Siri and the Robot Hall of Fame

In the latest edition of Newsweek magazine, they have a cool set of the greatest robots of all time, in honor of Apple’s introduction of Siri, the technology that will let you use your new iPhone 4S by voice commands.

Here’s a link to Newsweek’s robot montage – but I’ve listed their picks below (which I can’t argue with!…)

1968 – HAL 9000 – The heuristically programmed algorithmic computer wreaked havoc in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  One of my colleagues at work told me that he heard that HAL’s soft male (and now creepy) voice is the reason why all computer voices, from navigation systems to Siri, are female.  I can’t blame them!…

1977 – R2-D2 – The astromech droid was a treasured hero in Star Wars, rolling around with C-3PO and helping Luke Skywalker find the Force.  Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I love the whole Star Wars universe (yes, even the prequels…)

1984 – The Terminator – Humanity survived the assault of Skynet’s rampaging artificial-intelligence machine. The state of California was not so lucky.   I had a recent conversation about the iPhone’s new Siri application (about how Siri could still command the iPhone even if the phone was locked), and we eventually got around to connecting this back to Skynet!…

1997 – Deep Blue – IBM’s chess-playing computer beat world champion Garry Kasparov, who accused it of cheating and demanded a rematch.  Tough day for humans who want to win at chess…

2000 – ASIMO – Honda’s 120-pound humanoid robot can recognize faces, follow the movement of objects in its field of vision, and run 3.7mph.  My daugther totally digs ASIMO – I’ve seen it about 3 or 4 times at Disneyland.  There’s kind of a sad video of ASIMO falling down trying to climb stairs – makes you really feel for the guy!…

2008 – WALL-E – Pixar’s beloved Hello, Dolly!–watching garbage collector has raked in more than $535 million in worldwide grosses.  Amazing that Steve Jobs had a role in this great robot as well, being the man who helped make Pixar the company that it is today.

2011 – Watson – The IBM supercomputer trounced two Jeopardy! champions this year, and can access 200 million pages of content in mere seconds.  This could be foundational technology for how computers solve challenging problems – pretty amazing stuff!…

2011:  Siri – Apple sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S units in three days on the strength of this voice-activated personal-assistant bot.  Siri could change the way we watch TV as well

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I currently serve as Vice President of Decision Science at CenturyLink. I've previously served as a leader in the Advanced Risk & Compliance Analytics (ARCA) practice at PwC and as Director of Data Science & Analytics Engineering at Areté Associates. I've served the public as Chair of the Thousand Oaks, CA Planning Commission. I have been married to my wife Stephanie since 1993, and we have a wonderful daughter Monroe. Learn more about me »

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