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Robotics and AI: The Future is Now

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New Trends in Robotics Technology and AI: Allowing Humans to Center on Creativity And Innovation

A world where robots and artificial intelligence (AI) play a role in our lives is not just a concept in a futuristic sci-fi movie; it is happening right now. AI and robotics are changing our day-to-day lives, habits and the very nature of business.

To keep students up to date with the latest cutting-edge and disruptive technologies, EU Business School hosted The Future Is Now, an exclusive AI and robotics summit on October 23, 2018, at CosmoCaixa, Barcelona, one of the leading cities in robotics and artificial intelligence. Industry leaders, alongside Pepper the humanoid robot developed by Softbank Robotics, shared their insights and knowledge of AI and robotics with students, preparing them for the effects these technologies will have on the way they conduct business in the future.

Mischa Dohler on Advantages of Artificial Intelligence and How it Will Change The Future

We had the pleasure of hearing from one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of telecommunications, 5G, AI and robotics. Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, Mischa Dohler expounded on how AI and robotics will be of great use to us in the future with examples ranging from self-driving cars to the rise of cryptocurrencies and even the opportunity of using nanorobots to treat cancer.

The conclusion was: robots and AI can perform mundane and time-consuming tasks allowing humans to do what they do best; be creative and imaginative. Passionately, he also spoke of how AI can help humanity.

How AI can Help Humanity

AI and the speed of 5G are opportunities to better the world. Possibilities are endless; imagine being at a concert that is being played live around the world simultaneously; a specialist surgeon in Europe performing a life-saving operation in rural Asia; even working less hours while being more productive and creative. Developments in 5G and robotics have made this a reality.

In summary, with soft robotics and Quantum technologies on the horizon, advancements like these will lead to the restructuring of society and help combat many socio-economic problems, such as worldwide access to healthcare.

As with the solutions that AI and robotics are providing in areas such as medicine and development, there is great scope for what these new technologies can do to improve the business sector. Automated production, machine learning and robotics have maximized productivity and profitability of companies worldwide. The use of AI and robotics in business and production can streamline the way we work, and it can ultimately lead to us resetting our relationship with work.

The technology we will have at our fingertips will enable us to jump generations and empower ourselves. We are quickly approaching the ability to create a Synchronized Reality, and with the development of Quantum technologies, the things we thought impossible could soon be part of our daily lives.

Future Robotic Technology: Managing The Risks and Dangers

As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. According to Mischa Dohler the impact AI has had on us isn’t completely known because it is impossible to fully comprehend. AI could have had knock-on effects towards world events such as stock market crashes and conflict situations. Without a full and comprehensive picture of AI’s affects it is near impossible to identify the extent of the impact it has had on global events.

Jaume Portell on Artificial Intelligence Future Applications and Innovation in The Retail Sector

To illustrate how AI is already being applied in business, Jaume Portell, co-founder and CEO of Beabloo, one of the few European companies which will change the face of retail according to Goldman Sachs, showed how AI has taken his business from strength to strength. He explained how AI and technology are used in retail to enhance customer experience allowing retailers to streamline systems and ultimately resulting in increased value for stakeholders.

Beabloo implements software in conjunction with big screens to observe and understand customer’s patterns by evaluating engagement. The aim is to supply the customer with an interactive experience tailored to their wants and needs based on the data obtained instore. Interactive screens personalize advertising and make product suggestions, as well as providing the customer with information on products and brands. As a result, retailers making use of the system show a 17 percent increase in direct conversion.

As a natural progression of technology, according to Jaume, AI should be embraced. Even though many assume that e-commerce exceeds traditional retail settings, it is foreseen that it will only come to represent 20 percent of sales. Shoppers prefer the experience of in-store shopping, where they can touch products and ultimately enjoy the experience of buying. Through AI retailers have found a way to engage with customers and enhance the desired in-store experience.

Debating AI: How Robots and AI Will Affect Future Generations

In a discussion panel with the aforementioned esteemed speakers alongside EU lecturers John Wetherell and Henry Negreira, the panel agreed that AI and robotics should be embraced and used to benefit people across the world. The AI of tomorrow will far surpass the abilities of what is available to us today.

Guest Pepper robot addressed fears that humans may become obsolete by explaining that robots are looking forward to coexisting with people. Pepper believes robots can help humans by doing the mundane tasks that take away resources needed to create and innovate. Pepper further explained that there are many tasks, most of them repetitive, where robots far outperform their human counterparts. Robots can also be utilized to the advantage of people to eliminate loss of life in dangerous situations such as hazardous labor in mines and even bomb disposal situations.

China and the U.S. are at the forefront of funding and implementation of AI and robotics, and leading companies such as Alibaba, Google and Microsoft are investing millions of dollars in this technology.  In the development of technologies each geography has its role to play, and some European cities, such as Barcelona, a hub for startups, international tech and software companies, are fast becoming game-changers in technological advancement.

Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Technologies and The Future of Jobs

The invasion of privacy, bigger wealth divide between developed and developing countries as well as job security with AI as a possible replacement for human labor was questioned by students. Indeed, it was established that technology has indeed made some jobs obsolete. However, it is also noted that AI has created jobs where different skillsets are required. So, while AI and robotics may lead to mass displacement, it will also create the need for people with various new skills, creating new fields and job opportunities. Therefore, it seems apt to suggest that as humans we should not fear the upcoming technological revolution that is fast approaching, and instead embrace the opportunities it will bring.

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