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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:
- Movers: autonomous robots that can move items from points A to B without human intervention.
- Doers: robots that use sensors, cameras and machine learning to perform complex tasks like scheduling or handling and manipulating small objects.
- Sages: Information-based helpers that rely on context and a familiarity with their users' environments and patterns to provide options and recommendations.
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)