Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are advancing and merging like never before, but a complete merger isn’t expected for a couple of decades. What may happen at that point is “singularity,” the complete merging of humans, robots, and AI.
To get an idea of how this has become a possibility, this article looks at the emergence of robots and AI in three parts: 1) the age of fantasy, 2) the emergence of exponential technological growth, and 3) the use of robots and AI in industrial settings and beyond.
Part I – The Age of Fantasy
The following infographic, “An Astonishing Agglomeration of Robots and Artificial Intelligence,” was created by Novastor, a backup storage provider for small and medium size companies, government institutions, and local data centers. It charts the world of robots and AI as they have appeared in literature, film, television and video games. Robots and AI started out in the popular imagination as fantasies centuries ago, and it has taken until the past four decades for the emergence of the technology needed to turn fantasy into reality.
Part II – The Emergence of Exponential Technological Growth
The following graph, “Exponential Growth of Computing,” shows that the power of machines will be so massive as to completely overwhelm human mental power in the next several decades. Human brains are computers according to the late Martin Minsky, founder of AI at MIT, capable of processing one quadrillion calculations per second. But by 2050, one computer will process enough calculations per second that it will be equivalent to the combined brain processing power of the 10 billion human brains alive at that time.
Reaching this point has literally taken 10 billion years as illustrated in the following chart by Ray Kurzweil from his book Countdown to Singularity.
Part 3: Running the World with Robotics & AI
Today, robots are literally building the future. In the process, they are causing headaches for humans as robots put people out of work, destabilizing society. Investments in robotics over the next decade will easily exceed $1 trillion, and that is only the beginning.
The following infographic, “Robotics Building the Future,” provides statistics and projections on the opportunities and challenges of a future dominated by robotics and AI.