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Where Web 2.0 Meets Voice 2.0
Effective Practices for Integrating Rich Media

In today's financial environment, the demand to extract more value from IT has never been more important within the enterprise. The pressure to improve productivity and streamline processes has been at the heart of the first wave of Web 2.0 adoption, where teams have used collaborative tools like wikis, forums, and online communities in their quest to streamline work processes. This first wave of Web 2.0 tools and practices has similar qualities in common. In many cases adoption of these tools has been employee-driven and the primary mode of communication using these tools has been text-based. So what's next? This article will explore this next phase, which combines social collaboration tools with enhanced voice functionality into business applications.

Vendors have already begun embedding enhanced Web 2.0 functionality within traditional enterprise applications and Web-based services. Furthermore, as new voice and rich media technologies emerge, mainstream enterprise software vendors are integrating Web 2.0 collaborative features and enhanced voice features - like click-to-call, automatic conferencing, and find-me follow-me - into existing enterprise applications, such as customer relationship management and other database applications. As a result, the business software and Web services that knowledge workers use continuously throughout their workday will begin to include this level of collaborative functionality. These integrated voice features promise to enhance collaboration as younger Web 2.0-savvy workers discover the power of voice through verbal conversations, which provide added nuance and emotion that simply cannot be delivered through text-based messages. By adding voice and rich media functionality to CRM and other business applications, employee productivity increases due to the ability of customer service and sales representatives and other knowledge workers to connect with more customers in less time. In addition, some voice-over-IP-based telephony features can also reduce operational expenses from long-distance and international calls.

By integrating voice, mobile, and rich media features within traditional and Web 2.0 applications, these tools become more productive and easier to use, transforming how employees work. With this functionality embedded into their daily work, software, and Web environment, employees can seamlessly access this functionality as they work, without having to learn new interfaces and software commands.

Driven by the need to stand apart from competitors in this grim economic climate, business owners, software vendors, and Web services vendors are exploring their options for embedding these new voice-based Web 2.0 services and features into their offerings. Yet this next step - integrating voice and rich media features into existing applications and services - requires skills and familiarity in technologies associated with telephony and VoIP that most Web and application developers lack. Telephony and VoIP experience is vital as businesses navigate the complexity of telco language, practices, and regulations. As a result the vendor, service provider or solution provider may depend on a hosted platform and network to deliver advanced rich media features as illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Deployed in a hosted architecture, the Voice 2.0 application servers are managed through a hosted infrastructure and all calls are routed to or from a hosted global managed service network.

What are the options for integrating Voice 2.0 and rich media capabilities into existing applications? Enterprise managers face three choices: upgrade their business applications to the next version, contract with a systems integrator, or explore the communications equivalent of software-as-a-service. To determine which approach will work best, enterprise managers should weigh their options depending on their relationships with vendors, solution providers, and service providers, based on the following questions:

For software vendors:

  • What does their product roadmap look like? Which features will they roll out first?
  • What is involved in upgrading to gain social media, voice, and rich media features?
  • How complex an upgrade is required? Do the new features adhere to established standards for interoperability?
  • Will the new application play nice with other business software or cause other applications to crash?

For solutions providers:

  • Can they easily integrate the new features into the installed base without taking down the entire system?
  • Are the deployment costs high or can the new voice and rich media features be purchased and used on-demand, minimizing up-front risk and capital costs?
  • Are the new features easy to use or will they generate a backlash from disgruntled employees who struggle to use them?

For service providers:

  • How are the calls delivered - through the public switched telephone networks (PSTN) or through VoIP networks and peering partners?
  • Will the new features reduce or increase operational communications costs?
  • How reliable are the voice connections?
  • Will telephony costs increase or drop as a result of the deployment?
  • How reliable is the infrastructure? Can the provider guarantee quality of service?
  • Will the new voice features connect calls throughout the world or only within specific regions?

Evaluating Options with Software Vendors
Currently, the largest database vendors are involved in partnerships to integrate Voice 2.0 and Web 2.0 collaborative features into the next version of their products. They should be able to provide some insights into which features will be available in their next version and whether those features will involve an ongoing service fee for voice communications or whether the costs will be included with the upgrade. As the software-as-a-service business model continues to gain adoption, more vendors are giving some of their offerings as a service. For enterprise managers, this trend should help them reduce deployment costs and allow them to pay based on usage instead of facing a flat upgrade fee, regardless of whether or not knowledge workers use the new features.

How will this new functionality affect the rest of the enterprise applications in place? The vendor and the solution provider responsible for the deployment should be able to highlight any potential side effects from installing and using the new features. Enterprise managers should make sure vendors are adhering to industry standards for interoperability rather than using proprietary protocols, which can be disruptive and introduce risks to the enterprise infrastructure.

One factor that should be considered before deploying new voice capabilities is the level of up-front risk involved in paying as the voice services are used. With a number of vendors offering on-demand rich media and Voice 2.0 capabilities, it is possible to deploy these new capabilities without incurring high up-front capital costs. Therefore, it is important to determine the payment model to reduce up-front risk and costs as much as possible.

No matter how easy the new interactive voice and collaborative features are to use, no business can tolerate poor or lost connections. Phone calls initiated through the enterprise application will eventually need to connect to a local network to complete the connection. Therefore, enterprise managers should hold the service provider responsible for offering a reliable infrastructure that delivers carrier-class service quality and reliability. Does the service provider connect with a global carrier to manage calls and services through the traditional PSTN or though a VoIP peering grid? While calls delivered through the PSTN are reliable, any convenience gained through the Voice 2.0 deployment is countered by higher telephony charges.

