Robots are becoming part of everyday life

Jul 18, 2006

The advent of robots is no longer an idea of science fiction, but is quickly becoming an intrinsic part of our daily lives.

There now exist robots that vacuum our floors, challenge us with humanlike behavior in video games, guard against swimming pool drowning, respond to our voice commands in some automobile models, and provide us with directory assistance and, perhaps more often than we like, guide us through voice mail procedures.

Even the name is changing.

The research field that produced many of today's robots -- artificial intelligence -- is now being called cognitive computing as it makes rapid progress toward simulating the human brain, The New York Times reported.

"There is a new synthesis of four fields, including mathematics, neuroscience, computer science and psychology," Dharmendra Modha, an IBM computer scientist told The Times. "The implication of this is amazing. What you are seeing is that cognitive computing is at a cusp where it's knocking on the door of potentially mainstream applications."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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