Smart Machines Increasingly Driven by Connectivity, Political Choice

In the News
April 08, 2017

Smart machines are no longer over some distant horizon; they’re nearly within reach.

Robots are communicating with one another and designing future iterations of themselves. Drones may soon check people crossing borders — miles before they cross them. In the next few years, artificial intelligence could design custom drugs, as a gap widens between nations over regulating and adopting self-driving cars.

Robotics Business Review has partnered with me to bring you a weekly roundup of the top robotics developments. This week, I jump from AI and designer drugs to border-control drones and more. Are you ready to be updated?

AI might soon design medicines

A team at Stanford University has developed an algorithm that can, based on the data given, identify the toxicity and side effects of different chemicals. These advances could allow pharmaceutical companies to use AI to predict chemical interactions at an early stage of drug design.

This algorithm is just one example of the growing ability of smart machines to help carry out complex tasks related to healthcare. Tomorrow, deep learning could customize existing medications to work with people of different blood types, weight classes, age brackets, and more.

They might also create personalized drugs for individual patients on demand. In short, AI could be the future chemist, doctor, and pharmacist in one.

The pharmaceutical industry is already heavily invested in automation and expects to increase its use of robots to ensure product quality and for packaging.

GM connects 7,500 workers

General Motors Co., the world’s largest automaker, said it has connected an estimated 7,500 factory robots (out of a total of 30,000) to the Internet. This connectivity allows GM’s robots to share data faster and help teams identify problems before they result in manufacturing slowdowns.

GM’s connected robots represent a key element of the so-called factory of the future and the Internet of Things (IoT). It isn’t just about enabling faster manufacturing or streamlining costs.

It also isn’t just about deploying thousands of robots to assist or replace humans. True, the global automotive robotics market will grow at more than 11% from 2016 to 2025, predicts Hexa Research.

A key element of the future factory is that smart machines are connected to one another as well as to company servers and human eyes. This ensures that industrial automation can lead to optimized operations across the enterprise, better insights, and a better competitive position.

Drones to replace security cameras on borders

Robotics and AI will likely be a major part of border security efforts, particularly on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. President Donald Trump’s proposed...

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