The Future

NAO robot

This is a real robot called Nao that you can buy now. It’s about 60 cm (2 feet) tall. [CC Image from flickr.com/photos/roboticage/]

Once computers can recognise and understand things in the real world, they can get out of the boxes and screens they are currently inside, and start actually doing things for us.

Once a computer knows what a floor is, put it in a small robot and it can vacuum (simple examples of this already exist). Once a computer knows what shelves and cereal boxes are, it can restock the aisles at the supermarket.

Other computers can undertake difficult and dangerous construction and industrial jobs and perform hazardous rescues on mountaintops or in burning buildings. Still others could be our house cleaners, personal assistants, dog walkers and cooks.

The possibilities are nearly endless. Brain-like computers promise to change the world in ways we can’t yet even imagine.

 

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