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In this article we try to summarize the field of intelligent control (IC) for human-machine systems (HMS) from a subjective point of view. Mechatronic components have become intelligent from integrating mechanical, electrical and software intelligence in minimum space, certainly an important step in building IC systems. Because of this, and of successes using artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms, so called soft computing, the field of IC is exciting with a bright future. This article attempts to anticipate this future and discusses directions of research to approach the realization of more intelligent systems. Human inclusion in such IC systems is as important as to increase autonomy, flexibility, and fault tolerance. Iterative improvement over trials and optimal system design are important issues. The authors' research to realize IC of dextrous manipulation is briefly reviewed discussing the key results and lessons.