Thursday, July 5, 2012

Automate or Perish


"Successful businesses will be those that optimize the mix of humans, robots, and algorithms," says the MIT Technology Review

... although the first trading robot was built 25 years ago, most of the change on Wall Street has occurred during just the last few years. When it comes to automation, we may be in the elbow of an exponential curve.

Some say what's taking shape is a more productive symbiosis between man and machine—and successful businesses will be the ones that optimize it. Rodney Brooks, founder of ReThink Robotics in Boston, believes that a new type of general-purpose robot could reinvigorate manufacturing. The machines he's building aren't hardwired for any one job; they're flexible, so many types of businesses could use them for a variety of production tasks. The company's aim is to democratize automation the way the PC did for computing, spurring similar efficiency gains.

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