Smart Technology Changes Operations

Can Humans and Machines Peacefully Co-Exist In the Future?

By Katherine Bonfante

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For some time, we have been saying that all the smart technology we have developed could someday take over our jobs, and maybe even the world. Futuristic movies portray our world being run by humanoid robots such as Data, C-3PO, RoboCop, T-800 and WALL•E. So why not think that humanity will perish in the days ahead?

Well, if we work in collaboration with smart machines, the future doesn't have to be human-free. There can be a balance where machines and humans co-exist happily and we humans don't have to fear technology rebelling and wiping us out.

SEE ALSO: OEMs Focus on Building Smarter Machines

We share the planet peacefully with different artificial intelligence devices, and there's no pandemonium. OK, sometimes there is, but this happens mainly when our dependence on smart technology is abruptly interrupted.

We live in harmony with all this technology thanks to industrial Internet, which Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, describes as an open, global network that connects people, data and machines. Industrial Internet is not about a world run by robots, he says; it's about combining the world's best technologies to solve our biggest challenges. Read more about this in "The Future of the Internet Is Intelligent Machines."

If we are smart enough to use technology to our advantage, life can get better and easier for us. Here at ControlDesign.com, we have published articles in which we show how smart technology does just that. Take for example "Smart Objects Can Communicate Worldwide Using Internet Protocol." In this article, Mike Bacidore talks about how companies like Intel, Bosch and Johnson Controls have integrated Internet protocols with "smart objects" that combine processing power, communications capabilities and a power source to provide real-time information to a computer system. This has made the jobs of many industry professionals a lot easier.

Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert also touches on how technology makes industry jobs effortless. In "Remote Access Makes New Connections," Hebert says that because of the Internet and cellphone technology, industry professionals can now connect many machines and share data. Robot OEMs, for example, use cellphone apps for remote access, both via browser and apps. Read the full article to see how companies such as Komax Solar and Prism Systems are using cellular technology and industrial Internet to run their machines.

If you believe that connecting operating machines to the Internet is dangerous, you should read "Machine Tools on the Internet." Yes, monitoring your industrial processes on the World Wide Web is risky business, but it has its benefits. Integrating this technology in your facility can allow you to make accurate statements about the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your machines.

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