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It took decades for humans to unleash the potential of the electricity in the first machine age. Initially, electrical engines were simply substituted for steam ones, with no understanding of the advantages that the new technology afforded. In the first wave of the second machine age, machines were taught to do what humans could do – codify knowledge. Now machines can learn and solve problems based on experience, also known as deep learning, rather than just follow instructions. The biggest advances have been in three broad areas: perception, cognition and interaction with physical work.