What Machines Can’t Do (Yet) in Real Work Settings

Across the vast range of real-world usage scenarios, there have been far more instances of augmentation of human work by smart machines than of full automation. That scenario is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Almost 30 years ago, Bob Thomas, then an MIT professor, published a book called “What Machines Can’t Do.” He was focused on manufacturing technology and argued that it wasn’t yet ready to take over the factory from humans. While recent developments with artificial intelligence have raised the bar considerably since then for what machines can do, there are still many things that they can’t do yet or at ...

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