The Future Of Robotics In The Next 10 Years

The Future Of Robotics In The Next 10 Years

In the coming decade, robots will become just as common as cell phones.
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The robotics we’ve all seen in the movies and cartoons of the 1960s and 1970s will become the reality of the 2020s. A profound level of investment in robotics is happening right now that is facilitating advances in big data, network technologies, and artificial intelligence. In the coming decade, there will be substantial breakthroughs in robotics that will rapidly improve human well-being and literally change the human experience. Ultimately, some countries will adopt the new robotic reality while others will flounder far behind unless cultural attitudes change.

Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and Germany are five counties that have already established themselves as leading robot societies, because their public and private sectors have spent loads of money in funding tech companies that will bring us our robotic future. For instance, Google bought Boston Dynamics, a leading robotics design company with Pentagon contracts, for an undisclosed amount back in 2013. Google also bought DeepMind, and artificial intelligence company that was started by Demis Hassabiss, who was known as the 2nd highest-ranked chess player in the world at the age of 14. Even the Obama Administration has gotten in on the action by launching the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 to stimulate development of robots for industrial automation, elder assistance, and of course -- military applications. Germany and France have initiated similar programs and invested $126.9 million big ones thus far for its robotic-centric future. Although these capitalist economies see big profits in their balance sheets because they expect the market for consumer robots to make $390 billion by 2017 and industrial robots to reach $40 billion in 2020, enthusiasts like myself believe robotics will do more than strengthen corporate balance sheets.

Nanobots, still in their developmental infancy, promise a future in which autonomous machines far smaller than a grain of sand can diagnose and treat human diseases at the cellular level. A microscopic swarm of robots would be injected into the bloodstream that are programmed to eradicate cancer cells or repair organic tissue. Although this sounds like stuff from science fiction, it’s closer to reality that you might think. Similarly, labor shortages will hit service-industry jobs like eldercare with ferocity and will be exacerbated because caretakers have a high job turnover rate due to low pay and high rates of work-related injury from lifting patients. Thus, robotics present a pragmatic solution that promises to fill the need that the eldercare industry will face in the coming decade. Toyota has built a nursing aide named Robina (modeled after the robot housekeeper in "The Jetsons") that can communicate using words and gestures and whose purpose is to care for Japan’s geriatric population. Robina has a brother, Humanoid, that can do the dishes, take care of your parents when they’re sick, and even provide impromptu entertainment by playing the trumpet or violin. And of course, we are all familiar with Honda’s ASIMO, a fully functional humanoid that looks like a four-foot-tall astronaut stuck on Earth and is sophisticated enough to interpret human emotions, movements, and conversations. ASIMO can even shake hands, follow voice commands, and answer questions correctly with a nod or by voice. For elderly patients, ASIMO and future robotics like it can fulfill a range of tasks, from helping a patient get out of bed to holding a conversation.

There are a couple of reasons that robotics will become ubiquitous and central to our lives in the coming decade: the advancement of what developers call belief space and the development of cloud robotics. First of all, Belief Space refers to a mathematical framework that allows us to model a given environment statistically and develop probabilistic outcomes. Essentially, it allows a robot to interact with its surroundings intelligently because it would know the outcomes of its actions and be fully situationally aware (for example, a robot walking through a crowd and avoiding dangerous obstacles like potholes or incoming traffic). Until recently, it was difficult to program a robot for all the possible outcomes that it would encounter in the real world because of the sheer amount of computing power it would require. This leads me to the second advancement, cloud robotics¸ which allows a robot to tap into the cloud and access vast troves of data and shared experiences to enhance the understanding of its own belief space. Before, robots were standalone pieces of electronics with capabilities that were limited to the hardware and software inside the unit. But by becoming networked devices, robots can now incorporate the experiences of every other robot of their kind and “learn” at an accelerating rate. It would be fantastic and so cool if we as people could tap into a worldwide neural network and draw from not just our own limited experiences and expertise, but from that of billions of other people as well.

Alas, robots are the sole carriers of this capability, but many speculate that our robotic future may radically change human life even more than simply servicing our human needs. One view is that it is inevitable robots will surpass humanity and become a species of their own; another is that they can’t possibility compete with human ingenuity; and a third option is that human and machine will become a cohesive unit. Within the robotics community, the future of technology is wrapped up in the concept of the singularity, the theoretical point in time when artificial intelligence will match or surpass human intelligence. If this event in time occurs, it’s unclear what the relationship between robots and humans will become; it would either enhance the human experience or unleash a dystopian future where people become inferior and subservient to machines. Yay.

