In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University published a report titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”. The authors examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation, by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. According… Read more »

Wanted: Robot wrangler. No experience required.

Posted by & filed under Automation.

How about this for a future job advert? “Wranglers wanted for growing fleets of robots. Your responsibilities will include evaluating robot performance, providing real-time analysis and support for problems.  “You must be analytical, detail-oriented, friendly – and ready to walk. No advanced degree required.”  Even if this particular advert has not yet appeared, some are already carrying… Read more »

Drones, tractor hacks and robotic sprayers: the technology of farming

Posted by & filed under Automation, Drones.

Farming may not be the first industry that comes to mind when we think of technological advancement, but that’s changing — fast.  Agricultural giant John Deere, for instance, just spent $305 million to buy a robotics company. The farm machine manufacturer has been around for almost two centuries, but it too has felt the need to keep up with changing trends and tools, says… Read more »

Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Automation, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues, IT and the law, self driving cars.

To understand the trolley problem, first consider this scenario: You are standing on a bridge. Underneath you, a railroad track divides into a main route and an alternative. On the main route, 50 people are tied to the rails. A trolley rushes under the bridge on the main route, hurtling towards the captives. Fortunately, there’s… Read more »