Robots Have Built Cars For a Long Time, But

Toyota Camry Hybrid Factory Robots at the Altona plant in Melbourne, Australia

We are all aware that most of the worlds cars are produced by robots, because they have process repeatability. But now robots are doing other jobs.

Robots  entered into the financial arena a while back with machines that trade securities faster and better than humans. These machines can make money with only very small movements (less than 1 mil) in an equity.

Recently a company called Momentum Machines produced a robot, Alpha machine, that cooks up a tasty burger with all the fixins. And it does it with such quality and efficiency it’ll produce “gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.”

With a conveyor belt-type system the burgers are freshly ground, shaped and grilled to the customer’s liking. And only when the burger’s finished cooking does Alpha slice the tomatoes and pickles and place them on the burger as fresh as can be. Finally, the machine wraps the burger up for serving.

Alpha churns out a painless 360 hamburgers per hour. Saving money with Alpha is pretty easy to imagine. You don’t even need cashiers or servers. Customers could just punch in their order, pay, and wait at a dispensing window.

For their next model Momentum Machines plans on adding a custom meat grinding feature so it can mix different meats – 1/3 pork, 2/3 bison sounds like a tasty combo – in the same burger. They’ll also give it gourmet cooking abilities that seasoned chefs use such as charring the burger while retaining its juiciness.

The company plans on launching the first ever restaurant chain with a cook staff made entirely of robots. But not only might we soon find Alpha’s creations at local burger joints, but the company is also targeting convenience stores, food trucks, and somehow even vending machines.

Well, it’s about what has affected employment and how, even on the lower end of the employment scale, it will be affected in the future: robots replacing humans even via flipping burgers!

I can hear some people saying “Hey, that is what the unskilled get when they don’t have an education. They lose their job to a robot.”

Wonder how those same people will react to this?

If you recall an IBM supercomputer challenged several humans for brainpower superiority about 18 months ago. You may also recall that IBMs supercomputer, Watson, crushed the humanoid competition.

The original Watson was really big. It consisted of 90 IBM Power 750 servers, which took up 10 full racks of space. It had nearly 3,000 CPU cores and 15 terabytes of RAM. That is a lot of processors and ram!

Now, however, Watson can fit in a pizza box – just ONE rack, yet is 240% more powerful. The key to the slimmed down Watson rig is improved processing algorithms, but also domain specialization. Previously Watson had to be able to scan huge amounts of data and spit out an answer.

But the robot makers aren’t just moving down the job scale – but up too.  Soon, they could be replacing doctors. Health care decisions don’t have to be made instantly — Watson can churn through the medical data for a few seconds before rendering a decision. Plus, the field of study is also much more narrow.

IBM has entered into an arrangement with Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint to bring Watson’s expertise to the medical field. Doctors will be able to run the variables through Watson to get suggestions on possible treatments based on giant blocks of medical data.

WellPoint points out that doctors miss early stage lung cancer diagnoses about half the time. Watson, on the other hand, is able to get the right diagnosis on these same cases 90% of the time. Although, Watson will still hedge its bets: When a medical professional consults the system, they will receive results on an iPad or computer in about 30 seconds with possible courses of action sorted by confidence level.

If Watson proves to be a success, more consumer-facing applications could be coming down the road.IBM is working with Nuance Communications to develop the system, and Nuance has plenty of consumer products (such as the voice-recognition part of Siri).

So in the not too distant future, you might have a computer to thank for your health.

The full articles can be read here: Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour and Watson Replaces Doctors