Will our kids have robots for colleagues?
The question isn’t so much will they have robots for colleagues, but what sort of robots will they have for colleagues? I can answer the first question – yes, robots are going to become a big part of the modern workplace – not just in factories. But they will come in many flavours.
I enjoy working from home. Pyjamas all day, cereal whenever you want – it’s pretty much the dream. Many office tasks are already easy to do remotely, what with sharing documents over the Cloud and videoconfrencing – the next step is telepresence robotics.
Basically, ‘human-size’ remote-controlled screens and webcams mounted on wheels. Right now they’re more for socialising when working remotely but in the future, it could develop into a fully-working robot body that would eliminate the need to actually go to work at all. Coco Pops for lunch every day!
The next logical step, of course, is to develop AI – smart robots, specially designed for each job needed, that can learn, adapt, and smartly deal with any issues. Sadly, that’s a long way off, so for the forseeable future robots will need our help as much as we need theirs. That doesn’t mean they can’t be super cool, though.