Rise of the Robots

At ChannelCon this month, Darren McBride, CEO, Highly Reliable Systems, delivered a talk on automation and its impact on our society imaginatively titled “Rise of the Robots.” The first half of the presentation rolled out like a bulleted list, with McBride citing flashy recent moves forward in automation. Examples included a brick-laying robotic arm; a sports article written by a computer; the Amazon Echo; reverse image searching; automated music recommendations; websites like how-old.net and celebslike.me; a robotic hamburger-making machine; and self-driving cars.

Here McBride moved into the social implications of such robotic automation. According to McBride, self-driving cars will initially serve as taxis. Eventually this will eliminate the need for parking lots, freeing up real estate. It will free up professional drivers to perform other job roles, and the reduction in accidents will allow medical and legal professionals to concentrate on more loft goals. Automation will also accelerate agriculture and lead to better radiology analysis, McBride said. He added that all of this could lead to a utopic existence for humanity eventually but will mean social disruption initially, as was already seen in the last couple decades at retail as e-commerce emerged.

Leave a Comment