Recently the UN published some quite amazing predictions for the next two years: that the robotics industry would increase sevenfold in the next two years, and that there would likely be about 4.1 million household robots spread all over the world, mowing our lawns, cleaning our windows and guarding our homes by the year 2007.
During the short period of time home computers have taken to conquer the world, Iceland has followed closely, bringing innovative ways of teaching into the classroom, and numerous Icelandic schools have titled themselves “technologically aligned”. In fact, Icelanders, to my knowledge, have always been quick in accommodating technological innovations. So how fast will this little island adapt to the coming wave of robotics?
To answer that question, we must look to the future. The younger generations have dedicated themselves to the technology of the Internet, learning web-interface programming such as HTML to create their own web pages, not to mention the immense popularity of blogging. Given the predicted increase of household robots, we should expect the same kind of enthusiasm from kids when it comes to modifying or creating their own personal robots.
The world of intellect-mechanics is moving from scientists and dark laboratories of multi-billion dollar corporations into the homes of amateur computer savvy adolescents. On the World Wide Web, pages are
popping up everywhere containing A.I. tutorials and providing free software to those who might be interested in ‘making a mind’. SONY corporation’s still overpriced robo-dog AIBO, along with hundreds of do-it-yourself robot kits, have led to people changing their robot’s programming to suit their own taste. While some aspects of Artificial Intelligence might still belong to a world of tomorrow, the hour is getting closer to midnight.