Technology Planning and Analysis

Our summer of robots

The last couple of days the BBC has been absolutely pumping out content on Artificial Intelligence and robots. Well, it is AI week apparently, and this has already included John Humphrys meeting a robot on the Radio 4 Today program, endless pieces all over the news about how robots will take our jobs (including a Panorama special) and a big interview today on how Facebook is using AI.

For some additional in-depth analysis see some of our recent coverage on the topic below. We’ve made robots a bit of a theme this summer…



“Robot Rights”: The future of robots at work
The doom and gloom version might be all about how robots will take our jobs but, honestly, people have been saying this sort of thing for years. In truth, of course some jobs will go, but many will stay and many will be developed. One thing is certain though: it is likely to be a lot more complicated and nuanced than people think. Read our analysis here.

Robophilia: What’s the psychological impact of sex tech?
Today the BBC announced the launch of a campaign calling for a ban on the development of robots that can be used for sex. Honestly, it looks like this bunch might have a tough job on their hands. You’d have to be a raging lunatic not to concede that as a soon as any new development emerges it will be used for sex. And ‘sex tech’ is already a massive money spinner. But perhaps more importantly, what will the psychological implications of all this be? We consulted a team of experts to find out their views.  


How are workplace robots being used differently around the world?
An interview with Gary Miles, Director of International Operations at Roffey Park
Workplace robots: East vs. West

Why to do lifelike robots still creep us out?
An interview with Stephanie Lay, a researcher with the Open University
Uncanny Valley: ‘Emotion’ in robots

Can you imagine doing your own surgery with a robot?
An interview with Frank Kolkman creator of a DIY surgical robot
DIY surgical robots: A step too far?

Will a robotic workforce ever really replace cheap human labour?
An interview with French Caldwell Chief Evangelist of GRC at MetricStream
A robotic workforce? No, humans are cheaper


And some editorial highlights on Artificial Intelligence:

AI & The “industrial revolution” in IT
An interview from last year with Ergun Ekici – VP Emerging Technologies, IPsoft. This looks at the big picture of AI.

AI in Art: Can a computer be an art critic?
An interesting piece from June with Ahmed Elgammal of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Can AI perform more ‘creative’ skills?

London Tech Week: Will AI put your job at risk?
A summary of a discussion a last year’s London Tech Week includes the views of a variety of experts.

Xerox: A sneaky ‘innovation’ strategy via B2B verticals
How Xerox has gathered some of the best brains to its innovation centre in France. This is its bid to lead in the important field of Artificial Intelligence.


Our reports from 2014
Is 2014 the year of Artificial Intelligence?
We might have been a bit premature here, but the insight and analysis remains current. This PDF includes interviews with a number of experts in the field.

Are ‘mind reading’ apps good or bad?
This report includes expert and analyst opinion to discover how machine learning and Artificial Intelligence might be practically used in the consumer arena


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