The Future of Automation and AI
Originally posted Jan 29, 2020
The future of automation and AI is bright. Everything from cars to personal assistants is enabling automation and the use of machine learning. Companies such as Uber and Amazon are dabbling in automation and AI, reducing workloads and wait times, attempting to predict what you want, when you want it.
Drones for Delivery
Imagine this: You purchase something online, and within hours, a drone delivers your order straight to your door. The drone is completely autonomous, dropping off the order at your doorstep and then returning to a warehouse. This future is not far off, and companies such as Amazon are already testing autonomous drones.
Tesla cars not only have a self-driving feature but can be remotely summoned, driving to the owner’s location. Ride-summoning services such as Lyft and Uber are testing autonomous vehicles, such as through Google’s Waymo program. It’s possible that the future of ride summoning may not have any drivers, offloading the driving onto AI. Self-driving cars are becoming more common, but the technology still needs improvement before complete widespread use. Even robot kits for kids are teaching the next generation how to program self-driving cars using machine learning.
Fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s are testing kiosks that would eliminate the need for a human taking an order. A touchscreen enables a customer to customize and place their order, in theory speeding up the process. It is not dissimilar to self-checkouts at grocery stores. The entire process is automated, save for the actual cooking of food.
Customer Service Chatbots
In retail environments, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store or an online storefront, AI-based chatbots can help find products or troubleshoot, answering common questions or knowing when to escalate to a human customer service representative for complex issues. The future could hold AI that can answer questions and perform tasks, such as finding a lost order, canceling orders, or troubleshooting problems with the item, taking more responsibility for all but the most complex of problems.
Better Personal Assistants
Personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home systems can already recognize the voices of different users. Automation can be set to turn on lights when a user returns home. However, it’s not true AI—yet. While Alexa can’t carry on an actual conversation, it may not be long before personal assistants can respond intelligently instead of with a canned response. It may seem like science fiction, but an AI personal assistant that anticipates your needs and uses natural language is in the pipeline.
Getting Ready for the Future
With AI and automation becoming pervasive in our lives, those entering the workforce must have the skills to continue creating and upgrading autonomous systems and AI. Preparing for the future could be as simple as learning how to build and code a programmable robot, teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills that will be highly valuable in the future.
Robolink has been encouraging students to engage with STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) since 2012. Their goal is to make STEM education accessible, engaging, and fun, and they are passionate about robotics, education, and engineering. Each entertaining, educational robot kit Robolink offers is packed with real tech, great for both students and hobbyists alike. The San Diego-based team believes in nurturing future inventors and innovators. Robolink operates two hands-on learning centers in San Diego and also runs after-school programs in 15 elementary and middle schools in San Diego County.
Learn more about Robolink’s robot kits at robolink.com