In the end, the dissemination of robotics will in part depend on a country’s culture, meaning how readily people will accept robots in their lives. For whatever reason, the western world has a deeply rooted fear of robotics. The notion of humanity creating things they cannot control is substantial in western literature and pop culture. Prometheus was condemned to an eternity of punishment for giving fire to humans. Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" focuses around a physician whose grotesque creation wreaks havoc and ultimately leads to its creator’s death. "The Terminator" franchise centers around a dystopian future where robots have exterminated most of humanity and its few survivors struggle to survive and alter the course of their fate. These are just a few of the numerous examples where western culture has demonstrated how afraid they are of the impending robotic future. Even though many of North America’s private companies are investing heavily in robotics, the attitude of western consumers means that capitalists will look eastward to sell their robotic-centered products.

Eastern cultures world have shown a more positive stance concerning robots. The ancient Shinto religion, practiced by 80 percent of Japanese people, includes belief in animism, which holds that both objects and human beings have spirits. As a result, Japanese culture tends to be more accepting of robot companions than is western culture, which views robots as soulless machines. In a culture where the inanimate can be considered to be just as alive as the animate, robots can be seen as members of society rather than as mere tools or as threats. The cultural dynamic in Japan is representative of the culture through much of East Asia, enabling the Asian robotics industry to speed ahead, unencumbered by cultural baggage. To me, this means that we will get our first glimpse of a world full of robots in East Asia rather than in any western country. Regardless, I’m excited about our robotics future, and I’m confident that cultural attitudes in the west will slowly change to catch up with eastern societies.

Cover Image Credit: Telegraph

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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15 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Someone's Day Today

Make this summer about more than just you.
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Summer is finally here and for many of us, that means a time full of rest and relaxation. We have fewer obligations and therefore much more time to focus on the things that matter the most to us. As we enter into warmer days, here are 15 easy and inexpensive things you can do for someone else.

1. Write a letter (yes, an actual letter) to someone you haven't spoken to in a while.

Whether it be a family member or an old friend, the art of writing letters is dying. Make someone's day, send some snail mail.

2. Bake cookies for a police or fire station.

We're incredibly fortunate to have so many policemen and firemen waiting in the wings if something goes wrong. Show your appreciation for them and deliver a sweet treat to a local station.

3. Make dinner for a neighbor.

Everyone has hard weeks but even in the weeks that aren't so hard, doing something kind for a neighbor or busy mom can make all of the difference in their sanity.

4. Compliment someone walking down the street (in a non-creepy way).

No explanation needed. There's nothing nicer than getting that little boost of confidence from someone you don't know.

5. Donate old clothes or toys.

You're not going to wear them or play with them anymore anyway. Why not make the day or the week of someone else that can't afford all that you can. Also, there may be no intention of ulterior motives, but a clean closet leaves room for more clothes (just sayin').

6. Call a family member just to say hi.

Family is super important and when you get older it can get tough to keep in touch with those that don't live close. One 10 minute phone call will make their day and probably earn you some family bonus points too.

7. Pay for the person behind you in line.

Who knows what kind of day the person behind you is having, a $10 act of kindness (maybe even less) could brighten an entire morning.

8. Knock out some extra house chores.

Leaving all of the housework for one person is unfair and brutal. Sometimes the only way to help a stressed-out parent is by making their time at home even less demanding.

9. Donate canned or boxed foods to the local food pantry.

We all have that one corner of the panty that has canned food not seen or touched for 2 years. Clean out your pantry and provide a meal for someone in need. It's a win-win scenario.

10. Clean up trash in your neighborhood.

If you, the person who lives there, don't care about how it looks why should anyone else? Take pride in your town and pick up some trash.

11. Put together care packages for the homeless.

What a rewarding way to give to those in need. Sometimes it can be hard to give out cash, and instead, a care package seems to do more good.

12. Sign up to volunteer in your town.

Once again, you live there, DON'T YOU? Take pride in your town. Who knows who you may meet along the way.

13. Take flowers to a friend.

Diamonds are the key to a girls heart, BUT if you can't afford to bring home a bouquet of diamonds, flowers just may be your next best bet.

14. Leave extra change in a vending machine for the next person.

What a nice $1 way to make someone's day.

15. Leave kind notes in random places.

Not all kind actions have to have monetary value. In fact, most of the best ones don't. Leave behind a sweet note, that may make even more of a difference than giving money.

We've all been in the mood to wake up and do something good for someone around us. Take the first step in having a great summer and be a friend to someone new. Odds are, you'll end up benefitting yourself more than you could ever benefit the other person.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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