The Future of Human-Machine Partnerships in Business and Everyday Life - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM DELL TECHNOLOGIES

June 12, 2018

Dell SC image for audio post.6.12
Will technology cost jobs in the long run, or increase them? Who is set up best for success in the fourth industrial revolution? In this edition of Trailblazers, a podcast series brought to you by Dell Technologies, we investigate the future of robotics. Join Walter Isaacson, former CNN Chairman and CEO, as he and Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, discuss how digital disruption will improve our lives.

Download this podcast
Walter Isaacson, host

Let me introduce Gary Shapiro, a long-time friend of mine. Head of the Consumer Technology Association but he’s also written a lot about innovation. Give us the history of robotics and machine learning as part of the CES industries that your Consumer Electronics Industries, when did they become big and your show and what issues do you face?

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

Well, it’s going about 20-30%. We’re seeing artificial intelligence all over the place obviously. But in terms of pure robotics, that is something which is, when I talk about the future of the CES, I’d die to come back in 30-40 years and see that ’cause robotics is going to be a big part of the show. Obviously there’re different types of robotics. There’s industrial robotics which are very big. We have a lot of members that are focused on that.

Whether it’s making you know things that humans aren’t really good at doing like making pizza dough for the major pizza chains where you have to have a perfect thing in a very cold environment and you have to do it right every time. It’s very difficult for humans to operate. To consumer robots like the Roomba. Well now there’s a robot being shown at CES which actually folds all your stuff when it comes out of the dryer for you. How cool is that?

Walter Isaacson, host

I must say, I’m somewhat Elon Musk-like. We were promised flying cars and we’re getting somebody who will fold our laundry.

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

You obviously don’t do laundry.

Walter Isaacson, host

What?

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

You don’t do laundry.

Walter Isaacson, host

I actually do my own laundry, but you’re right, I don’t fold it as much as Cathy would like me to. Everything we’ve discussed involves human computer interaction and interface. And in that school of thought that I call the Ada Lovelace, the Steve Jobs school of thought is those who succeed are not those who will create machines that will go off and do things on their own. It’s those who will create machines that have an emotional connection. We can talk to them. They have graphics. We can use them more easily. Any thoughts on that?

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

I mean there’s no question that there’s a trend that’s emerging very quickly of basically having emotive qualities for your robot. I was playing today with the Sony Aibo dog and you could actually also touch it and it’ll respond in various places if you touch it right in response because we want to humanize or animalize our robots there’s no question.  We haven’t even talked about haptics yet and the response there and the potential of.

Walter Isaacson, host

I’m sorry haptic you say?

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

Haptics. Responsive technology to touch: you don’t even have to touch it. You feel the touch without even touching in a sense. We’re progressing in many, many different areas at the same time. But what we’re seeing is we’re seeing robots in security. We’re seeing robots doing high risk things. We’re seeing in the medical technology. The biggest change that no one really wants to talk about ’cause it’s not that politically correct and I know some of my people here are taking a deep breath right now. Is actually that we are as a nation manufacturing much better than we ever have, but yet the number of jobs is going down and we say oh that’s China or this is that.

It’s not any of that. It’s the fact that we have robots running factories now and we’re investing heavily in them which is a good thing because we are a highly educated population. I’ve been to factories in China and elsewhere where people are still hand doing stuff. That’s not the kind of thing Americans will like to do. Once you get to a certain amount

Walter Isaacson, host

Well let me drill down on that which is whether technology will cost jobs in America manufacturing or increase them? And you say it’s?

Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association

I will give a response on it. The history of technology is it always costs jobs but it always creates more and better jobs and a higher standard of living. However, I will give an honest caveat some of my colleagues in the tech world do not like. When it comes to self-driving and the number one occupation in the world is a driver, that raises some questions. When you go in other areas where there’s, the truth is we need higher level skills. We need people that are highly skilled. We’re training them more and more and some of the lower skilled job frankly in factories for example which is repetitive work that’s mindless over and over again, they’re being replaced.

The debate that we didn’t go into that we’re struggling in our own organization with questions is why is it that our education system is so good at getting people into technology who are Asian or white males, but we seem to fail everywhere else. We’re leaving like 70% of the people off the potential table and what is it we can do to make a difference? Now there’s hundreds of foundations and lots of programs and lots of things like that, but we’re not there yet with women. We’re not there with blacks or Hispanics or many other groups and that’s a problem.

And it’s a problem for our nation so how could we tap our full potential? I don’t know if it requires change to our educational system, our role models, how we bring up people or having honest discussion about our culture so that we can encourage rather than discourage people. So I’ll stay away from your other controversial comments ’cause I want to end on a really note.

Walter Isaacson, host

Good. And if there’s one message to go forth with it’s robots are only as good and only as bad as we make them. And in order to make sure they reflect our values we have to wake up every day and say how can we, people like us in this room, be more inclusive to making sure everybody gets to play on this field. Thank you all very much.

For more stories on digital disruption with Walter Isaacson and industry trailblazers, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more...

Previous Article
How Mergers Change the Way Your Company Competes
How Mergers Change the Way Your Company Competes

There are five types of competition.

Next Article
Is Your Company Ready for the Rise of Smart Cities?
Is Your Company Ready for the Rise of Smart Cities?

A number of industries will have to adapt their offerings.

Get the Latest People Performance & Human Capital Resources

Download