Neal Cook, Front Rush
This past week, Otto, the Uber-owned self-driving vehicle operation, completed its first successful commercial delivery, delivering 2,000 cases of Budweiser from Fort-Collins, Colo to Colorado Springs: about 125 miles on the highway.
In this fast-paced world which we call our daily lives, that might not seem too crazy of a story, but think about it: A truck was able to drive itself, on a major highway, without a driver being in control. That’s wild. Tell that to your mother, father, grandmother, etc. and see their reaction.
Artificial intelligence and autonomous technology are here to stay. The Otto beer delivery was the first of its kind (great PR for Anheuser-Busch,) and a tale of what’s to come. Imagine there being no human truck drivers, sailors, cab drivers, chefs, carpenters, construction workers. Not only can it happen; history tells us it will. It’s just a matter of time.
Not only will robots eventually take over the blue-collar jobs, like the ones I listed above, but they’ll also dabble in the expert human jobs (doctors, lawyers, teachers, coaches, etc), that we control today. Just this past May, the law firm Baker & Hostetler, announced they were employing IBM’s Al Ross to handle their bankruptcy practice. Ross is a robot lawyer.
It’s not just Silicon Valley investing in A.I., but also our government. The Pentagon has put artificial intelligence at the center of its plan to maintain the United States’ position as the world’s dominant military power, spending billions of dollars on autonomous and semiautonomous technology. Think Terminator or iRobot. iRobot is actually one of my favorite Will Smith movies.
This blog may seem “anti-robot”, but it’s really not meant to be. There are so many potential ways for robots to help humans. Imagine there being a robot to help your elderly family member shower, change the sheets, walk the dog. Or, imagine having the luxury of a robot assistant able to assist you in breaking down game film and finding the 5-star athlete that know one else knows about.
We should never be afraid of technology or the future; for we should never live a fearful life, but be aware of what’s to come, and the potential implications.