Aseem Prakash is a global futurist whose work focuses on AI and the concept of coexisting with robots. Prakash works at the Center for Innovating the Future, and has worked on numerous projects internationally.
At RoboBusiness, Prakash will be speaking in the sessions “Separating Hype From Reality – Selling Upward and Setting Expectations“, as well as “Is Your Business Ready for Robotics and AI?“.
What got you interested in robotics and artificial intelligence, and how is it connected to your focus on coexisting with robots?
I specialize in ‘Coexisting With Robots’™ and am focused on innovating the future with artificial intelligence. So, my work and focus are all about robotics and artificial intelligence. However, I am not looking at only through the filters of technology. I am focused on what the advances will mean for humanity or what kinds of strategies people, business and nations will need to innovate in order to stay relevant and stand tall. Such expressions are not cliche anymore.
Which emerging technology or application excites you the most?
Robotics and artificial intelligence, of course, if you still call it ’emerging’. Going forward, the most exciting aspect of technology and applications will be convergence. For example, how will nanobots – floating inside our bodies – deliver medicines at regular intervals based on instructions from artificial intelligence that in turn will get signals from sensors on or in our bodies? This is just one of many scenarios that are coming our way.
What are the biggest barriers to continued growth of the autonomous systems market?
We are quickly entering a world defined and driven by the advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. Right now, ‘talent’ is one of the topmost challenges that companies are facing. However, advances, especially in artificial intelligence, are quickly bringing ‘virtual workers’ or ‘on-demand skills’ or ‘self-managing code’, etc, and addressing the talent problem.
What is the next barrier after talent? I believe it will be coexisting with robots. The fact that humans will be coexisting with robots is the most fundamental shift since the dawn of humanity. We need to spend more time in understanding what coexisting with robots will mean for different industries, societies and cultures. One size fits all won’t work.
Where do you expect robotics and AI use to grow the most in the next five years, and why?
Already, robotics and artificial intelligence are touching every sector, some sectors more than others. Within the next five years, you will not be talking about if you are ready for robotics or artificial intelligence as a business. Instead, you will be comparing the new robot-driven business designs and business models and business strategies. We often talk about how technology is leveling the playing field. But, until recently, the tools of productivity and new wealth creation were either complex or still in the hands of few.
The game is changing with robotics and artificial intelligence because for the first time in the history of technology, the whole world is in the race. Every country, every company is realizing that the future is going to be very, very different from the past and present, and that robotics and artificial intelligence will be at the center of the new future and the opportunity to become the next mogul is in front of everybody.
To me, the fact the whole world is invested in robotics and artificial intelligence is the most transformative development.
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What do you think your session offers to the robotics developer and end-user community?
The more developers understand the ‘business context’, the better robots (be it a hardware machine or software code) they can build. So, the session offers a deeper insight to developers on what problems businesses are looking to solve with robots and what challenges businesses face in doing so.
For end-users, there are always two important questions: who is doing what where and how to implement robotics or artificial intelligence the right way and profit from it quickly. Again, the session will be a conversation about what companies are doing to become robot-ready and what are some of the practical, actionable lessons that others can leverage.
What are you most looking forward to about being at RoboBusiness?
This is going to be my 4th RoboBusiness event, including two in Europe, that I’ll be participating in. What makes RoboBusiness exciting for me? Well, three things:
First, it is a premier industry event that attracts great minds. So, the opportunity to expand your network is huge.
Second, a lot of very smart people are sharing what they are working on or how they solved a problem with robotics or artificial intelligence. This expands your thinking and opens your mind to new possibilities.
Third, and finally, everybody is at RoboBusiness with a personal or business agenda of their own. It’s a great event to take your work or brand forward.