Society, technology, and machines have come a long way from the horrifying smart house in the film Stepford Wives, but there are those who still believe we have reason to fear technological advances in the future. Of course, there are many others that claim we are perhaps hundreds of years (or more) away from being subdued by robot masters. Nevertheless, smart machines are becoming more and more interesting each day.
Smart-Tech-PhonesWe have all heard of a smartphone, and most of us own them. A smartphone is simply a mobile phone with a slew of additional, highly advanced features— touch screen display, WiFi connectivity, web browsing, and the ability to run a plethora of sophisticated applications…like Fruit Ninja. Basically, a smartphone is the love child of a cell phone and an old school PDA.
Smartphones are only one type of smart machine, a category that also encompasses smart glasses. Computer scientists are currently working on glasses for the blind that use a combination of cameras and headphones to see a landscape and then recreate a “soundscape” for the wearer. The glasses make use of our brain’s ability to place a sound, to be able to say if we heard the sound behind us, in front of us, or to the left or right. Other smart glasses are currently being developed and designed to identify the emotions of people with which we engage. The glasses make use of cameras, facial recognition technology, and an extensive database of facial expressions and emotions. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) the glasses test at 64% accuracy in identifying human emotions, compared to people who only test at 54% accuracy.
There are countless new machines that seem humanlike in their ability to operate independently, “think,” make decisions, and speak. It is a fascinating time to be alive! It’s too bad I don’t have a smart machine to go grocery shopping for me. Not yet, at least.