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The Next Big Thing in AI: Social Robots

Not a day goes by without news on AI. The advances in AI have taken the world by storm. But there’s more to AI than what we see.

According to Forbes, “The global artificial intelligence market size is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. It is projected to reach $1,811.8 billion by 2030.”

Looking at this statistic, we can be sure that AI will be more prevalent in the coming years. To give you some clarity, let’s discuss the yellow robotic dog, Spot, developed by Boston Dynamics.

It’s designed to look, behave, and function like a dog. Using a controller, you can make it trot around your office, home, or outdoors.

Although its functionalities in our day-to-day lives are limited, the robot dog could be an alternative for a living, walking, breathing pet dog (minus the pet care) if you’re ready to pay the price of a luxury car.

And, what’s more interesting is its autonomy. It can climb staircases and walk on rough terrains without missing a step. Even if you direct it towards an obstacle, it would inspect the object and avoid it.

Spot’s remote operation capability makes it a perfect machine to monitor and inspect hazardous and hard-to-reach areas in industries such as oil and gas, security, search and rescue, and even construction.

Another AI-powered robot designed for in-home use is Astro from Amazon. Astro works as a smart display, can be a toy for your kids, can transport things from one room to another, and can act as a roving security guard. Basically, it’s an indoor social robot.

But what stands out the most about Astro is that it looks cute. So although its functionalities are limited, users are known to grow an affinity towards the robot.

According to CNET, “The puppy-shaped robot is deliberately cute, rather than sleek and cool. Its face, with endearing animated eyes, swivels as it looks for you to deliver reminders from loved ones. It hauls snacks to the people in your home. It even dances when asked.”

Who would’ve thought that AI-powered robots would someday be part of our social lives? Some of us did. Most of us didn’t.

A future where AI-powered robots coexist in harmony with humans isn’t far away.

Spot and Astro can attest to the growth that AI will see in the next few years. This is just the beginning. AI-powered robots aren’t a household name right now but that will change. As of now, Amazon Astro is not readily available for sale—it’s sold exclusively by invitation—and Spot is an expensive warehouse robot designed for industrial purposes. But these robots are just the beginning.

Over the next few years, AI is set to bring forth substantial advances, and a fully functional, autonomous AI-powered robot is definitely one of them.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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