The Robot and Automation Almanac 2019

The Robot and Automation Almanac 2019 ISBN: 9781946197153, Published and Copyright by Prestige Professional Publishing. Edited by Jason Schenker,

The mission of this book is to offer predictive information “For automation and robotics futurists everywhere.” It consists of several descriptions/analyses/conclusions independently written by prominent individuals considered to be most knowledgeable in their particular field of endeavor. The essays are gathered together by the editor who is Chairman of The Futurist Institute and a man who is one of the most eminent in the field. It is divided into four sections; One – Outlook for Robotics, that offers an ‘overview’ of Automation and AI in 2019 including a look at the vectors for robotics advancement and a coming ‘day-of-reckoning’, and also predictions for the future of AI as well as robotics growth and quantum computing’s future in 2019. Two – examines Socializing Robots where various aspects are analyzed from the viewpoint of evolving perceptions, their ability to bridge industry and steam education, the fact that every chatbot now is a voicebot, who’s collaborating with whom and most importantly the need to overcome existing fear with respect to robot/human interoperability and labor replacement fears. Three – examines Socializing Robots from the perspective of how these factors will power innovation, be it in transportation, construction or the advent of “smart cities” and also the further advance of Blockchain and automation in the financial services sector. Section Four – Robots in the Supply Chain examines/ analyzes/ predicts the effects that will result from advancing innovation in this necessary section of the economy. Relatively brief material About the Futurist Institute, About the Author, About the Publisher and Disclaimers terminate the book.

Discussion: The selection offers an interestingly varied view of these rapidly advancing technologies by several individuals prominent in their respective areas. As quoted above, the selection has been offered to update “futurists everywhere” with what is transpiring to treat the environmentally unsustainable and thus totally disastrous worldwide “tsunami of data” that “is expected to consume one fifth of the world’s energy use by 2025.” A few of the more interesting suggestions from this reviewer’s perspective: discussion of the fusion of the physical, digital and biological world by this “fourth Industrial Revolution”; the manner in which robot-human interrelationships will be developed for greatest gain and little actual loss in human man-hours; the growth of presently functioning “smart pilots” into fully developed “smart cities”. However, generally speaking and most regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, this book provides a rather superficial overview with a considerable amount of repetition, Further, there often is a seeming suggestion that each essayist and/or the approach offered can provide the most authoritative answers. Thus, judicious editing and perhaps greater essayist coordination would seem to have eliminated considerable portions of both problems, although having read several of the editor’s books, a similar inclination also seems to pervade his writing. But perhaps his impressive qualifications and positions make his stance more acceptable.

3* Interesting, but rather superficial discussion/predictions for 2019 technology.

Cursed: Dragon’s Curse Book One

CURSED: Dragon’s Curse: Book One, A pure fantasy, assumed published, copyright and written by S. L. Morgan.

Alex Oxley is the young prince of the peaceful Pemdei Empire, long designated as the protectors of earth from various intergalactic threats. He, like his father the emperor, is a trained warrior with many intergalactic missions and the capability to function as a Time/Space Traveler. He, like his twin sister Alysia share this unique ability along with other occult powers. In a short journey into the future he discovers that his mother has been adversely affected by an element that had been specifically constructed to guard earth. Stefon, a crafty villainous ruler from another galaxy suddenly appears saying he enjoys playing games and decides that he and Alex should play a game. He will send the young prince on a trip to attempt to find the cure for his mother’s illness and if he can survive, he will find the cure and return with it. It seems that Stefon’s occult powers are considerably more extensive than those possessed by Alex or any of his family. So, with a snap of his fingers, Alex is dispatched spinning uncontrollably in a dark void, eventually being brought to an abrupt and jolting halt against some very hard object. Here he is discovered by the young princess Kira of another, seemingly less sophisticated galaxy, where she has been wandering for some time to continue eluding capture by the evil invaders who had overthrown her family’s rule. From this introduction we follow the convoluted path of the two young royals as they attempt to restore her to her rightful place, allow him to find the required antidote for his mother’s illness and return for its administration. Unfortunately, accomplishment of these goals are impeded by a sizeable number of factors, most of an occult nature. This basic introductory plot provides a sound base for the ensuing action that no doubt will be set forth in the subsequent volumes.

Discussion: From this reviewer’s perspective, a certain amount of difficulty is encountered in following the story’s threads as they are presented. Similarly, the amount of emotional swing demonstrated by the protagonists as well as the unpredictability with respect to their purported ‘warrior’ and other abilities. However, the amount of dark magic, abundance of witches, winged horses, fairies, shape-shifters, fire-breathing dragons, space/time travelers and more, should be most appreciated by the true fantasy devotee.

5* For the tried and true fantasy devotee.