I failed the Turing Test

Jon 2.0

A screwdriver smarter than you

Matsushita has created an intelligent screwdriver. As the dottocomu blog reports:

[It] allows you to record macros—slow start, fast midsection, slow again at the end, for example—and replay them with a single button-push. Record an expert’s macro and even the novice screwer will see a dramatic improvement, so they claim. It also has a learning function that allows it to gravitate to the speed range you’re using most often.

Carpenters, plumbers, and pretty much anyone who works with tools will tell you that they have a symbiotic relationship with their instruments. The more you use a hammer, the more the grip shapes to your hand. The reverse is also true: You change your style of hammering depending on its individual quirks. Your tools change you, and you change them. In a sense, all tools are smart. But it makes perfect sense to take some of the adaptive capabilities of computational technology and use it to make our tools adapt in ever more subtle ways.

(Thanks to Gizmodo for finding this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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