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Smart machine

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To be considered a smart machine technology must

  • do what people thought only people could do; and
  • surprise us by doing things that people thought were impossible.


Smart machines can be divided into three categories:

Smart machines could conceivably:

  • replace people (e.g., forklift drivers)
  • assist people (e.g., carrying heavy equipment)
  • advise people (e.g., Watson)
  • observe and help people (e.g., the elderly or the infirm)
  • extend people (e.g., Google Glass)


  • IBM, The Big Data and Analytics Hub, "Rise of the smart machines nothing to fear (for now): Austin" (Oct. 9, 2013) (full-text).

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