On the other hand, while VoIP peering grids offer the potential to reduce operational costs, it is important to evaluate the peering grid in use on reliability and performance. In this case, consumer-grade services have an uncertain performance record that may not be sufficient for the enterprise. Therefore, it is important to determine that the service provider is using a global peering grid that can guarantee carrier-grade performance and reliability. It is advisable to check that the service provider has strong peering partners who can provide sufficient points of presence (POPs) to complete calls through the world. Look for peering grids that already handle large traffic volumes to ensure they have sufficient scale to manage heavy volumes.

In today's grim economy, it is vital to make sure everyone responsible for deploying and providing Voice 2.0 services is financially stable. Will they be around in the next year? The next five years? The next 20? If the vendor or service provider is a startup, do they have funding secured? Are they generating revenues or simply burning through cash? Obviously, the success of the partnership will in no small way rely on both partners remaining viable businesses.

As more vendors and solution providers offer enhanced voice and rich media features along with Web 2.0 functionality, enterprise managers will face a wide range of options. By following the guidelines provided in this article, they can help ensure their deployments are successful and generate both top-line and bottom-line benefits for their organization.

About John Hart
John Hart is SVP of Business Development & Marketing, IntelePeer, where he directs all business development and marketing initiatives. An experienced marketing and sales executive, he was most recently Vice President, Business Development at VortexDNA. From 1975 to 2006, he has held senior management positions at AT&T, Gould Inc, DEC, Saville Systems, GeoTel, EMC, Comcast and Ubiquity. John received a BA in Political Science from William Jewell College and attended Law School at the University of Missouri. He is a senior member of the SCTE, holds a patent for signaling control for IP, and has published articles extensively for Marketing and Media. He is a noted industry speaker and has published a book and over 75 articles.

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VASILIOU
Catchpoint

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

HINCH-
CLIFFE

7Summits

DE SOUZA
Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
Plantronics

HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

SARKARIA
PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

SNELL
Intel

LEVINE
CytexOne

ALLEN
Freewave

MCCALLUM
Falconstor

HYEDT
Seamless

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

SCHULZ
Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
SaneIoT

TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
Intrepid

NAKAGAWA
Transparent

SHIBATA
Transparent

LEVANT-LEVI
testRTC

VARAN NATH
GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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Cloud Expo Show Guide
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Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Lissette Mercado at lissette@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.
Will I ever understand the nuances of the advanced analytics landscape? Well, maybe the better question is will the advanced analytics landscape ever stop changing? The advanced analytics landscape, into which I include Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), Reinforcement Learning (RL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), seems to be in a constant state of evolution. New advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets seem to be coming out of every university, every startup, every digital media company and every technology company. And many of these new advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets a...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experience b...
Well, my developer friends, 2018 is your year. Businesses in practically every industry have a fever. And the only prescription? You. I know, I know. The demand for developers is nothing new. But 2018 is different. 2018 is the year where we see some of this decade's most exciting technologies become commercially viable, and others finally go mainstream. We'll see new forms of immersive entertainment, and inanimate objects will come alive in ways that really feel real. Trying to undermine this progress are intelligent and dangerous threats that must be outsmarted and outworked. There's endles...
Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics” book that builds upon Doug’s EvD work at Gartner, I expect these conversations to intensify. In fact, I just traveled to Switzerland to discuss the potential business and technology ramifications of EvD with the management team of a leading European Telecommunications company.
Special thanks to Brandon Kaier (@bkaier) for his research and thoughts on the Digital Twins concept. Unilever, one of the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) industry’s titans with over 400 brands and annual sales greater than $60B, recently bought Dollar Shave Club for $1B. Now normally I would not think twice about such an acquisition, peanuts in the world of mergers and acquisitions. However, this one feels different. Two billion people use Unilever products every day according to Unilever’s 2015 annual report. Dollar Shave Club only has around two million members; the vast majority of w...
From government to retail to oil and gas, it seems like everyone is exploring how to use AI in their industry or business. It’s time for you to do the same. There’s no question that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on a lot of people’s minds these days, and is beginning to grow rapidly in adoption. Quoting Accenture, Forbes reports AI-driven productivity gains of perhaps 40% by 2035, and publications like the New York Times are noting the buzz, even as they ask, why now? Even if you don’t think you’ll be adopting AI for yourself just yet, you need to at least consider the broader impact the te...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will vote on December 14 to enact the exceptionally misleadingly titled “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. If passed, it will do the opposite of restoring anything resembling freedom — it will repeal the current net neutrality rules which were enacted to ensure that Americans would have equal access to the Internet. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already interested in the topic. Still, some quick background: Renamed “Open Internet” a while back, net neutrality provided a regulatory framework that specifically prohibited:...
Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. The potential for dislocation from ongoing digital transformation has created unprecedented levels of C-suite discussion. The decisive market leaders have heeded the warnings and taken bold actions. That said, if you’re one of those Chief Technology Officers (CTO) that previously responded to this scenario by making small incremental adjustments to your IT agenda, then you’re potentially at risk. Any relief from those prior tweaks tend to be short lived. The same issues will likely resurface.
Over the last few years, the Internet of things (IoT) has become a trending phrase for consumers and a top priority for businesses embarking on their digital transformation. Even with the growth and interest in IoT however, the meaning can still confuse people. So, what is IoT? IoT is a network of things connected to the internet and is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system. These “things” may include a variety of devices like home appliances, commercial vending machines, fitness trackers, industrial gateways, connected cars, and smart factories.
I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I’ve written has drawn more comments than my blog, “Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics.” The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident where his police car crashed into anot...