Roy Amara’s classic quote goes: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” In today’s talk from TED2013, Rodney Brooks invokes this law to talk about robots. While people panic about robots taking their jobs over the course of the next few […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
MIT professor Rodney Brooks studies and engineers robot intelligence, looking for the holy grail of robotics: the AGI, or artificial general intelligence. For decades, we've been building robots to do highly specific tasks -- welding, riveting, delivering interoffice mail -- but what we all want, really, is a robot that can figure things out on its own, the way we humans do.
Brooks realized that a top-down approach -- just building the biggest brain possible and teaching it everything we could think of -- would never work. What would work is a robot who learns like we do, by trial and error, and with many separate parts that learn separate jobs. The thesis of his work which was captured in Fast, Cheap and Out of Control,went on to become the title of the great Errol Morris documentary.
A founder of iRobot, makers of the Roomba vacuum, Brooks now heads Rethink Robotics, whose mission is to apply advanced robotic intelligence to manufacturing and physical labor. Its first robot: the versatile Baxter. Brooks is affiliated with CSAIL, MIT's Computers Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
"What others say"
Rodney Brooks’ TED talks
Rodney Brooks on the TED Blog
As we assembled TED2013′s lineup of speakers from around the world, talked with the TED brain trust, and listened to online conversations, one theme emerged: What is the future of work? Technology and new business practices are, in many ways, putting an end to the classic “good job,” the kind that millions of people once […]Continue reading