Author: Nancy A. Shenker

Captain Kirk

MEET CAPTAIN KIRK (James T. Kirk) WHY? Yes…we really mean THAT Captain Kirk…from the original Star Trek. In 1968 an episode called “The Ultimate Computer” aired. The M-5 system was designed to handle all ship functions without human assistance, not unlike the self-driving vehicles of today. But, of course, something went awry. At first, Kirk resisted the machine (like many of us do when faced with new technology). But the real human error emerged when the M-5’s inventor, Dr. Richard Daystrom, refused to believe that the machine needed some fine-tuning before it was given total control. In fact, because...

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MEET PEPPER WHY? Pepper the Robot (no gender specified) seems to be all over, having lived in Japanese homes and greeted customers at Pizza Hut and a hospital in Belgium. Pepper also hung out and danced with attendees at this year’s Collision Conference in New Orleans and dispensed cocktail recommendations at an AI Summit in Hong Kong. The humanoid droid was designed to collaborate with humans and respond to voice, motion, and other signals. The “robot as greeter” trend is in its early stages but, according to Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst (NPD Group) quoted in Market Watch:...

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Mark Cuban

MEET MARK CUBAN WHY? This billionaire “Shark” and Dallas Mavericks owner is putting his money where the machines are. At SXSW this year he predicted, “The world’s first trillionaire will be an AI entrepreneur.” He recently invested in Twitter because he was impressed by their AI initiatives. He even has some ideas for how the labor disruption caused by AI can be solved. In a recent interview published on the Axios site he proposed: “A lot of low-skilled jobs can be replaced by what will be an increased demand for data tagging and labeling. Not intellectually fulfilling work, but...

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