What do you get when you combine cloud computing, social networking, big data and modern day engineering? You get a kick-ass robot. This was my first thought when I finished reading a published whitepaper by the Atos scientific community on the topic of robots.
Central in the paper is the question: “Where is the mind of the future robot?”, and by outlining the concept of a robot that can utilize everything that is available in cyberspace you may find it difficult to answer that question.
Today it is hard to predict where on earth all of the data about you is stored in the cloud and we have never been able to communicate more easily. It is easy to see that robots will be everywhere, able to utilize all available information.
This will lead to a new class in robot persona’s and capabilities.
“Once the robot is part of a social network, it could virtually interact with humans as well and thus start truly mimicking human behavior.”
When I was (much) younger we had a program on our home computer that was called ‘Eliza’. This program would behave as an electronic psychiatrist. It had some limited learning capabilities and some clever language skills to ‘trick’ you in having an actual conversation.
If you would type things like “I hate talking to a computer”, Eliza would answer with “Hate seems to be important to you, can you explain that?”
If we now multiply the capabilities of this ‘Eliza’ by a thousand or more (using cloud computing scalability) and bring in the analytics of all of your ‘likes’ or ‘diggs’ or even the behaviour of your friends, combined with knowledge about your locations and multiply that by analysing all the things you did 5 years ago, 10 years ago and today …. Well I think you get the picture.
The more a future robot knows or has access to, the more it will be able to fulfil his role in supporting us. This may not sit well with everybody, but if we utilize this capability in a clever way, I believe we can benefit.
Especially if we also take into account that a robot can take different forms, could exist virtually or maybe even be in multiple locations at the same time, with access to the right information and computing power to use that to our benefit. The whitepaper describes some of these scenarios and puts it in the perspective of the role of IT providers and systems integrators.
Based on my reading of the whitepaper I was thinking that maybe the statement ‘I cannot be in two places at the same time’ will soon become a thing of the past.
[This blog post is a repost of http://blog.atos.net/blog/2012/11/26/watch-this-space-how-big-is-your-robot/ ]