Robotics, Technology, Industrialization = An Amazing Future (Daniel Waltrip)

Industrialization and Robotics were two major topics this week. These topics are obviously stem from the “technologic” aspect of this class. Over the past two centuries, starting with the industrial revolution, our world and how humans live, work, operate and function in life has changed far more rapidly than ever before. In class we saw clips from several famous science fiction films, which is always fun. However an important point was made. We are coming ever closer to achieving such things. Robots are now commonly employed in countless industries and perform quickly and much more efficiently mechanical processes. Artificial intelligence, though nothing like “The Matrix” or “I Robot”, is improving quite rapidly. We have all seen the commercials with Honda’s amazing running, stair climbing humanoid.

This is part of the natural progression of technology that began to increase exponentially with the industrial revolution of the 1800’s and the incredible developments of the 20th century (fueled by two world wars, NASA, the advent of globalization, instant worldwide communication and sharing of knowledge and ideas, and the birth of the computer age). Things will only continue to improve, changed radically, amaze us, and catch us off guard. I want to stress that last point, because a common theme that we witnessed in the sci-fi movies was a fear of the future and technology. It is natural to fear that we which we don’t understand, and I would pretty freaked out too if robots with advanced AI started acting up. However, we are nowhere near that point. I suppose that people will always fantasize about killer robots (e.g. The SNL episode that Gil showed us about “Robot Insurance”), but I personally anticipate such developments. If technology continues on its present upward course, my generation should see very exciting, positive changes in our lifetime.

For an example of what robotic technology is bringing us, here’s a youtube video of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). The next step? Unmanned tanks? Robotic soldiers? Fighting a war without any casualties? Only time will tell…


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