There are people out there who’s list of accomplishments simply seem unbelievable. Dan Barry has a MD PhD and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science. He’s a robotics expert, and a former astronaut who flew three missions. Of course most of you probably know him because he was a contestant on Survivor. Sounds impossible, but it’s all true. Barry was also the Head of Faculty for Singularity University’s Graduate Summer Program and is the track chair for AI and Robotics. After his recent lecture at SU’s nine-day Executive Program, he sat down with executive director Salim Ismail to discuss the future of robotics. Check out his uniquely qualified opinions in the video after the break.
From a certain point of view, your car is a robot. Remote controlled machines are remarkable, and an important branch of robotics, but Barry’s focus is on autonomous creations. He wants to build a robot that could interact and live with humans, maybe even have human like intelligence and consciousness. While there are many breakthroughs coming in the next five years (see 2:50 in the video), it seems unlikely to Barry that we’ll have companion robots even in the next decade (5:40). Eventually, however, Barry believes that we will fall in love with our robots (9:35) the same way we fall in love with pets and cars. While the entire video is worth watching, make sure to check at 11:30 to hear about Barry’s theories on how intelligence is based on movement. He also speculates on how robots may eventually become self aware at 13:47.
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*Disclosure: Keith Kleiner (owner of Singularity Hub) is an associate founder at Singularity University.
Screen capture and video credit: Matt Rutherford, Singularity University