Support includes the tools that testers use to move faster or extend their reach. Software to generate random names to use for input, or test data in general, falls into this category, as well as software to create screen captures and videos. This type of software exists to record all of the interactions that a tester has had with various fields, simulators for mobile devices, and developer environments that blend into the background and pop-up on command to record notes.

As the editor of MIT Technology Review, I spend much of my time thinking about the types of stories and journalism that will be most valuable to our readers. What do curious, well-informed readers need to know about emerging technologies? As a… More writer, I am particularly interested these days in the intersection of chemistry, materials science, energy, manufacturing, and economics.


Let’s assume that computers are going to make their mark in your line of work. Indeed, let’s posit that software will soon perform most of the cognitive heavy lifting you do in your job and, as far as the essential day-to-day operation of the enterprise is concerned, make decisions as good as (probably better than) those made by 90% of the people who currently hold it. What should your strategy be to remain gainfully employed? From an augmentation perspective, people might renegotiate their relationship to machines and realign their contributions in five ways.
Automation professionals do and will continue to play a crucial role in protecting us from cyber-attack; enhancing our quality of life; and ensuring the reliability, efficiency, safety, constant improvement, and competitiveness of our electric power systems, transportation systems, manufacturing operations, and industry as a whole. Without these individuals, we cannot advance into the future.
During a recent consulting assignment, a tester told me he spent 90 percent of his time setting up test conditions. The application allowed colleges and other large organizations to configure their workflow for payment processing. One school might set up self-service kiosks, while another might have a cash window where the teller could only authorize up to a certain dollar amount. Still others might require a manager to cancel or approve a transaction over a certain dollar amount. Some schools took certain credit cards, while others accepted cash only. To reproduce any of these conditions, the tester had to log in, create a workflow manually, and establish a set of users with the right permissions before finally doing the testing. When we talked about automation approaches, our initial conversation was about tools to drive the user interface. For example, a batch script like this:
Sid Bala, President and CEO of alligatortek, notes, “For us, a process that used to take up to a week has now been reduced to minutes, meaning that fresh produce gets into the hands of those who need it faster than ever before. In just one year, a national nonprofit connected 128 million pounds of fresh produce to Americans facing hunger — an increase of 9 percent over last year’s produce donation. alligatortek developed the Produce Donor Portal, a cloud-based site that gives a national nonprofit more automation and quicker workflow.”
These success factors make RPA a reasonable, low cost and lower risk entry-level approach to AI even if the technology is not very smart today.  RPA nicely lays the foundation for more intelligent applications later. And even without the potential of more intelligent RPA, the ease of implementation and rapid ROI from many RPA projects makes them worth strong consideration for almost any firm today.
The term automation was coined in the automobile industry about 1946 to describe the increased use of automatic devices and controls in mechanized production lines. The origin of the word is attributed to D.S. Harder, an engineering manager at the Ford Motor Company at the time. The term is used widely in a manufacturing context, but it is also applied outside manufacturing in connection with a variety of systems in which there is a significant substitution of mechanical, electrical, or computerized action for human effort and intelligence.
The technology of automation has evolved from the related field of mechanization, which had its beginnings in the Industrial Revolution. Mechanization refers to the replacement of human (or animal) power with mechanical power of some form. The driving force behind mechanization has been humankind’s propensity to create tools and mechanical devices. Some of the important historical developments in mechanization and automation leading to modern automated systems are described here.
For very simple software, the bug reports might be tracked with sticky notes or spreadsheets. But when the software is more complex, these become unwieldy, and companies need to turn to software designed for the task. Typically, professional bug trackers report on bug severity, priority, when the defect was discovered, exact reproduction steps, who fixed it, what build it was fixed in, as well as searching and tagging mechanisms to simplify finding a defect. These tools don't just assist programmers and project managers; customer service and existing users can use these tools to find out if an issue is known, if it is scheduled for fixing, escalating known issues and entering unknown ones. Bug tracking tools can also help with the workflow, because bugs can be assigned to programmers, then to testers to recheck, then marked to be deployed, and then, after the release, marked as deployed.
