Issac Asimov predicted a brilliant future with sentient robots, flying walkways and intergalactic travel. But what a lot of people don’t know is that he actually painted a realistic picture of when this would all take place.
In fact, Issac Asimov wrote a short essay entitled “Visit the World’s Fair of 2014” back in 1964. He essentially predicted the state of robots in our time by saying, “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.”
This was certainly true of 2014 and even now in 2017. Yes, we have small robotic vacuums and robotic security guards slowly invading our spaces. But they are neither common nor very good yet (just look at the security bot that took a dive in a company fountain recently).
But Asimov also predicted these rocky starts would result in a golden age of automation. And the few missteps we take today are learning opportunities for tomorrow.
But what does a realistic robotic future look like? What types of robots will we see?
Let’s peek over the horizon and find out.
Fear of Sentient Types of Robots
One of Asimov’s greatest predictions was the sentient humanoid robot. While today we do see some level of artificial intelligence as machines learn algorithms, we don’t see full sentience quite yet.
The main discussion surrounding sentient machines today is whether it’s even a good idea to grant sentience in the first place. Contemporary thinkers like Stephen Hawking worry what sentient robots would be capable of and how they might evolve faster than humans.
But people in the robotics field aren’t worried. They believe robots will be our companions in about 20-25 years, and that we will see some semblance of a humanoid robot helper in every home.
While we don’t have fully sentient robots yet — and may never develop full AI due to common fears — we have learned to utilize the Internet of Things effectively to create intelligent robot systems.
The Robotic e-Commerce Takeover
The world of e-commerce might be the next wild frontier for robots. In 2016, Amazon began utilizing robots in their warehouse.
What do they do? The same thing their human counterparts did, pick, pack, and ship products. Only these little fellas can do it in 1/6th the time a human can.
And this isn’t the only robotic field that’s proving promising to e-commerce. While robots on the ground are becoming more common, one area that’s still under extreme scrutiny is the area of aerial robotics.
But someday you might receive your packages where ever you are, even if you’re travelling in the middle of a national forest. Amazon currently seeks to make this dream a reality along with their robotic warehouse staff.
The Future is Still Uncertain
While we’re currently on a fast track to developing new and groundbreaking types of robots, we still don’t know exactly where technology will go. Ten years ago, few would have predicted a warehouse full of robots.
What will be different 10 years from now?
It’s hard to tell. At the moment we’re seeing incredible advancements in security and home robots and warehouse bots, but those aren’t our limits.
Where do you think robots will be in 10 years? 20 years? Let us know in the comments below.