Thursday, October 26, 2017

Who 'da man?

On August 3rd of this year, I wrote about my then-recent appearance on the podcast The World Transformed, in which I discussed my contribution (finally titled, "Ask Jeff Bezos To Hire Humanity") to Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon's book Visions for a World Transformed. In that interview I mentioned that one of the ways that Jeff Bezos could make money from hiring humanity was to create a means whereby people could learn how to remotely operate robotic devices (for a modest fee) and, not incidentally, create a place from which they could subsequently do so and earn themselves a living in this brave new robotic world (less another modest fee to him, of course).

Proving that opportunity is also fleeting, I read with interest this article in IEEE Spectrum magazine by Ben Wolff (CEO of SARCOS Robotics) about a company building robotic devices intended to be controlled by human operators:

Imagine a machine that is your personal proxy, controlled by you, leveraging your intelligence, knowledge, instincts, intuition, and judgment while able to physically perform in the same manner as your own body, but safely, and with super-human strength, endurance, and precision. This vision is at the core of the Guardian robot systems concept developed at my company, Sarcos Robotics, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It doesn't take any special visionary powers to foresee the likely results of peoples openly discussed development efforts, whether for robotics or for human education or employment. It does take a willingness to test your level of confidence in your personal vision to allow for incorporation of other's vision therein. There is a telling turn-of-phrase from the athletics world, "Comes the hour, comes the man". That hour is steadily approaching; it remains to be seen if Jeff Bezos has it within himself to be that man.

Someone does.

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