In his session at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Fellow Tom Austin revealed that the latest advancements in algorithms, hardware, networks and big data have paved the way for the emergence of smart machines — an era in which is now primed and ready to become one of, if not, the most disruptive in history.
As recently reported on Bits & Pieces, smart machines are among the research firm’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 and beyond. Gartner notes that intelligent machines will continue to evolve from mere prototypes to actual autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors.
“Companies are building virtual personal assistants that will watch users’ actions — what they read, what they ignore, whom they listen to, what they say, which meetings they go to and which they skip, and so forth — to learn what they might do to make those users more productive,” Gartner writes.
What are some examples of these so-called smart machines? These range from self-driving trucks, unmanned aerial vehicles and virtual customer assistance to proactive search tools, natural-language understanding and real-time speech-to-speech language translation systems. Although Gartner classifies all these as “smart machines,” some may, in fact, be smarter than others.
In fact, autonomous vehicles — which will reshape transportation, logistics, distribution and supply chain management — are set to disrupt the business dynamics of at least one-third of the industries in the developed world. Gartner adds, “This is far more than a matter of eye-catching, futuristic devices like Google’s driverless cars, Jeff Bezos’ aerial delivery drones and Kiva Systems’ smart warehouse robots.”
Smart machines are defined by several key attributes. Among the traits, the firm believes these devices deal with very high levels of complexity and uncertainty in forming hypotheses based on what they have learned and testing those hypotheses to refine probabilistic conclusions. Furthermore, they have developed a better understanding of task-specific contexts than many people had predicted.
Whether it’s connected cars, delivery drones, autonomous robots or other smart machines, you can be assured Atmel microcontrollers will be at the heart of tomorrow’s intelligent world.