Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beyond Google Glass - The World in 2025: Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to Part IV of my series "Beyond Google Glass – The World in 2025". Some of the products I'm showcasing are available today. Some are receiving the final polish and will be introduced within the next decade. Check out the other parts of the series too:
Part I - Wearables and Interactive Surfaces
Part II - Shopping in the Future
Part III - Print Everything
image by ars electronica via Flickr

You were waiting for this, right? No discussion on future tech is complete without robots and artificial intelligence. As always, click the links to see videos or articles about these up-and-coming concepts.


Robots are becoming faster, more agile and dexterous. Not to mention, Honda's Asimo looks adorable.

Not sure what to eat for dinner? Ask your robot to check your frig, then YouTube for a cooking lesson.

But there are others. Why do we need human mail carriers when a robot can lift hundreds of pounds without complaining? At least until they take over the world, that is. The video is pretty long, but it's worth checking out. Think you can outrun the one at the 6:00 mark?

Artificial Intelligence

Zoe is a talking head that can remind you of your appointments or take notes for you. But she now also has six different emotions. Click here to see an angry reminder for a birthday gift.

Amazon Echo and Emospark are both AI you can talk to. Emospark takes it a step further. It reads your facial features. Its goal is to make you happy, by playing music, telling you the score for your favorite baseball team or showing you pictures from your summer vacation.

Cognitoys has a talking dinosaur that recognizes each of your children's voice. It interacts with them and recognizes when they grow intellectually, giving more complicated explanation and posing more difficult questions. I showed it to my kids, and despite the needs-improvement voice, they both want one.

Sure, they give us new possibilities, but does anyone else feel creeped out about these new developments?

After having seen them all, my question is this. With so many examples of how technology will change our world, where does that leave people? Will we turn into the floating humans of Wall-E? Pure consumers with little obligation to do anything but buy and enjoy? 

What do you think?


  1. Although I would love to believe in a future where mankind were free to become philosophers, explorers, and artists, I cannot help but feel that the future hold a more dystopian society. More automation leaves people who have replaceable skills in poverty or a militaristic society. I see little hope that everyone can find a place in such a future. I do hope that I am mistaken.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, J-Man! I completely understand where you're coming from. I tend to be pretty pessimistic myself, and I also hope I'm wrong. :-)

  3. I have a question about artificial intelligence. Do you believe mankind can actually create this? To date all artificial intelligence projects have been simulations of intelligence rather than the reality. What do you see as an actual catalyst which might provoke a true intelligence in an "artificial" medium?

  4. I'm not involved in research, so I can't answer that, J-Man, but I found this article. It's long, but I think it gives the answers you were looking for (spoiler: yes, and after a certain point, the computers will do it themselves)

  5. good read. and just "J" is ok. stupid google account...

  6. When I started studying AI, it was in the middle of a renaissance and I was optimistic about recent advances. speech recognition software

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Richard. I don't want to come off as being ungrateful. Technology helps us in so many ways, and amazing, new developments will continue to do that. It's just farther down the line that worries me a little.