While it's a bit premature to start fearing for your job just yet, robots are on the rise in the restaurant sector. The US' influential National Restaurant Association show in Chicago featured three robots this year: a sushi bot that can make 3,600 pieces of nigiri per hour; a vending-machine-style robot that makes bespoke salads and a robotic fry cook. More impressively, over in Japan, Pizza Hut is trialling a robotic waiter called Pepper. If the promotional video is to be believed, the 3ft humanoid is extremely sophisticated, verbally interacting with diners in much the same way as a human being. It can even respond to questions about dietary requirements, giving info on calorie counts and fat content.
We won't have robot doctors for a long time, but the human doctors we have now are beginning to lean on specialized artificial intelligence to help save time. Google DeepMind just announced a partnership with University College London Hospital which will explore using artificial intelligence to treat patients with head and neck cancers. The goal is to develop tools to automatically identify cancerous cells for radiology machines. Currently, radiologists employ a manual process, called image segmentation, to take CT and MRI scans and use them to create a map of the patient's anatomy with clear guidelines of where to direct the radiation. Avoiding healthy areas of the head and neck requires that map to be extraordinarily detailed; typically it takes four hours to create.
Two London trusts have become the first in UK to establish data sharing between their Cerner Health Information Exchanges, covering a population of 1.3 million people. Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust went live on with the connection 12 July, with clinicians in both acute hospitals able to view a summarised care record from the other site. The visible information for each trust includes discharge summaries, diagnosis, medications, investigations and results. Niall Canavan, Homerton Hospital's director of information technology, said the next step was "to open this data to any contributing partner organisation in east London". Charles Gutteridge, Barts' chief clinical information officer, said the move had been "relatively simple to do, as Homerton also used the Cerner Millennium system, but a really big step forward".
Robotic weapons have become so advanced that top military experts in the US fear the plot of the sci-fi film'Terminator' could come true. Huge technological leaps forward in drones, artificial intelligence and autonomous weapon systems must be addressed before humanity is driven to extinction by mechanical overlords like in the 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger classic, according to Pentagon chiefs. Air Force General Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the US Defense Department, said so-called thinking weapons could lead to: "Robotic systems to do lethal harm... a Terminator without a conscience." When asked about robotic weapons able to make their own decisions, he said: "Our job is to defeat the enemy" but "it is governed by law and by convention." He says the military insists on keeping humans in the decision-making process to "inflict violence on the enemy".
Autonomous delivery bots have hit the streets in Washington, D.C., and Redwood City, California, the first two U.S. cities to give the thumbs up to a test run by robotics startup Starship Technologies. According to Recode, the robots started making food deliveries on behalf of Postmates and DoorDash beginning Wednesday. The robots cruise the sidewalk at 4 mph and navigate using nine cameras, GPS, and artificial intelligence software. They are designed to constantly relay information about their route to the entire fleet, allowing them to travel more efficiently over time. According to the company, the bots can traverse curbs and small rocks, and they're smart enough to avoid people and animals.