Luckily for me, the topic of ‘human-robot interaction’ will still be a hot one — same problems, different tools — as in, ‘People and robots, how do we get along?’
A: In 100 years, I imagine that biorobotics will be a well-established undergraduate and graduate program, with topics ranging from psychology, reproduction, self-reconfiguration and healing.
For the capstone project, undergraduate students will design, grow and program their robots using code that runs on a biologically based computer programmed by wireless ‘thought packets’. The project lab will be very quiet when the deadline approaches, as students focus on establishing a strong link to download their code.
Senior students with a management bent will be able to take courses in organizational management of human-robot teams, and perhaps read texts on Getting the Most Out of Your Cyborg Workforce or When Robots Go Wrong: Re-motivating and Reprogramming.
Arguments will break out in the research lab about whose robot (or algorithm) is ‘at fault’ when one robot shares a particularly bad idea with others and then as a pack, they all pick on one of the smaller robots.
Luckily for me, the topic of ‘human-robot interaction’ will still be a hot one — same problems, different tools — as in, People and robots, how do we get along? Questions of what should the robot do, how do we share, operate safely, communicate, take turns, teach robots, and generally get along together will continue to be problems we solve. Certainly the efforts we make to establish the ‘rules of engagement’ now, will be foundational to our future relationships.