Not to be crass about it, but are we even interested in what robots have to say? Once you’ve gotten a laugh out of hearing the robotic Siri say, “I can’t be your designated driver,” what’s left? Isn’t Siri kind of a killjoy, a shoddy electronic wash-out? Sure, we’ve spent the last four articles building up to a future of brilliant talking robots. But what can we realistically expect from our artificially intelligent friends?
In the previous articles in this series we saw how super-computers managed to beat humans at chess—and even at Jeopardy! We also saw how the Internet of Things embedded minicomputers everywhere, allowing us to use our voices for everything, from turning on TVs, to microwaving popcorn.
In the previous articles in this series, we discovered how machines learned to listen, learned to see, and even learned to speak (a bit). Progress was being made on all fronts—from greater computing power, to better data-processing, to fancier algorithms. But fluidly conversing with humans was still a pipe dream. That would soon evolve: the 2010s would prove to be a gamechanger.
We use standards every day, in all aspects of our lives. Some standards have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. Think, for example, of weights and measures and how their differences and similarities affect us all. Think of electric plugs and outlets and the need to have a universal plug adapter on hand when traveling.
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