Alone you can’t - Jidoka


Alone you can’t

Solo no puedes
24 November, 2015

There are TV programs that can have an impact, in my case, there have been several, one of them was The Crystal Ball. I liked The Monsters Family because it  wasn’t a conventional program, what left an impact on me was its persistence in repeating messages that weren’t exactly subliminal. One of these messages remained forever in my memory: “alone you can’t, with friends you can“.

Sometimes a robot can’t be autonomous.

Normally when we develop robots, we try to make them autonomous, requiring nothing more than an input to perform a process and generate the output the user needs.

However, reality forces us to take other paths. That’s why Jidoka was born, robots with a human touch. We find that a robot cannot be absolutely autonomous. There are times when a robot cannot execute a complete process without the help of a human. In other words, these are times when you must follow the dictates of The Crystal Ball: “Alone you can’t, with friends you can“.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is, the process is divided into two types of tasks:tasks that robots must perform and the tasks that people must perform.

An example of this type of process is the support to the management of tasks in call centers. For processes that begin with the reception of a call from a client, the Jidoka robot, based on the ID or name of the person calling, opens the different management applications and navigates through them until it locates the file of the person in question, saving the operator from performing this task. Once the operator finishes the management, the robot transfers the comments introduced by the operator in the customer management application (CRM) to the rest of the secondary applications that are fed with the same information.

The second type of process that requires collaboration between robots and people occurs when there are tasks within a process that a robot cannot perform. The perfect example to illustrate this case is associated with a well-known acronym: CAPTCHA, taken from Wikipedia: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

By definition, a CAPTCHA is inserted into a system so that a robot cannot continue. To solve this problem, Jidoka comes to the rescue.

From the robot working alone to the robot working with human assistance.

The Jidoka API provides a very simple system programmed to request the intervention of a person when necessary. This intervention can be done from the same node where the robot is running (as in the case of the call center) or from any other node in the network. In this way, when a robot finds a CAPTCHA it can ask a person to solve it.

In these cases, the person first receives a message on his computer or a notification on a mobile device. From here, the person can access all the information needed to solve the problem. The message received includes the CAPTCHA image, the application where it has appeared, the time to respond or any other information that the developer of the robot deems appropriate.

With this approach to the problem, we move from the autonomous robot that works alone to the robot with human assistance or “with friends yes”.

Jidoka robots do not replace people, they augment their abilities. Can you imagine life without a computer nearby?

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