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A Look at Cafe X, Featuring a Robot Barista

Matt Sky
8 ay önce5 görüntüleme
A Look at Cafe X, Featuring a Robot Barista
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We’ve seen machines that can drive cars, diagnose complex diseases and put on spectacular Super Bowl light shows, but what about brewing up a delicious cup of coffee? Time to meet the incredible robot barista at Cafe X. To be clear, Cafe X isn’t exactly a typical cafe with tons of wannabe novelists glancing around hoping to meet that special somebody. Cafe X is a kiosk at the Metreon Shopping Center in San Francisco (there’s also one in Hong Kong) with a robot behind glass that prepares coffee on demand. Ordering is simple: Tell the Cafe X barista what you want through its app or an iPad located at the kiosk. Serving coffee from AKA Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters and Peet’s, Cafe X’s robot barista can prepare several drinks at the same time with each drink often taking less than 30 seconds to prepare. After customers tell the robot their specifications, like how much caramel to put in a latte, the machine texts users a four digit code they can use to open a hatch and receive their drink.

The implications of technology like this is enormous. A robot barista can dramatically change the way we order coffee; rather than waiting in long lines for human workers to personally prepare various drinks under pressure, Cafe X streamlines the entire process. For customers, there’s no need to even be friendly to anyone; just walk over, order and head out with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Not bad for those of us who need a cup of coffee before we can even remotely begin interacting with anyone.

The idea is for Cafe X to exist in busy terminals, where regular customers can order in advance on their phones. Instead of standing in long lines, people are able to make a quick stop by the kiosk, grab a freshly made cup of coffee and go. While it’s fun to watch the robotic arm prepare coffee, the most efficient and exciting potential of machines like these are for people to arrive with their orders ready before they even get there. It’s all about rapid, automated tech doing what it needs to do as seamlessly and affordably as possible.

Cafe X’s prices are pretty reasonable too, with coffees starting at just $2.25 for an 8 oz cup, cheaper than typical prices for a cup of coffee in San Francisco. The venture is backed by $5 million in VC funding with help from heavy hitters like Jason Calacanis and The Thiel Foundation.

When this machine gets to work, it’s hard not to start wondering if robots could be capable of taking on additional complex tasks like food or bartending. Basically anything where there’s a need for speed, precision and serving many customers simultaneously. Talking to Wired, Cafe X founder and CEO Henry Hu explains how this kind of automation could be seen across the entire food industry noting that “cafes are not just coffee.”

According to Cafe X, this kind of automation coupled with its capacity to learn allows the company to focus its energy on the quality of the coffee they serve. They explain on their web site, “The Cafe X system is designed for humans and robots to collaborate. Smart robotics and machine learning working autonomously allows our operations team to focus on sourcing and using fresh ingredients, maintaining extremely high hygiene standards, and ensuring a great customer experience with every single interaction.” With machines and automation starting to take on jobs of all kinds, it looks like a bright future ahead for robots (and coffee lovers) at least.

With AI, Could Doctors of the Future Be Machines?

Matt Sky
8 ay önce12 görüntüleme
With AI, Could Doctors of the Future Be Machines?
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As artificial intelligence continues to grow in sophistication, experts are wondering whether machines could one day replace doctors, teachers, lawyers or other workers in mainstream professions. This is particularly true in medicine, where advanced technology is becoming increasingly capable of delivering powerful diagnostic information to patients without a doctor. Analysis of X-Rays, CT scans and image analysis could be the first areas to be significantly impacted.

In an interview with Wired magazine, Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute describes radiologists, dermatologists and pathologists as having jobs most at risk for being replaced by AI.

“These three areas will be the first strike,” he explains. “Then we’ll start to see it across the board for medicine.”

Artificial intelligence and machines already impacting medicine today

Physicians and computer scientists at Stanford tested the performance of a deep learning algorithm trained to analyze skin lesions (keratinocyte carcinomas versus benign seborrheic keratoses; and malignant melanomas versus benign nevi) against 21 board-certified dermatologists. The first case identifies common cancers, while the second one identifies malignant melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. The results, published in Nature, explain that the deep learning algorithm was “on par with all tested experts across both tasks, demonstrating an artificial intelligence capable of classifying skin cancer with a level of competence comparable to dermatologists.”

Technology in some ways is already replacing doctors, or at least traditional roles performed by doctors, as pointed out in a 2016 article from the Harvard Business Review. For example, they explain that the WebMD network (a popular set of sites for diagnosing medical issues) receives more monthly visits than all doctors in the United States. The authors dispute arguments that technology couldn’t replace human jobs due to judgement, creativity or empathy, asserting that a lot of seemingly sophisticated work can be broken down into routine tasks.“The first problem with this position is empirical. As our research shows, when professional work is broken down into component parts, many of the tasks involved turn out to be routine and process-based. They do not, in fact, call for judgment, creativity, or empathy.”

They also argue against what’s considered the AI Fallacy, in which machines are only capable of outperforming people by duplicating the way they work. Rather, they can analyze data in a different, often more powerful way.

“The error here is not recognizing that human professionals are already being outgunned by a combination of brute processing power, big data, and remarkable algorithms. These systems do not replicate human reasoning and thinking,” they explain. For example, “when the probable outcomes of epidemics can be better gauged on the strength of past medical data than on medical science, we are witnessing the work of high-performing, unthinking machines.”

Adapting our jobs to changes in technology

Topol, talking to Wired, explains that rather than being replaced by machines, doctors and medical professionals of the future can adapt, leaving certain tasks to machines while focusing on other areas. He explains, “Most doctors in these fields are overtrained to do things like screen images for lung and breast cancers. Those tasks are ideal for delegation to artificial intelligence.”

The idea is that as we delegate certain tasks to machines, medical professionals will be able to oversee broader trends and develop more detailed treatment modalities. AI, in this sense, would be seen as being able to dramatically improve the efficiency of doctors rather than rendering professionals in these areas obsolete.

IBM’s AI platform, Watson has generated a great deal of attention for its medical diagnostic capabilities among other things (like winning Jeopardy). As profiled by SiliconANGLE, Watson was able to successfully diagnose the type of leukemia in a patient at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science and offer a more effective treatment method than earlier attempts by doctors. WIth enough genetic information, SiliconANGLE writes that “tools like Watson could be used for everything from diagnosing rare illnesses to prescribing perfectly correct dosages of medicine based on each patient’s personal genetic makeup.”

However, while exciting opportunities exist for AI in medicine, it’s pointed out that limits still exist today, particularly in the area of detecting rare diseases where little data would be available. For now, at least, it would appear that humans and machines are most effective at performing medicine together, with AI augmenting a practitioner’s ability to diagnose and treat illnesses, rather than replacing doctors altogether.

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MrGadget
Gadgets, devices, wearables and other electronic tech | a Topaz 💎channel