There is a different sensation standing next to a machine and watching it make decisions. And that sensation can only be described as - Awesome.
Thursday, June 23, 2022. Beilinson Hospital. A group of robotics experts from Israel is standing around Gary the robot. Some are examining his arms, some are cleaning his Main chest screen, and one young lady is holding her laptop in one arm while reviewing Gary’s code with the other. This 140cm tall wonder of modern engineering is the culmination of years of planning and hard work from some of Israel’s top minds. In several minutes, a few members of the hospital administration will arrive to see what Gary can do for them and their hospital.
The group is standing in a circle around Gary, everyone making sure the robot is ready for the demonstration. Suddenly, an older lady pokes her head inside the circle to see what all the commotion is about. She immediately notices the shiny black and white robot, and her face lights up. “Ooh, what do we have here? Who is this handsome fellow”? She asks with a smile. “This is Gary” “well, Hello Gary!” she laughs. “What does he do?”. The robotics experts look at each other, and one says, “Why don’t you try and find out”?. They all move aside, making room for the smiling lady, who approaches Gary very slowly while adjusting her glasses.
“Hello there, young man, What can you do for me”? She exclaims loudly while looking at the robot. Her eyes are immediately drawn to the large touchscreen on the robot’s chest that reads: “Hello, Do you need help with directions?” “yes, as a matter of fact, I do,” says the lady while she instinctively presses the big “yes” prompt right beneath the question. “Where do you need to go”? asks the robot with a human voice while showing several options on the screen. “I need to get to room 28.” says the lady while pressing the corresponding prompt, without even thinking about the fact that she is talking to a machine. The whole process feels intuitive and frictionless. “No problem, Let’s go!” says Gary while he turns in place. The lady is ecstatic. Her eyes are shining, and with a big smile on her face, she starts following the robot, which makes sure to keep a safe distance from her while at the same time not going too fast.
The lady keeps walking behind the robot, smiling all the way to room 28 while she exclaims, “oh, he is so clever”!. The entire group of experts is walking behind her; all of them seem to be affected by her infectious smile. Suddenly, a door opens, and a father and son enter the hallway, right in front of the robot. Without missing a beat, the robot stops. So does the kid. He looks at Gary with his mouth open; This is not what he expected to see in a hospital. As the father calls his son, Gary makes the necessary calculations, picks a new route, and walks around the awe-struck boy. A few seconds later, he arrives at room 28, turns back to the lady, and says, “You have arrived.” The lady smiles at him and says, “Thank you very much, little man,” while she goes into the room, forgetting all about the group of people behind her.
And as Gary makes his way back to his original spot and the robotics experts give each other high fives, the father turns to his son and says, “See? That is why you should start learning code.”
There is an unexplainable feeling you get while you are standing next to a machine while it is making decisions. It is a feeling of Awe. You watch this lifeless machine stop, think and then act intelligently, and you can’t help but feel amazed. You can't help but think, “Yes, this is definitely the future”