The Smart Lock Pro + Connect is the latest offering from August Home, and as with the original August Smart Lock and HomeKit Enabled models, it's a winner. This third-generation smart lock offers all the bells and whistles you get with the HomeKit model, and adds a few new features, including August's DoorSense technology, Z-Wave compatibility, and Wi-Fi connectivity. It's easy to install and can be controlled remotely or with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri voice commands, and it retains the sleek aesthetics of its siblings. It's pricey, but it's the best smart lock we've tested.
Clearly this is a realm in which knowledge workers need strong skills in computer science, artificial intelligence, and analytics. In his book Data-ism, Steve Lohr offers stories of some of the people doing this work. For example, at the E. & J. Gallo Winery, an executive named Nick Dokoozlian teams up with Hendrik Hamann, a member of IBM’s research staff, to find a way to harness the data required for “precision agriculture” at scale. In other words, they want to automate the painstaking craft of giving each grapevine exactly the care and feeding it needs to thrive. This isn’t amateur hour. Hamann is a physicist with a thorough knowledge of IBM’s prior application of networked sensors. Dokoozlian earned his doctorate in plant physiology at what Lohr informs us is the MIT of wine science—the University of California at Davis—and then taught there for 15 years. We’re tempted to say that this team knows wine the way some French people know paper.
One problem the growing adoption of AI could make much worse is income inequality (see “Technology and Inequality”) and the sharp divisions between the geographic areas that benefit and those that don’t. We don’t need the expert-written White House report to tell us that the impact of digital technologies and automation in large swaths of the Midwest is very different from the effects in Silicon Valley. A post-election analysis showed that one of the strongest predictors of voting behavior was not a county’s unemployment rate or whether it was wealthy or poor but its share of jobs that are “routine”—economists’ shorthand for ones that are easily automated. Areas with a high percentage of routine jobs overwhelmingly went for Donald Trump and his message of turning back the clock to “make American great again.”
Regardless of the good intent and benefits of automation, there will be cases where automation is not appropriate, and the human touch and analysis are needed. For example, customers appreciate being able to automatically book a hotel or travel accommodations without waiting to speak to agents. It becomes irritating, however, when calling travel companies and figuring out what option on the phone tree will take them where they need. Further, it can be infuriating when a call is dropped or hung up, especially if they are having problems on the trip.
With automation, processes can perform in ways that optimize the amount of human support needed. This shift—moving the burden of processes from humans to technology—has the potential to redesign the way work gets done within an enterprise. Simple automation of processes can eliminate errors, reduce biases and perform transactional work in a fraction of the time it takes humans. And with the application of artificial intelligence, these point robotic process fixes have now evolved into intelligent interactions and processes.
The market for smart lighting, in particular, is expected to grow the fastest. One of the reasons that people continue to embrace smart home technology in their lives is because companies are taking the initiative to educate their customers about what options are available. The benefits that home automation can offer are incredible and the potential value these systems could add to homes is unparalleled.
Automation is a real issue and challenge for labor conditions from industrial to white collar jobs. There are many benefits to find in it but it also might lead to a standardization of processes. I wrote on this subject if you want more information about how automation is changing the way we get productive. http://www.beesapps.com/market-usage/business-process-automation-benefits-for-productivity/