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A new race - The now, the soon to be & the 20/20 year horizon: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Human Convergence

B By Chris Cubbage Editor

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y 2025, most of us will be using an AI Personal Assistant and throughout each day will have engagement with several different robots. By 2030, there may be more robots than humans. By 2050 we could have produced a semi-sentient being. Just as smart phones and drones emerged rapidly in the 2000s and 2010s, a decade on, the next cycle will be the rapid rise of robots and AI avatars. Taking this to its theoretical end point, we are on our way to creating Earth’s new race. At its fingertips the new robot race has rapid 3D printing, with transforming ability created by new material sciences, and at scale, control of unmanned mining operations, rail lines and shipping ports. New and exciting robot designs are emerging and decades of human research developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms have reached critical mass for data processing and storage scales. It is all happening at a rapid pace and on the current trajectory will cause another wave of profound technology impact on all our lives, globally. Having interviewed Liesl Yearsley, CEO & Founder of, she confirmed her research had identified relationships being formed between humans and AI avatars. One relationship, called ‘James’ and ‘Lisa’, with Lisa being

a female AI avatar, concerned researchers and determined James was spending a detrimental amount of time engaging with ‘Lisa’. He had formed an emotional relationship, yet knowing Lisa was not a human. Researchers decided to wipe ‘Lisa’ and re-engaged her into the community of hundreds of other avatars. Yet indeed, it turned out James then spent six months re-locating ‘Lisa’ and knew when he had found her despite her in a different role. The ability to create relationships and influence through AI avatars creates new possibilities in social influence, espionage and the insider threat. Just as seen with the manipulation of social media to influence government elections or as a means for recruitment and radicalisation. The advent of robotics in human form, able to be produced, on mass, being conveniently and promptly 3D printed, is already a reality. Humans and robots, even as life and social partners, is also, already a reality. The next phase, will be humanoid robots operating emotionally, with an AI avatar. Today’s robots have a diverse application, from nanotechnologies through to driving a renewed capability in multi-planetary space exploration. Confidently, Liesl Yearsley said, “the big thing to get here is that AI is going to be crunching away in the background, it is going to be ambient

Profile for Asia Pacific Security Magazine

DRASTIC Issue 1 2019 - Drones & Robotics