The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 26, 2016


In an fascinating, illuminating, and frightening video, Boston Dynanics shows us just how far artificial intelligence and robotics have progressed:

A careful evaluation of the video leads to a few simple conclusions:
  1. Low and moderately skilled labor are in serious jeopardy over the coming decade. Stock clerks, fast food servers, and other low-skill jobs may become a thing of the past, particularly if progressives insist on a mandatory $15.00 or $20.00 minimum wage. Mid-level skill jobs may also evaporate, replaced by Gen 2 robots. Consider a UPS truck driven autonomously, with a Gen 3 Boston Dynamics robot in back to 'hand deliver' packages to your doorstep. Bye-bye Fedex and UPS drivers, not to mention postal workers!
  2. In the video a human pushes the robot who (?) maintains its balance. A human also moves a box repeatedly to stop the robot from completing its job goal. The robot is passive, but what if its A.I. goals were such that it would move to eliminate the pusher so it could get its work done. Bye-bye human.
  3. The robot is shown moving across uneven terrain in a very human-like way. An obvious extension at Gen 4 would be infantry robots—weaponized, of course (what could go wrong?). These soldier robots would replace boots on the ground in places like Syria. Bye-bye wounded warriors and hello visions of the Terminator.
In my estimation these predictions are not a 'whether'—they're a 'when.' And the 'when' is no more than a decade away.

All of this represents serious challenges for future generations—lots of very good things, and also, lots of potentially bad things—increasing levels of unemployment, potential danger to humans, and most important, unintended consequences that no one can yet foresee.

The future's high beam headlights are in our rear view mirror. Should we slow down and risk a rear-end collision or move over and let it pass right by us?