Now here we have a moral quandary. A robot named Clarke is able to sort out waste materials 50% quicker than humans can. On the one hand, we have the existential dread brought on by headlines like “Robots are coming for your job!” and on the other, we have the fact that in doing our jobs better than we can, they are saving the world.
Clark still has a long way to go before he can sort out all types of waste, like his human overlords can, but he is definitely showing signs of progress. Developed by AMP Robotic, Clark is able to sort out 60 items a minute with a 90% success rate. The robot uses artificial intelligence and a visible light camera to identify items made of a certain material and then suction cups and a robotic arm to separate them from the other items around it.
At the moment, Clark is only able to identify less than 1% of all items that require recycling but his machine learning code means that his programming will be constantly improving itself. The more jobs Clark has to do, the more types of recyclable Clark will be able to identify. Mantanya Horowitz, founder of AMP said:
“Even though this first system is picking cartons, it’s actually watching and learning from all the other commodities that it’s seeing as well. That’s what’s really exciting. The more systems that we have out there, the better they’re going to be.”
So which side of the fence do you fall on then? Would you let a robot take your job if it meant saving the world?