It really was not very many years ago that fully functional, humanoid, technologically adept robots were the stuff of total science fiction.
Now the technology is so closely within reach that we're talking multiple revolutions in a matter of years, not decades.
Human-shaped robots with dexterous hands will be staffing warehouses and retail stores, tending to the elderly and performing household chores within a decade or so, according to a Silicon Valley startup working toward that vision. ...
Demographic trends — such as a persistent labor shortage and the growing elder care crisis — make fully-functioning, AI-driven humanoid robots look tantalizingly appealing.
Look, to be blunt: It's not like this is unalloyed good news. Yes, we have a "persistent labor shortage." I'm not so sure the solution is to replace human laborers with robots. But maybe it is?
And sure, there are issues with ensuring that America's aging population has enough care as the older generations continue to get older and older. But the idea of putting a bunch of robots in charge of caring for our elders — replacing precious human contact with that of artificial intelligence — well, I'm not so sure I like that.
Still. The robots are coming:
A heavy-hitting startup called Figure, which just emerged from stealth mode, is building a prototype of a humanoid robot that the company says will eventually be able to walk, climb stairs, open doors, use tools and lift boxes — perhaps even make dinner.
According to Figure:
Robots that can think, learn, reason, and interact with their environments will eventually be capable of performing tasks better than humans.
They're not being shy about it:
Check out the company's "Master Plan," or just read the tl:dr version: