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Automation

The 2016 round of the New Zealand Innovation Awards is open for entries so if you've got an amazing product, service or venture—or you know someone with a great idea who needs to be shoulder-tapped—now's the time to tell your story. And to get you thinking about entering—and to do as we always do and celebrate innovation of all stripes—we'll be showing our jealousy and regularly showcasing the best and/or wackiest ideas we come across. Next up, some of the wonderful things that have been created to save us precious time and help us avoid menial tasks.

Automation

Well, you probably had noticed. It’s hard to miss. Newspaper articles and blogs everywhere herald their arrival. The stories usually follow the same general formula. A catalogue of amazing things that robots (really AI systems) can do. Debate about forced unemployment versus people freed up to do more interesting work. And then some comments about whether it’s for the good or bad. You can generally infer the general tone from the choice of image accompanying the story: a cute Japanese robot with a plastic smile, or a more sinister face with the Terminator’s jawline.