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December 14, 2016

Futureproofing Concepts: Autonomy vs. Automation

autonomy vs automation

Understanding the differences between Autonomy and Automation is part of the key to understanding why the robots of the future are not the same ones that have displaced workers in the past.

Kyle Fox, Sr. Systems Engineering Manager (Combat Systems and Platform Integration),  at Raytheon, published slides online to describe the differences between Autonomy and Automation. While the set of slides posted were geared towards combat systems, this concept applies to many industries.

It all comes down to intelligence.

Automation: little to no human operator involvement.

Well-defined tasks that have predetermined responses, i.e. rule-based responses in reasonably well-known and structured environments.

Autonomy: Systems have a set of intelligence-based capabilities or learning adaptive capabilities that allow it to respond within a bounded domain to situations that were not pre-programmed or anticipated in the design.

Degree of self-governance and self-directed behavior and must be adaptive to and/or learn from an ever-changing environment (with the human’s proxy for decisions).

As Autonomy increases so does a greater need to have human interaction.

Jobs of the future will require employees to build that boundary of intelligence. Allowing autonomy to create the products and provide the services. This “boundary” does not necessary have to be the intelligence module of these machines, so it will take an ingenuity and ambition to find where your career will take you.

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Let us know what you think! Comment below and tell us how you believe that this change in thinking will change your job?