But the smart home is evolving, and hubs are starting to feel a bit of a squeeze. Worthwhile standalone devices like the Amazon Echo can wrangle gadgets in a lot of the same ways as dedicated hubs -- and developers are falling over themselves to hop on board. Some have all but left the traditional hubs in the dust. Manufacturers have taken notice, and some have started working to integrate hub technology into existing devices with standalone appeal -- things like appliances, routers, and smart TVs. As a result, don't be surprised if the next generation of hubs are essentially invisible.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started the research and development of automated visual surveillance and monitoring (VSAM) program, between 1997 and 1999, and airborne video surveillance (AVS) programs, from 1998 to 2002. Currently, there is a major effort underway in the vision community to develop a fully automated tracking surveillance system. Automated video surveillance monitors people and vehicles in real time within a busy environment. Existing automated surveillance systems are based on the environment they are primarily designed to observe, i.e., indoor, outdoor or airborne, the amount of sensors that the automated system can handle and the mobility of sensor, i.e., stationary camera vs. mobile camera. The purpose of a surveillance system is to record properties and trajectories of objects in a given area, generate warnings or notify designated authority in case of occurrence of particular events.[70]
“When I started, my job literally took me eight hours a day,” an early self-automator, whom I’ll call Gary, told me. He worked for a large corporate hotel chain that was beginning to computerize its workflow in the ’90s. Gary quickly recognized that he was spending a lot of his time repeating the same tasks, so he started learning to code after-hours. “Over the course of about three months, I built a piece of code in Lotus [1-2-3, then a popular PC spreadsheet program] that not only automated individual repetitive tasks, it effectively automated the entire job,” he says. He didn’t tell his bosses exactly what he had done, and the quality of his working life improved considerably.
The Echo is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, Amazon's handy voice assistant. Alexa works with a number of smart home devices directly, as well as with If This Then That (IFTTT) to control plenty of others via "recipes" you can create yourself. It'll take some work, but you can use Alexa to control most of the gadgets in your house by the sound of your voice. If you already have a favorite speaker, the inexpensive Echo Dot can connect to it and add Alexa functionality. And if you want a touch screen to see search results and make video calls, check out the Echo Show or Echo Spot.
One coder described keeping the fact that he’d fully automated his job from his company because he feared it would claim the IP as its own and refuse to compensate him. Another, who asked to be identified only as Jordan, told me he had once inadvertently automated an entire department into redundancy. He now saves “several weeks’” worth of time a year with automation scripts. Jordan says he and his colleagues keep a tight lid on their automation techniques, to maintain control over how they’re used: “We generally keep these tools to ourselves.”
Ethan H. Goodman, Digital Marketing Manager of DubSEO Limited, says, “All business growth is directly or indirectly tied to your ability to automate your business. The advantage of business automation is the ability to increase efficiency and productivity. People generally function well when they are put in positions that motivate them. The reality is that most routine activities aren’t motivating or exciting. This means that your employees will simply go through the motions without putting in 100 percent. The best part of business automation is that you spend less time on routine tasks by letting your software or outsourced agency handle that part of your business while you focus on growth and expansion.

Like BPA, RPA can reduce human error and the cost of employing a large staff. Bots do not require custom software, and they are fairly low cost and simple to integrate. According to McKinsey & Company, the return on investment for RPA varies between 30-200 percent in the first year, mainly in labor savings. One company in banking was able to add 85 bots with the capacity of 200 staff members, cutting its recruiting cost by 30 percent.
Home automation is part of "The Internet of Things," also known as IoT. The way devices and appliances can be networked together to provide us with seamless control over all aspects of your home and more. Home automation has been around for many decades in terms of lighting and simple appliance control. Recently technology caught up with the idea of the interconnected world at the touch of your fingertips or a simple voice command to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana. The dream of making your home smart is now a reality. Smart Home and home automation are quite interchangeable, in fact, if you research what is a smart home most of the same results will appear.
