Global Industry Vision 2025: Living with Bots

Huawei’s annual Global Industry Vision 2025 report analyzes tech trends that are shaping the future over the next five years. In this post and short video, I give an overview of the first trend, Living with Bots.

GIV predicts that by 2025, 14% of homes will have
a domestic robot.

In what form? Think of a robot in 2020 and the
scope is broader than ever, ranging from the cute (a child’s smart toy or a vac
bot bumping around your home) to the functional (the thing you voice command to
do stuff in the home or an assembly line bot) to the classic dystopian humanoid
(think iRobot or the Terminator franchise).

Whatever it is, robots are here to stay. And given
their potential benefits, that’s a good thing. Advances in materials science,
perceptual AI, and network tech like 5G, cloud, and IoT are making it
increasingly likely that a robot will be making your life better by 2025.

Based on GIV 2025, here’s a taster of some of the
applications we can look forward to:

Nursing Bots

Two main trends are driving the demand for nursing
bots:

(1) It’s not just you who’s getting older: Globally, the number of people hitting the
senior demographic (65 years old) is increasing by 3% per year. In today’s
Europe, for example, 20% of people are over 60. For society, the prognosis of
this “demographic transition” means fewer people of working age taking care of
more elderly people.

(2) There aren’t enough healthcare professionals: The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates
that by 2030, a global shortfall of 9 million healthcare professionals will
exist, with Southeast Asia and Africa hit hardest. The future demand for home
care workers is likely to far outstrip supply.

Many nations are stepping up research and
investment into nursing-specific bots and applications to ensure that they stay
ahead of the crisis curve. The functions of such bots outside of clinical
settings will include:

  • Collecting data from sensors embedded in wearables or from around the home and performing predictive analytics on health.
  • Performing checkups, acting as smart first-aiders that can respond to incidents at the millisecond level and administer aid in the “first golden minute”, calling emergency services, and transmitting your medical data to hospitals.
  • Dispensing medicine at the correct times in the correct amounts.
  • Heading off unnecessary, time- and resource-wasting hospital trips before they happen.

Bionic Bots

Who doesn’t want to run faster, see better, stave
off the effects of aging, or be safer at work? Demand for bionic tech is
unsurprisingly on the rise, with human augmentation making Gartner’s Top Ten
Strategic Technology Trends for 2020. Here are some examples:

  • Exoskeletons: Combining mechanics, sensors, AI, and mobile computing, smart exoskeletons are already available and demand is set to increase. As well as a mobility and protective tool for the elderly, exoskeletons will boost safety in industrial scenarios, help with gait rehabilitation, and allow people with neurological disorders or stroke patients to get about.
  • Prosthetics: Smart prosthetics are getting smarter, with machine learning able to make the brain-limb connection that automatically conveys the intention of an action to the limb and current research looking at musculoskeletal computing models.
  • Augmentation devices: As well as exoskeletons and prosthetics, sensory augmentation, for example, bionic lenses that can potentially replace the eye’s natural lens with camera optics, and brain implants that can perform functions like controlling seizures are on the horizon.

Companion Bots

The evolution of perceptual AI, such as natural
language processing and computer vision (including facial recognition), will
enable multiple-round, multiple-level dialogues with nuanced, real-time changes
in tone and intonation based on increasingly complex decision trees. In short,
chatting to a robot buddy is destined to become indistinguishable from chatting
to another person.

So, what kind of applications and experience can
we expect from the artificial linguist?

  • Study bots: By 2025, it’s expected that every child will benefit from an “Einstein-like” smart tutor that can tailor learning methods to individuals. In more formal settings, AI-powered analytics will also be able to spot data-driven correlations too sophisticated for human teachers, for example, if exercise before math class improves performance or how nutrition affects learning outcomes.
  • Therapy bots: While machines may never replace the human connection, they’re already occupying a predictive and therapeutic role in certain health scenarios, including evaluating the brain signals of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using EEG and video cameras to record interaction with the robot.
  • Virtual therapists: With the WHO estimating that 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, emotionally intelligent robots that employ empathy and decision-tree dialogues are already proving valuable in helping to address mental health issues. The CBT-wielding Woebot and the data-analyzing mental health monitor mind.me are two examples.
  • Friendship bots: Depression’s unpleasant sibling – loneliness – is on the rise. Studies report that 14% of Brits are lonely and that loneliness in the US has tripled since the 80s. But, advances in perceptual and cognitive AI will increase the sophistication of decision trees and subtle responses to human stimuli that may go some way to ameliorating the issue.

Butler Bots

When it comes to housework, the majority of people
would rather be doing something else. And the good news is that you probably
will be able to – sooner than you think.

Currently, we’re seeing bots perform basic tasks
like folding clothes, vacuuming, and picking things up. Butler bots will
continue to learn the preferences and usage habits of individual family members
and provide a range of home services for individuals and families based on
voice commands, sensors, and apps.

For the full analysis and [email protected] predictions for
how robots will impact home life and also the business opportunities and value
that will be created, visit the Global
Industry Vision
website.

In the meantime, it might be time to start
thinking about that new family member – will you embrace a robot helper, nurse,
pet, or butler into your home or not? Leave a comment below.


Article Source: HuaWei

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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