Society has long been comfortable with, indeed fascinated by, automation.
From the Ancient Greeks working to measure time accurately, to Georgian automaton toys, machines have been created to perform repeated identical tasks accurately. These actions can look quite complex, as in writing a letter in neat handwriting, but there is no thought process or artificial intelligence (AI) in these devices. If it wasn’t programmed in beforehand, then it just won’t happen.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers recommends that:
- The current UK Government Industrial Strategy increases its emphasis on research Innovate UK investments in digital technology, especially the Digital Catapult, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the Knowledge Transfer Network 4Manufacturing, are incentivised to work with schools, colleges and universities to strengthen the links between the needs of the digital economy, and current teaching and learning.
- A campaign of public engagement, building on Year of Engineering 2018, is created to increase public understanding, and also influence Government and industry policy regarding the future development and adoption of automation and autonomy for societal benefit.