After attending several conferences and webinars over the past few weeks, it has now become obvious that technology is growing at rates far beyond what would have been imagined some 30+ years ago, except by James Cameron when he created the Terminator franchise along with the famous catch-phrase, “I’ll be BACK!”. It is astonishing as to how many different types of machines and devices are either in production or about to be released in the not too distant future. For those of you that aren’t as geeky as I am, here’s just a small list of devices and applications on the market plus what we are hearing about on a regular basis:
- Robots (not Schwarzenegger look-a-likes) that are able to perform functions such as building homes (see links at the bottom of this blog), automated arms that can deliver drinks at a bar, hamburger/pizza makers and just about any automated task that we can think of today
- Bots (software that can execute commands including via the Internet) including Siri, Cortana and the Echo all of these operate hands-free via mobile devices or devices laid out in the home
- Self-Driving (Autonomous) Car and Trucks are definitely here and forgetting some of the safely concerns for just a minute, these are being utilized in farms to help pull crop and destroy weeds simultaneously, speeding up time to market many times over an over.
- Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) which can take cameras and technology to places that we would never imagine, think of crowd control/law enforcement, life preservers, event recording and even crop dusting!
- IoT (Internet of Things/Everything) where basically anything with power can have sensors/modems placed inside of the device to report information back to you or your company and either run business analytics or more likely, also include cameras (yes like in your refrigerator to see what’s in there instead of getting off the couch to look) to help improve our lives.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of other applications that are out there as I’m just picking off the top but all of this does come with a substantial downside and no I’m not talking about Cyberdyne Systems as portrayed in the Terminator series. What I’m referring to are two major issues that we have to start concerning ourselves with today:
- Job Displacements as we deploy all of these “Bots” to conduct what a typical Task Worker performs, we have to be able to retrain those workers to perform different functions otherwise we are looking at major unemployment rate increases over the next 10+ years as these technologies evolve. This of course has huge implications to Taxes as those might have to be increased to cover the shortages in our workforce if we employ robots over humans (another Schwarzenegger reference squeezed in).
- We also need to consider training our children and grandchildren on how these new technologies will be working for their families in the future as they need to be competent in Computer Programming or Coding, which many states are now offering as a Foreign Language so our students don’t fall behind the curve. See what Texas is doing specifically in this are here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/coding-new-foreign-language-requirement-helen-mowers
Obviously I used the Terminator references as a bit of “Tonge-in-Cheek” but at what point does this go overboard and have both positive and negative implications in our current and future lives? I welcome your comments by posting comments on this blog or at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com and as Arnold says so eloquently, “I’ll be BACK!”
Videos on Robotics Below
Boston Dynamic Video, Next Generation Robot: https://youtu.be/rVlhMGQgDkY
Robot Bricklayer – Builds Homes in Two Days!: https://youtu.be/dYleuh3nzXI