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“The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT,” David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow, declared recently. One in three jobs will be converted to software, robots, and smart machines by 2025, Gartner predicts.
Driving this phenomenon are improvements in hardware and software, including a profusion of fast and affordable sensors, wireless networks including short-range networks for machine-to-machine communications, GPS and other positioning technologies, machine vision, and machine learning.
Two important software platforms for autonomous, moving systems are Continuous Activity Scheduling Planning Execution and Re-planning (CASPER) and Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS), both from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Tying all this together for consumer systems — NASA already has its Mars rover program — will require huge amounts of engineering and testing. And there remain valid questions about autonomous systems and public safety.
Plus, as is usually the case, marketplace adoption for these systems might happen more slowly than advocates predict.