Robots that can perform simple physical tasks don’t look all the impressive currently, but as the software controlling them gets better and better, we can expect robots to be able to do more jobs that previously required a human being. Self-driving cars may just be the beginning of a much larger shift towards robots doing all kinds of odd jobs. Robot are already starting to do more house chores like cleaning/vacuuming… and someday they might be able to wash and fold our laundry.
- Amazon has recently hosted its first “Amazon Picking Challenge” to award prizes for developing robots that can replace humans in warehouses to identify, pick up and package items to ship. Amazon already has some Kiva Systems robots working alongside humans in its warehouses, but the kinds of tasks these “picking robots” can do might spur much more versatile automation for tedious labor (and possibly putting thousands of people out of work). [url]
- What are the odds of your job being automated in 20 years? A simple bit of software will tell you. How accurate are these estimated numbers? Don’t ask that question, puny human! [url]
- Routine cognitive workers might face automation sooner than they expect, and physical tasks might become more easily automated, too. Will the world enjoy more leisure with our robot slaves doing all the work — or will we have a society of ultra-rich and ultra-poor? [url]
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