Mus­ings of a tech ed­i­tor

HWM (Singapore) - - Ed's Note - Zachary Chan Ed­i­tor

It may al­ready be Fe­bru­ary, but when we were put­ing this is­sue to­gether, we had only just scratched the sur­face of 2018. With the an­nual Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) over, we’ve got a bet­ter idea of how the year ahead is look­ing for the tech in­dus­try.

I’d leave you to read the juicy bits in our cover fea­ture. In­stead, hu­mor my thoughts around the con­ver­sa­tions gen­er­ated from CES an­nounce­ments.

Ro­bots, Au­to­ma­tion and Articial In­tel­li­gence were clearly the stars of the show. Seen as sep­a­rate tech dis­ci­plines, ro­bots are cham­pi­oned by com­pan­ion and smart home helper bots, au­to­ma­tion by self-driv­ing cars and AI by just about every­thing with a chip in it.

Per­son­ally, I take a macro view. Ro­bots are ba­si­cally any de­vice ca­pable of help­ing hu­mans per­form a task au­tonomously, and the ‘soul’ of a ro­bot is its soft­ware, or in other words, its AI. So, self-driv­ing cars? AI-powered ro­bot. Ro­bot vac­uum cleaner? AI-powered ro­bot. Ro­bot pet dog? get me drift.

Even a smart­phone is tech­ni­cally an AI-powered ro­bot. Since our con­nected-on­line world does not re­quire a phys­i­cal form, any pre­con­ceived no­tion of a ro­bot body doesn’t ap­ply. As such, smart­phones can learn from our habits and be al­lowed some de­gree of task au­to­ma­tion, from switch­ing set­tings based on lo­ca­tion, to sort­ing and auto-tag­ging your pho­tos.

Progress is sim­ply mea­sured by the level of au­ton­omy and the speed and com­plex­ity of AI.

So yes, we’ve come quite far in terms of what our gad­gets can do, and we’re pos­i­tive in the direc­tion they are head­ing to­wards, but when we re­ally get down to the bot­tom on it, there was noth­ing truly in­no­va­tive at CES.

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