The coming decade will see societies transform as humans learn to live alongside robots. ~ Alec Ross
It is difficult to imagine a world where humans make their peace to live alongside Robots after seeing how a self aware Skynet launched attack to destroy human species. Although that might not be feasible in near future, it is worth to study how robots will affect our lifestyle. Being a tech developer from heart, for me, that is to study how my applications need to adapt to these new species. To understand that better, we need to dive on to what “Robot” actually means.
A Mining machine, that replaced millions of human labour from coal industry was a robot, the da vinci Surgical System, that helped surgeons save lives of thousands of lives is also a robot and so is a sophisticated AI chat-bot for online support.
In my definition, any “machine” that performs any “task” with an efficiency better or equal to that of a human, is a Robot.
How does that affect my Applications?
Around a billion robots are expected to enter the human civilization in next couple of decades. This constitutes to around 14% of world population which means a huge new and un-captured market.
Most of the services and applications we develop today are meant to have “human” customer base. Does that mean that we missing on the new sect of “smart” customers that will probably have much more engagement to our apps than humans could ever have?
With that said, we need to acknowledge Robots as a part of our ecosystem while designing our applications and understanding the target audience. They can significantly change the way we think about customer interaction with our applications today. It can be as simple as a client doing pub/sub operations on a message queue or as complex as making queries based on their belief space. It can be a cloud service consumed remotely by the Robot or an app installed on the robot itself.
The applications then need to be aware of robot’s state, environment, location and past actions. They need to be smarter than the robot itself, so as to be useful in the new world.
Robots will be an entity where all fields of engineering will come together to show off the best of what human race has achieved in past century.