Robots Of Tomorrow

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19 / 02 / 2015

Robots Of Tomorrow

Nowadays robots can only do the work of average minds, but if the IQ level increases only by 1.5 % per year, by 2025 robots will have IQ level higher than 90% of the US population.

Development in robotics means that machines are designed to replace more jobs previously occupied by humans.  This might be fantastic: imagine humans are freed from drudgery and provided with a better life.

Or it might be the hell: the nightmare where vast majority of people is unemployed as their skills are no longer needed, while a small elite of machine-owners and technologists gains all the benefits. The main sign of robotization is the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Robots have been the main characters of science fiction for nearly 100 years. There’s something inherently fascinating about the creature that moves like a human, or thinks like a human, but isn’t one.

Nonetheless robots have not had much effect on our everyday life. Real-life robots are either boring-looking, like robot arms in factories, or are cute gimmicks.

But in future, robots will become much bigger part of our lives.

The rise of the robots won’t take the form of hordes of Terminator-like androids. Modern robots are here to help us, and they’re harmless. Take the self-driving car : a robot for sure, but one that looks like an ordinary car. In the last few months the UK, Japan and Sweden have announced major trials that will put self-driving cars on the road in cities to understand their potential. Or the automated checkouts that are appearing in more and more supermarkets.

There will also be more behind-the-scenes robots. These have long been a support of factories in the rich world, but expect them to go global. Two years ago, the CEO of Chinese technology giant (and Apple’s main assembler) Foxconn caused a stir when he announced that he would be replacing part of his workforce with a million robots. Despite some setbacks at Foxconn, the spread of automated manufacturing to the developing world seems to be coming to pass, with China tipped to become the world’s biggest buyer of industrial robots.

If we think of robots more broadly as technology that replaces human activities, then they need not even involve hardware. Consider something like Featurespace’s Fraud Manager, a sort of software detective that scans thousands of transactions with inhuman tenacity, looking for subtle patterns that reveal dodginess. And there is more on the way. In field like medical diagnostics, translation and legal clerking, artificial intelligence is edging out old-fashioned human brains.

We do not know for sure what robots will look like 50 years from now, but it is certain that human aspect  is indispensably the main goal of robotization.