Machine(s) Vs Robot(s)

Today I want to write about one topic serendipitously presented to me, talking about the digital transition that defines our current period. Now it is my turn to invite you to reflect on what is the difference between a machine and a robot.

Well, you might be tempted to say: “It depends on the conditions and constraints defining the machine and the type of robot we should consider as our conversation object”.


Over the past decades, robotic fabrication has succeeded where massive digital machines and infrastructures failed: the first has been empowered to (re) act and learn by respect to immaterial computer logic, incapable of enriching the physical nature of information, with interactive processes, blended computational design and digital materialism.

We can say something that is unequivocally true: machines rely on definite and initial programming to execute their responses. They cannot react to human feedback as robots can do if programmed according to control loop systems. How automated control systems operate, collecting, processing and replying to all of the diverse environmental conditions is one example of that.

Robot-induced design and materialisation processes open to us new approaches, we now embrace, to expand the range of production options and research complexity. For various reasons, we were introduced to them thinking on general purposes to fulfill by their intermediation and ´manual dexterity´ allowed by finest programming and control.

Probably one of the reasons why the word robotics requires always a situated attention is the focus on how the hardware and the software characteristics should match. As platforms looking on tomorrow coming on our way, robotics is and remains there in front of us, along with material innovations, biotechnology, and futuristic research.

What does tomorrow look like within this field? What should be our strategy if robots, AI (available for everybody and everywhere) intelligent systems are required to go beyond what we call a ” context-fixing” semantics? Especially when the fundamental challenge we might consider is that they must operate in living and dynamic environments shaped by contingents elements…

How do we respond to opportunities and challenges that – in the meanwhile – differentiate themselves according to whom is the target: private citizen, open platforms, hi-tech and automation companies coming our way?

Daily life is so hectic and busy that sometimes it let us to forget a significant topic: co-existence.

We are going to coexist not with one or two, but perhaps with more than 100 robots. Robotics is here, next to us, and we should be both fascinated and challenged by the fact that we are not just asked to adopt or adapt to our new technologies.

It’s incredible how they change people life, that learn by themselves adapt to them.

Just think on how cars, as machines, came progressively in our life, requiring from us attention crossing the streets going on pedestrian lines instead of walking freely as new rules came in question. Now I cannot imagine a world without cars. Probably, nor you.

Machines coexist with us for a long time. When we want to reach a destination, we need to get inside a car and drive toward it. Right? I mean, despite the one of Tesla Motor, regular cars require our feedback. That is the way things (still!) work.

Yet, we are still the actors that turn on the key…

The car cannot act on its own. Our desires are the determinant of machines actions. However, technology is leading us to have daily useful conversation with them, I mean, you do not need to think on your Alexa or Cortana AI assistants to get this point: we are in a dramatic shift in our journey. We can have multiple sort of conversion with a non-human. Complex machines as robots talk back to us, give us feedback, reply on our inputs. Simple loop machine don´t. That phenomena lead to all types of relationships and trust.

I mean, we can also fall in love with these sorts of machines…

Why not? Maybe, they understand us and have a better bond in comparison with others that cannot follow us properly. Even if we humans are part of the same species we are running across multiple and continuous conflicts. Co-existing with robots is a fast-moving area, with surprise and implications that are impressive and just around the corner.

When the I-Phone came in the market, industry and telecom providers did not really believe in the phone. Right, they ridiculed it in a way.

Now we cannot move or pretend to have mental sanity without it!

Robotics is the next significant qualitative and quantitative developmental area, as it is already happening with straightforward strength and unbelievable speed.

Its application happens all over the world, despite attended diversity, every country and culture are part of this process. If you think on this input, you should be shocked about its spreading from people from the same hometown. Lots of work is going on the field of AI, whether this is chat-bots, control and identification systems, data analysis (see the previous post on Big Data), telecommunication encryption, and so forth. We are already a part of this revolution and trend. And I am attempting to accept we can be empowered if we open ourselves to embrace what is already happening in front of us.

I will talk on an upcoming post on the differences between AI, cognitive computing and machine learning as I noticed how many of these concepts have been overused; even freely used. A trend that generates confusion among people called to make decisions that have 100% influence on what would come after.

If we do not take action, implementation is blocked.

Our future is affected by machines already and the approach of new automated industries that want to profit from the future and protect legacies they need to look for a brand-new strategy to preserve their legacies. That is true if you think that we cannot have a look at the past, controlling it, as well as repackage the events that happen in our present. We have to deal with this information approaching strategies, navigating the future that is already here.

The new map of tomorrow, of how does the next machine should be the object of our calculation. This is what we should start to focus.

The future is already here, what does the next machine looks like when you are reading this post.

Context is a variable that should also be considered when we are asked to renovate the future on our terms. We need to take actions as nobody can take our willingness to understand the impact we are dealing with here. Existing strategies would not gonna work in a world that is embedded in the next machine age.

We should prepare ourselves for that process, especially if t is already here.

In this post we explore the following questions: what does it take for a robot to understand given instructions and why it is so diverse from a limited machine.
Today the rise of “cognitive machines” is dawning. Brilliant technologies governing robotics demonstrates how they can now learn, predict, decide, and even “comprehend” with accelerating progress.

Think about your daily routine. Machines are used every moment we want to save time or rely on a task that should have a certain standard and characteristics. Coffee machines keep us awake, cars to stay on track a busy agenda of appointments, audio recorder to help us monitor the new creature arrived in our lives.

That is already happening, and we are not scared: the opposite.

Probably we should take already action in our places, preparing ourselves, investing time to understand what does it mean now or might intend tomorrow the machine age in our environment.

If we are not investing time, doing something, we are running the risk to be disrupted as the speed and the creative innovation scrolling through this stream in terms of applications, problem-solving, society and companies needs and challenges becomes higher. Everybody embracing the status quo is going to have a very tough time. Is like as trying to jump on a train that is already running: it is going to kill us, even before we might try to jump on it!

  • Can we try to discuss these points within our peers, family and colleagues?
  • How can we add value, practically, to improve our coexistence with automation and robotics?
  • How do we approach this field of AI platforms to augment values and finding out the right answer at the right moment with the relevant factors that define our needs and resources?

We have been talking on autonomous technologies in the field of machines automation. The future steps are how we can optimise improvement and data management thanks to a strategy that can use them, selling services that have a practical impact on a precise niche. Data are essential as they inform us on a field´s conditions and when we know them, clearly, investments can be directed to reinvent a way to solve the challenges they present. I think that a unique service can redefine a full workforce.

Rethinking on who, what, which conditions are part of a situation, we need to be able to make immediate decisions that are deployed using collaborative and smart machines support. We can better and quickly define or definitely solve our demanding tasks and procedures.

This conversation is written using a machine, though, a personal computer that is quickly reacting on my intention to type on the keyboard characters. However, even if I have the sensation it interacts with me smoothly, organizing them as I want, I cannot receive a concrete feedback from this current communication process. This is not yet possible.

It is science fiction, as even if sometimes I would be very glad to, I am not allowed to have a dialogue and brainstorming session with my PC…

I´ll see you in the next post, hoping you have a lovely Sunday and a great start in the week.


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