If they don’t have a human form yet, robots have already invaded our daily life: coffee machines, alarm clocks, industrial robots … They are present everywhere even if we are not aware of it around us. Zoom on the main reasons why the human version could work.
A survey that gives us some clues
According to the OpinionWay survey for Klépierre conducted on December 20 and 21, 2017 on a sample of 1052 people, more than half (52%) would be willing to welcome a robot in their daily environment: at home (28%), in shopping malls (21%) and in stores (15%). On the other hand, only 8% would accept a robot at work (fear of being replaced?) and 6% imagine it in their car (even though they are already de facto present). On the other hand, 51%) accept the help of a robot for household tasks. Finally, 18% consider the robot useful for shopping.
According to Elise Masurel, Marketing Director of the Klépierre Group, “the relationship of trust is gradually being established between the French and robots…. It is up to us to continue to innovate in the direction of the French, to anticipate their expectations and to be avant-garde in order to surprise them.
Whether we like it or not, humanoid robots could well become part of our daily lives. If many people rebel at this idea and disaster scenarios become legion and cause anxiety, the reasons why they could develop become obvious. Let’s zoom in on the ones that could make such a development happen in our companies.
The market could demand it
This is perhaps the first reason why humanoid robots could develop en masse. The population in developed countries is aging and dependency is increasingly a problem and therefore an unavoidable issue. The presence of a robot that can perform all the repetitive or manual tasks of a human being seems to be one of the solutions that could be adopted by many people who can no longer perform them and who do not have human help around them. A robot that carries your groceries, does the housework, moves bulky objects for you? A dream for some, especially since they would eventually be able to do what we cannot do ourselves and do not like to do. Other businesses could well facilitate its development, among which one of the most powerful in terms of innovation: the sex business… We will remember that many companies first broke through in this field, especially in the web or the minitel.
The search for gain of the companies
The industrial era was born and it is necessary to notice that many jobs disappeared to make room for robots sometimes ultra-sophisticated and much more powerful than the human being. Amazon is a typical example of this. Saving time and costs, absence of errors, represents a real interest for many companies that will not hesitate to take the plunge to ensure better returns. And, by snowball effect, it could well prove necessary for the recalcitrant, to have to adopt these tools to challenge the competition. A study entitled “The Rise of the Machines” indicates that there are already more than one million industrial robots in the world. While the ratio is still low, with 295 robots for every 10,000 workers in Japan, it is important to understand that robotics is at the stage of computing in the 1970s and will undoubtedly grow and take over without us realizing it.
The development of AI as a driving force
The development of artificial intelligence, which has been accelerating at a dizzying pace in recent years, raises the question of its coupling with the machine. It seems obvious that the more this first one develops, the more humanoid robotics takes on meaning and that its development will become unavoidable. If this one manages to apprehend the “functionalities” of a human being, humanoid robotics could well develop on a large scale and more rapidly than we imagine.
The difficulty for companies to find workers
There is a plethora of sectors where employees are in short supply. One only has to mention the hotel and restaurant industry to understand that companies sometimes have difficulty finding qualified employees. If this is understandable in terms of the difficulty of certain jobs (hours, working hours, low pay), the intuitive solution would be to fill these gaps with robots that could have a humanoid form. If we can think that the human form is not necessarily necessary, as we can see with robot cooks, the mass production of robots should lead to a standardization and intuitively a resemblance with the set of activities that a human being can perform.
Because they are already with us
Many companies have already developed their own robots. You only have to look at the progress made by the company Boston Dynamics to be convinced that their bipedal robot Atlas is not far from being among us. If not long ago, the humanoid robot struggled to walk on a stony road, it now manages to move on uneven terrain that has large obstacles and hazards. In parallel, in Japan, robots resembling more and more human beings have been developed. The example of a robot hostess shown in many videos has attracted growing interest.
There are many other reasons why humanoid robotics could become our everyday companion. Let’s hope, however, that it develops in the spirit of serving man and not making him a slave.