A common theme as people react to many technology advances is fear. Our instinct as humans is to be afraid of what we don’t know, and our brains are programmed to see something unexpected as a threat before it can process the opportunity.
This is how many people see a world filled with robots: a future to be feared. This Throw Forward Thursday episode invites you to come and imagine a world made better by brilliant robots.
Next week, in our new approach in Season 3, we’ll help you apply these ideas and learn to think like a futurist – overcoming the fear instinct and learning to see opportunities.
Come to the future with me, come to a future filled with robots that make the world a much better place. Robots that, Aaarrrghhh (scared cry), sorry for those of you listening on the podcast, the terminator just appeared next to me, and that’s pretty frightening as a robot, isn’t it?
Well, that’s the typical Hollywood version and vision of a future robot. Something to fear, and this is a fairly common theme with many technology advances. Our instinct as humans is to fear what we don’t know. And our brains are programmed to see something unexpected as a threat before we process any possible opportunities.
Let me give you a real-world example: A number of years ago, Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer, asked a number of their engineers to build a basketball playing robot. They called it “Q Three”, and their goal was to have it ready in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In 2019, they had it ready and they thought they’d give it a try. So, they called the Guinness Book of World Records, and they made their robot throw hoops. I think that’s how you say it, I’m not really a basketball fan, and they managed to win the Guinness World Record for a total of 2020 shots with no misses from this robot. Typical Japanese, they just stopped at 2020 and said, we don’t have to do anymore.
Amazing, but if you do a Google search for Q and basketball playing robot, half of the articles tell us to be scared, scared witless of what this will do to us. Have a look at this video and just listen. This is the original music, the original music that they played with this video, (terrifying music) The robots are coming; the robots are coming. A little bit dramatic, if you ask me. Ridiculous, actually, you’d think it was the apocalypse or something.
The other half of the articles are ridiculing how rubbish this robot is. This robot will never beat professional basketball players. You can’t have it both ways, can you? The truth is somewhere in between, as I suppose it always is.
Here’s the truth about robots, I believe we don’t need to fear them. Well, not most of them, anyway. I think that the military is going to take some of those robots and use them for some seriously nasty evil. What we do need to do, though, is have better conversations about how we will work with these robots, or maybe better, how we will get them to work with us to build a better world. That’s the future. I’m inviting you to come and imagine with me this Throw Forward Thursday, a world made better by brilliant robots.
Next week, in our new approach, to Throw Forward Thursday in season three, I’ll help you to apply some of these ideas and learn how to think like a futurist. We’ll specifically focus on how we overcome this fear instinct that we might have when we see something new, and how we learn to see the opportunities that might lie behind new technology even when it’s not perfect yet.
So, make sure that you like and subscribe, as always, so that you don’t miss next week’s edition. Thank you for coming with me and seeing a robot-filled future.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.