Boston Dynamics just released the video above detailing just exactly what their new Atlas humanoid robot can do. It can recover from falls, pick up objects, cross difficult terrain. It even keeps on going on its mission to pick up a box, when the engineer slaps it out of its 'hands'.
It's eery to look at, did you catch your self feeling sorry for the robot when the engineer pushed him (I mean 'it') over?
Should we be scared of AI?
First, Intelligence is the ability to solve problems in order to reach a goal. The thing that most people are scared of, or that they say they are scared of, is robots taking over the world. Like in the film the matrix.
The truth is though, that we are a long way of from Robots mirroring human intelligence, for example if someone kept slapping a box out of your hands like in the video, how would you react? Exactly.
What people tend to refer to when talking about Matrix or Ex Machina AI, is General purpose AI, and we are not close to that.
All though machines are mimicking and solving problems, the way the code is written is not much different from 20 or 30 years ago, we just have access to more data and faster processors, so the illusion of human intelligence might be there.
Also there is a massive difference between a machine being able to solve the problem of making a good espresso and the machine being self aware and knowing whether or not it likes espresso.
So there is still plenty of questions around AI, and what it actually even is.
Are Robots taking our jobs, or making them?
What people are really scared of, or should be scared of, is robots taking their jobs.
So are they? Well, yes and know. It depends on which industry you are in, and what your job is, if it is packing shelves, or selecting items (these amazon robots are mesmerizing to watch) to go in a box, then maybe. Interesting side note, one of the industries in trouble will be, and is, financial advice, the algorythms are doing a better job at it apparently
As with all tech disruptions, the dying of one industry opens up another? These robots will need to be programmed, built, serviced etc.
The trick with the future of work is not to learn a skill, but to learn how to learn. If you can keep on learning, you'll always be one step ahead and have the ability to adapt to any new tech, new disruption.
In the age of chaos, blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken.
I am a flâneur, which basically means I spend a lot of time in coffee shops watching the world go by.