Android Optics

a robotic eye

The field of robotics is exploding, here in 2019. Precision manufacturing, materials science, mechanical engineering and machine learning are all coming together to create creatures getting stunningly close to what we would think of as an android. We have robots that can run and jump without falling over (most of the time), a whole fleet of warehouse and production robots with arms, wheels, and even rotor blades to move matter around. Our cars are on the verge of driving themselves, and our most complicated computers are learning to detect illness and cancer long before most human observers. But while the world looks like it's in the opening phases of the robotic revolution, we still get some peculiar headlines. This week, some researchers at Google let us know that their very exciting medical imaging AI just told them with 100% confidence that a picture of a cat was actually guacamole. There's more to the story of course, but it's a good reminder that we have to build our tools to teach us how to find answers, not to blindly trust them just because they are more accurate than we are.