For many years tech gurus have expressed certainty that the internet would be the saving grace of productivity and ultimately lead us to a more fruitful future. However, now, robotics, and not cyberspace are seen as the key to a more nimble, fast-paced society. This recent article
in The Telegraph
nicely lays-out this argument for robotics as the main driver of progress over the coming decades. The author, Matthew Lynn, even states, "With the possible exception of social networks, the web modifies existing products, rather than creating new ones." Bold words. However, I would argue that the two must work in lock-step and that internet technologies have paved the way and created a bridge to an explosion in robotics. It is after all a bit reductionist to say, as Lynn does, that "Email is useful, but doesn't do much a phone call couldn't do." Right. Regardless, of where you stand on internet-based technologies versus a robotic revolution, it is a fascinating time to be a human!
What are your thoughts? Do you feel that the growth of robotic technologies will far outpace those that are internet-based in terms of impact on society, culture and productivity? In relation to our work, what role could or should robots play in our fourth floor learning theater?