Musings of a tech 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 Articial 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? AI-powered...you 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.