The economic anxiety over AI and automation is real and shouldn’t be dismissed. But there is no reversing technological progress. We will need the economic boost from these technologies to improve the lackluster productivity growth that is threatening many people’s financial prospects. Furthermore, the progress AI promises in medicine and other areas could greatly improve how we live. Yet if we fail to use the technology in a way that benefits as many people as possible (see “Who Will Own the Robots?”), we risk fueling public resentment of automation and its creators. The danger is not so much a direct political backlash—though the history of the Luddites suggests it could happen—but, rather, a failure to embrace and invest in the technology’s abundant possibilities.
Not only might automation and AI prove particularly prone to replacing human workers, but the effects might not be offset by the government policies that have softened the blow of such transitions in the past. Initiatives like improved retraining for workers who have lost their jobs to automation, and increased financial protections for those seeking new careers, are steps recommended by the White House report. But there appears to be no political appetite for such programs.
While ensuring quality at all times is of utmost importance to this model, it’s not all that counts. The speed at which all of the development and testing occurs also matters quite a lot. That’s because if something in the pipeline stalls or breaks down, it holds up everything else and slows down the release of new developments. And given that the need to deliver new releases faster and on a more regular basis paved the way for this continuous delivery and testing model, that roadblock defeats the purpose of taking this approach.
!function(e){function n(t){if(r[t])return r[t].exports;var i=r[t]={i:t,l:!1,exports:{}};return e[t].call(i.exports,i,i.exports,n),i.l=!0,i.exports}var t=window.webpackJsonp;window.webpackJsonp=function(n,r,o){for(var s,a,l=0,u=[];l1)for(var t=1;tf)return!1;if(h>c)return!1;var e=window.require.hasModule("shared/browser")&&window.require("shared/browser");return!e||!e.opera}function a(){var e=o(d);d=[],0!==e.length&&u("/ajax/log_errors_3RD_PARTY_POST",{errors:JSON.stringify(e)})}var l=t("./third_party/tracekit.js"),u=t("./shared/basicrpc.js").rpc;l.remoteFetching=!1,l.collectWindowErrors=!0,l.report.subscribe(r);var c=10,f=window.Q&&window.Q.errorSamplingRate||1,d=[],h=0,p=i(a,1e3),m=window.console&&!(window.NODE_JS&&window.UNIT_TEST);n.report=function(e){try{m&&console.error(e.stack||e),l.report(e)}catch(e){}};var w=function(e,n,t){r({name:n,message:t,source:e,stack:l.computeStackTrace.ofCaller().stack||[]}),m&&console.error(t)};n.logJsError=w.bind(null,"js"),n.logMobileJsError=w.bind(null,"mobile_js")},"./shared/globals.js":function(e,n,t){var r=t("./shared/links.js");(window.Q=window.Q||{}).openUrl=function(e,n){var t=e.href;return r.linkClicked(t,n),window.open(t).opener=null,!1}},"./shared/links.js":function(e,n){var t=[];n.onLinkClick=function(e){t.push(e)},n.linkClicked=function(e,n){for(var r=0;r>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0,r=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,i=0;i>>0;if(0===i)return-1;var o=+n||0;if(Math.abs(o)===Infinity&&(o=0),o>=i)return-1;for(t=Math.max(o>=0?o:i-Math.abs(o),0);t>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=0;r>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError(e+" is not a function");for(arguments.length>1&&(t=n),r=new Array(s),i=0;i>>0;if("function"!=typeof e)throw new TypeError;for(var r=[],i=arguments.length>=2?arguments[1]:void 0,o=0;o>>0,i=0;if(2==arguments.length)n=arguments[1];else{for(;i=r)throw new TypeError("Reduce of empty array with no initial value");n=t[i++]}for(;i>>0;if(0===i)return-1;for(n=i-1,arguments.length>1&&(n=Number(arguments[1]),n!=n?n=0:0!==n&&n!=1/0&&n!=-1/0&&(n=(n>0||-1)*Math.floor(Math.abs(n)))),t=n>=0?Math.min(n,i-1):i-Math.abs(n);t>=0;t--)if(t in r&&r[t]===e)return t;return-1};t(Array.prototype,"lastIndexOf",c)}if(!Array.prototype.includes){var f=function(e){"use strict";if(null==this)throw new TypeError("Array.prototype.includes called on null or undefined");var n=Object(this),t=parseInt(n.length,10)||0;if(0===t)return!1;var r,i=parseInt(arguments[1],10)||0;i>=0?r=i:(r=t+i)<0&&(r=0);for(var o;r
Normally, customers reach out to your company with an issue. They must explain the issue to every person they encounter, and the response time can vary widely. It is difficult to track where the problems initiate and whether the patterns could be systemic. Your customers’ ability to find a solutions usually depends on the knowledge of the team member they reach.
