Very near future talk: Robots and 2020 is posted

I gave a speech last week at Assemble Pittsburgh on Kids and Creativity in 2020. This talk describes some of the themes in Robot Futures specific to the very near future, then applies some of those considerations to the fate of children, teachers and school. You can watch the video at the original Kids+Creativity blog post, or embedded below. This talk is a good introduction to my views on how technology can help or hinder society in the next decade, and why.

One thought on “Very near future talk: Robots and 2020 is posted

  1. Paul Denton

    The idea of children needing to be more statistically literate I find is incongruous with what is observed today. The whole “Big Data” phenomenon would have already precipitated these changes to some degree already if this were true. What do we see instead? The roll out of services such as Google Knowledge Graph, Wolfram Alpha, Siri and most interestingly IBM’s Watson. All of these convert natural language questions into statistical analyses. The trend here is for the development of tools which allow hypotheses to be tested whilst minimising statistical operations performed by humans. IBM’s Watson is capable of being fed unsorted, unstructured data, interpreting that in a useful manner and then answering natural language queries on this data before giving answers.

    The example in the video pertaining to visual data will more likely be a capability programmed into these smart systems as visual recognition of data is also massively advancing; today’s relevant tool here being Google’s photo recognition software which can differentiate between say a plate of pasta and a bunch of flowers and label them accordingly. Why can’t I ask it to identify rainforest, desert and savannah and tell me the percentile change of these variables over the years? It is hardly a stretch of the imagination, nor the capabilities of today’s technology, let alone the technology of 2020.

    Statistical analysis will become a task that is increasingly delegated to machines. All the children of the future need to know is to ask the right questions.


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