One fateful day in June, 2014 Tom Rychlewski asked “Wilson, what are you doing?” I carelessly replied “nuthin” and was immediately appointed WebMaster for ISAKC . Since that time I have been blessed to work with an incredible group of engineers to advance the art and science of automation and controls, provide scholarships and gain knowledge about a wide variety of topics.
When ISA was created in 1945 the world was a far more mechanical place, automation on a large scale was new and the need to create standards and curate the lexicon was great. ISA stepped up to the challenge and became the organization that defined Automation and gathered or created the standards for controls and systems.
That work is embedded in what we do now and we often don’t give it much thought.
Today we stand in a very similar place with the growth of robotics, artificial intelligence and the melding of the two. Science fiction fans will recognize the Three Laws:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
These amazingly prescient words of Isaac Asimov still apply, but are only the beginning. People involved with ISA today have a chance to be on the forefront of establishing the new standards, the new lexicon, the new rules by which work is done and life is lived. With so little government involvement in these rapidly emerging fields, it is up to science and industry to define how robots can be used, what governs AI and how these things can improve lives. Just as in 1945 it is time to grab the ball and carry it forward.
I’m excited to be in this place at this time with so many amazing opportunities ahead of us. I hope you are as well!