Some will step up to even higher levels of cognition, where machines can’t follow. Some will step aside, drawing on forms of intelligence that machines lack. Some will step in, to monitor and adjust computers’ decision making. Some will step narrowly into very specialized realms of expertise. And, inevitably, some will step forward, by creating next-generation machines and finding new ways for them to augment the human strengths of workers.

Likewise, a Feedback Control System is a system which tends to maintain a prescribed relationship of one system variable to another by comparing functions of these variables and using the difference as a means of control.[6] The advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries, is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range.[7][8] The theoretical basis of closed loop automation is control theory.
A wide selection of workflow automation software can help you get started. Most of this software helps you build your workflow diagrams with inputs, outputs, and rules for how the system behaves. It then acts as your management system and allows you to tweak and reorganize your workflows over time. However, some workflow software acts as a link between disparate software applications. This type of software uses open application program interfaces (APIs) to integrate the most popular software systems and create workflows from different programs.
Approval Management – Let’s say you’re working in procurement & are ordering the new machinery. For the order to be completed, it has to go through the approval of 5 different general managers. Without automation, you’d have to hunt down each management member & ask for signatures. With approval management software, all you have to do is click “start the approval process.”

What does this mean for us? Hello, free time! It means we would have more time to spend doing things that a machine just cannot do. You’ll get to focus on the creative aspects of your job. Let your brain actually do some thinking and innovating. As much as I hate to sound scientific, you’ll be able to let your human-like capabilities flourish to prove your value. This is where the three job categories that will thrive with automation come into play: creatives, composers and coaches will start to take off.
No one actually knows how AI and advanced automation will affect future job opportunities. Predictions about what types of jobs will be replaced and how fast vary widely. One commonly cited study from 2013 estimated that roughly 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be lost over the next decade or two because they involve work that is easily automated. Other reports—noting that jobs often involve multiple tasks, some of which might be easily automated while others are not—have come up with a smaller percentage of occupations that machines could make obsolete. A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that around 9 percent of U.S. jobs are at high risk. But the other part of the employment equation—how many jobs will be created—is essentially unknowable. In 1980, who could have predicted this decade’s market for app developers?
Home automation (also called domotics) designates an emerging practice of increased automation of household appliances and features in residential dwellings, particularly through electronic means that allow for things impracticable, overly expensive or simply not possible in recent past decades. The rise in the usage of home automation solutions has taken a turn reflecting the increased dependency of people on such automation solutions. However, the increased comfort that gets added through these automation solutions is remarkable.[77]
A trade credit insurance company with over 50,000 clients worldwide automated the credit limit request underwriting process. Underwriters were previously gathering information manually, from internal (Risk & Policy) to external (Customer Site, Google News) sources. With RPA, they saved 2,440 hours of human work a month. Employees now use that time to work directly with customers.
Amazon is testing delivery drones that pick up warehouse orders sorted by robots, Google is testing self-driving cars, Starbucks is testing cashier-free stores dedicated to mobile ordering and payment, and Facebook is testing a brain-computer interface that may one day translate thoughts into digital text. There are mundane versions of automation technology behind all of this testing — software automation testing. Companies use automation technology to create the software responsible for the products and services causing all the hype.

The 2018 Process Control & Safety Symposium and Exhibition (PCS) returns to Houston, TX. Sponsored by the Process Measurement and Control, Safety and Security, Chemical and Petroleum, Communications, Education, Pulp and Paper, and Management Divisions of ISA and the ISA Houston Section who are teaming up to bring another world-class program, exhibit, and networking event this November.


