CNBC News Releases

CNBC's "Rise of the Machines" Premieres Wednesday, September 18th at 9PM ET/PT


One-Hour Documentary Reported by CNBC's Melissa Lee and Presented by GE

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., September 12, 2013—All around us, there's a technological revolution underway powered by devices as small as a grain of rice. They are sensors, capable of tracking and recording nearly everything we do. They're in our smartphones, our cars, our appliances, even our bodies, and they're connected to the Internet to share information and make our world smarter. Almost all products that use electricity, from thermostats and coffeemakers to jet engines and MRIs, now have the ability to "talk" to each other, and to us. What they have to say is profoundly transforming our lives—the way we travel, treat disease, and enjoy our homes.

On Wednesday, September 18th at 9PM ET/PT, CNBC Prime presents "Rise of the Machines," reported by CNBC's Melissa Lee and presented by GE. In this one-hour documentary, Lee experiences firsthand the impact of this brave new world—its promise and its perils—and discovers how the future of the Internet has already arrived. Today, there are more devices than people connected to the Internet, and that number is expected to rise to 25 billion by 2015.

The documentary examines how the increasing availability of diagnostic sensors and smart computer algorithmsare changing the face of healthcare. CNBC speaks with Dr. Andrew James, head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, where a supercomputer has solved a medical mystery by doing what no human could possibly do: monitor and analyze the vital signs of premature infants continuously, 24 hours a day. The experiment has identified patterns that can help predict which infants will develop potentially life-threatening infection, well before symptoms appear. Lee speaks with UCSF Cardiologist Jeffrey Olgin, who is using the same approach to solve an even bigger challenge: predicting who will develop heart disease, America's number one killer. And CNBC explores how doctors are prescribing mobile devices that allow patients anywhere to send real-time measurements of their heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and more over the Internet. Lee speaks with Scripps Cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol, a crusader for using sensors and smartphones that may one day predict heart attacks or strokes days, if not weeks, before they occur.

What if someone or something were watching you in your home -- silently, secretly observing your every move, learning what you do and when you do it. These "smart homes" use sensors that control and automate what we do when we're at home or away from our homes, looking for ways to save time, energy and money. CNBC takes viewers inside a home equipped with some 200 sensors that can be programmed and monitored from a smartphone, and that respond to the owner's movements and daily habits.Controlling every facet of your home remotely does carry some risk: as with any system connected to the Internet, it's vulnerable to being hacked.

Each year, nearly 34,000 people die in more than 5 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. alone, with at least 90% caused by human error. Lee takes a ride in a driverless car to see how cameras, radar and GPS are used in the quest to fill our freeways with autonomous cars and reduce the number of accidents. Today, almost every major automaker is developing its own driverless technology where cars are connected to the Internet and to each other. But, as computers allow us to become less engaged behind the wheel, some argue it might lead to the degradation of our driving skills, ultimately making driving less safe.

CNBC travels to Rio deJaneiro, a city employing state-of-the-art technology as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Under the guidance of its mayor, Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro has opened a one-of-a-kind operations center where more than 30 public agencies gather and share information while tracking video feeds from nearly 600 cameras positioned across the city. The center provides city officials with a real-time snapshot of traffic, weather and environmental conditions, emergencies and anything else that can impact the day-to-day life of the city's nearly 7 million inhabitants.

And, CNBC explores how sensors are improving the safety of our railways and jetliners, resulting in huge savings in time, money and possibly even lives. CNBC visits the largest railroad classification yard in the world where the use of wireless sensors has allowed trains to run with fewer interruptions, and technicians to address problems before they become crises. By placing these sensors on everything from oil rigs to industrial turbines, companies estimate that hundreds of billions of dollars can be saved over the next decade in increased efficiency and productivity.

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Oliver Miede is the Senior Producer of "Rise of the Machines." Charles Schaeffer is the Executive Producer, and Na Eng and Valerie Parker are Producers. Mitch Weitzner is Vice President of Long Form Programming. Ray Borelli is Senior Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.

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