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CNET's CES 2017 Robotics panel: Are they ready to help?It's time to get over the sci-fi dreams and get to somewhere more real. Join us for a discussion with industry experts on where we're at and what's coming next.
[MUSIC] I think if you think about the progression of computing from desktop, to laptop, to mobile, now what you're starting to see is robotics entering into the frame. Really, if you think about it, that's spurred by one of the key consumer trends, which is the ability to talk. To your devices. And what's ironic about that is it's actually, it's a throw back to an original consumer trend which was just talking to each other, right? [LAUGH] So I think, it's kinda come full circle in that sense but what I think Robotics really does is it takes that wall that's between you and your environment. That cellphone and gets rid Right, and so the interactions that you can start to have become very meaningful in a way that isn't about you having to go pull out a device, start to search. It's just having a conversation. So, that's I think if you are hearing one of the themes across the board here, you're going to hear that theme. Speaking to your technology and getting value back from it. Is that, is that solving a problem? Improvised ultimately the evolution of systems like Alexa, like Google, like Cisco. Is that making ultimately, the, the adoption of robotics move more quickly and almost like a parallel path? I'll answer this real quick and let Devon do it. I think what's great about Echo and Google Home is it's making that trend be a lot more pervasive and it's moving along quite a bit more quickly. I think that the value of some of the form factors that you see from some of the likes of these companies is it takes what is an inanimate object, which is very passive and it turns it into a two-way pro-active interaction. Pepper can see you, Pepper can reach out to you, call you over, and deliver some sort of content which has a lot of really interesting uses. And, Dr. Fuller, you've mentioned before that you feel we're about to enter a rapid growth phase of robotics, and I'd love to hear a little bit about your reasoning for that. Well, from the examples that you've seen. But I think the reason is is because it's not just about mobility, but it is about the artificial intelligence. Of course this is not general AI Bot specific AI. And I think you're seeing also a driving factor through media. And so, in essence, we assign just grew up seeing movies like Star Wars and seeing various representations of robots. Mm-hm. And now, host of Exponential Technologies Having coming together to dance robotics. So, it's not just the robot him selves the EI, deep machine learning, it's the array of sensors that are out there. The ability for those sensors to see and hear. For instance, the studies with paper, I really empress with paper it's one of the my favorite innovation by the way because The whole point of it is, it does give presence. The whole thing about having arms and a face and seeing you, is what we as a society wanna see. We wanna have presence. And for us, from the avatar sense, we think that's extremely important. And I look at avatars as a. Basically a system to robots so that world connect avatars has robots powered by human intelligence. And I just think a robot by itself didn't have any intelligent. I mean you could go back couple thousand years and haven't atom that's mechanically burden. So I always say, a robot with AI or a robot with human intelligence. Think about a conversation that you've had with Alexa. You probably haven't, right? You tell Alexa to do something, it's either music, yes, lights if you have those enabled. Some kind of home automation. Or you ask a question of which most of the time today it says I don't know the answer, I didn't understand the question that I heard. It's getting better. You can ask questions. I asked is Ken [UNKNOWN] alive? After I finished one of his books. And she said yes. And I always think wow! That's really amazing! So it's coming along That's great for [UNKNOWN]. Yeah, that's good for him. And I also ask where does he live and it says London. And I have got two one-word answers which is totally unexpected. So things are coming along and I am impressed by that. But at the same time there's no conversation happening and I don't even think there's a conversation happening in the next five years. So you ask about short term. We focused on not having relay speak. And it's no problem to play speech and pretend we can talk. The problem is that people walk up to it all the time, I drive it through the convention center. And they say, hey, bring me a gin and tonic. [LAUGH] It's not gonna bring. Even though I understood it, I can't bring you a gin and tonic. And it's just gonna do that. And so you end up setting an expectation way up here. And then disappointing people and we decided that in the Star Wars metaphor, we'd go R2-D2 instead of C-3PO. These beeps and whistles and it's cute and maybe you don't understand it and that's okay. The other one I think is interesting just for you to seeing science fiction metaphors as Star Trek which doesn't really have any robots. It's surprising in that particular show. But the ship, as a whole, talks to you. So that's much more than Alexa than embodying robot. It wasn't data. [CROSSTALK] You actually have two AIs. You have data and then you have holographic doctor, who is an AI. And we can see evil twin as well. [CROSSTALK] They're gonna turn into Star Trek West World. [LAUGH] I agree but that's my whole point is And an AI training wasn't at all about conversation, it was about action. So in fact if I want to trained it to do it physical thing the data from that not from the conversation. And which is why in fact I push strongly for avatars because I wanna see robotics move forward. And the limitation that you just mention I don't have it all, right? So I if I put a human in In your robot or in Pepper, they can have conversations with you all day long. And the great thing about what you're doing is that machine learning needs a lot of data. And so if you can actually get a lot of people in the Vibe and other systems like that are making it so that you could inhabit an avatar pretty well from home and pretty affordably. If you can do that and then you collect data for five years then I think you can start to talk about conversations and interesting stuff.>>I talked about storage where there was a lot of robotics happening on the IFF in order to free up those minae task and free up astronauts time to do. Add more experimenting and more things that require a human and less things that don't necessarily need a person to be doing. I think it's really interesting if you think about the Space Station people have at first this notion that my God, what a fantastic, wonderful place to be on. It probably is. But then you get past it and you say, well, what's it really like to live and work on the Space Station and the reality it's not all glamor. it's not all fun. It's not get up in the morning, do science all day long. In reality it's much more like camping. You spend all of your time taking care of where you live and the astronauts spend a tremendous amount of time doing chores. They're monitoring they're environment. They're looking for where things are. You may not realize that the space station of today is the size of like a six bedroom house. And it's a place where you switch out the entire family every six months. But you leave all the stuff behind, which means that when you get a new crew on board, And you're told, hey, you need to go do this activity. Go use this piece of equipment that's in this drawer and they open the drawer and they're like it's not here. So where it is? Well, somebody misplaced it. They didn't log where it went and now you have to spend time searching for that. So if you think about it, the Space Station, in reality, is a lot like our environments here on Earth. It's a place where we're trying to go to remove all those unnecessary things or just waste too much of our time by trying to do things either autonomously with robots or systems to help us offload these menial repetitive really frightfully boring chores. And so one of things that I am very excited about it so look to the future is here how can we build the systems can that can do these things It doesn't mean that you have to have your complete general purpose,you know humanoid form robot. If we can do that,fantastic. But reality is even if don't build that there are still a lot of things that you can do. In fact it's kinda interesting the way,we kinda set up here. We have sort of humanoid robotics hands and spectrum. And Steve and I seemingly worked in robots so I shouldn't say. Not just Steve, Steve used to actually work with robots, it was quite humanoid in appearance. But the point is that there are lots of different forms of robots, and in fact Steve alluded with this too, that can do things very productively. And I think that more important that sort of just a basic form of the robot is really how resilient is it, how reliable is it I think any consumer out there or frankly any astronaut is not gonna want and use a system if it breaks down all the time. Or if they can't predict how it's gonna function. It needs to operate well, it needs to interact with you in a way that's efficient and frankly it needs to be something that you can just rely on. [MUSIC]