In a typical hard wired motor start and stop circuit (called a control circuit) a motor is started by pushing a "Start" or "Run" button that activates a pair of electrical relays. The "lock-in" relay locks in contacts that keep the control circuit energized when the push button is released. (The start button is a normally open contact and the stop button is normally closed contact.) Another relay energizes a switch that powers the device that throws the motor starter switch (three sets of contacts for three phase industrial power) in the main power circuit. Large motors use high voltage and experience high in-rush current, making speed important in making and breaking contact. This can be dangerous for personnel and property with manual switches. The "lock in" contacts in the start circuit and the main power contacts for the motor are held engaged by their respective electromagnets until a "stop" or "off" button is pressed, which de-energizes the lock in relay.[10]
When we reviewed the Ecobee3 in 2015 it earned our Editors' Choice for its sleek design, numerous features, and ease of use. We also loved the inclusion of a remote sensor to help reduce hot or cold spots in different rooms. We're happy to report that the new Ecobee4 boasts all the same features as it predecessor, and more, thanks to the addition of built-in Amazon Alexa voice service capabilities. That means you can have the thermostat do everything that the Amazon Echo and its siblings can, such as control smart devices, shop, play music, and hear the latest news and weather, all using Alexa voice commands.
Automation is not100% – Automation testing cannot be 100% and don’t think of that. Surely you have areas like performance testing, regression testing, and load/stress testing where you can have scope of reaching near to 100% automation. Areas like User interface, documentation, installation, compatibility and recovery where testing must be done manually.
During my three years at Socialtext, I helped maintain a test tooling system through a user interface that was advanced for its time. O'Reilly took it as a case study in the book Beautiful Testing. The team at Socialtext uses the same framework today, although it now has several tests running at one time on Amazon's Electric Compute Cloud. Although we had a great deal of GUI-driving tests, we also had developer-facing (unit) and web services (integration) tests, a visual slideshow that testers could watch for every browser, and a strategy to explore by hand for each release. This combination of methods to reduce risk meant we found problems early.
These success factors make RPA a reasonable, low cost and lower risk entry-level approach to AI even if the technology is not very smart today.  RPA nicely lays the foundation for more intelligent applications later. And even without the potential of more intelligent RPA, the ease of implementation and rapid ROI from many RPA projects makes them worth strong consideration for almost any firm today.

The idea of managing all the functions of a home with a centralized control system dates back to at least the beginning of the 20th century. The earliest working prototypes of automated houses debuted in the 1930s at World’s Fairs in Chicago and New York City, but those homes were never intended to be commercially available. [1] It wasn’t until the invention of the microcontroller during the 1970s that marketing a fully-wired, “smart” home automation system became economically feasible. With the growth of computer technology over the last fifteen years or so, the home automation industry has taken off.
The UTF's supplies a toolbox of testing tools to ease creation and maintenance of test programs and provide a uniform error reporting mechanism. The toolbox supplied in most part in a form of macro and function declarations. While the functions can be called directly, the usual way to use testing tools is via convenience macros. All macros arguments are calculated once, so it's safe to pass complex expressions in their place. All tools automatically supply an error location: a file name and a line number. The testing tools are intended for unit test code rather than library or production code, where throwing exceptions, using assert(), boost::concept_check or BOOST_STATIC_ASSERT() may be more suitable ways to detect and report errors. For list of all supplied testing tools and usage examples see the reference.
Outlet Controls Outlet controls allow you to integrate any of your home’s older, “dumb” lights or appliances into a new automation system. Turn lights on and off remotely. Manage smaller, window-style air conditioner units. Monitor the amount of energy these appliances use, so you’ll know whether it makes sense to upgrade to more energy efficient models.
Where do you begin with a BPA project? How do you identify which processes should be automated at the beginning? Companies should select the processes by first looking at their strategic needs. In this way, companies should ask themselves what will make them more competitive in the marketplace. For instance, you may be concerned with getting goods to market quicker (or first) or decreasing the price of your products by improving your margins.
×