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Could we be entering the Autonomous Age?

February 9, 2018  - By

Rolls Royce is investing in autonomous shipping systems.

We no longer live in the Nuclear Age. Did you notice? Use of the term faded away. We no longer define our lives by the existence of nuclear technology, though of course it’s still part our world.

While the naming of “ages” is arbitrary, most people would say we’re currently in the Information Age. The last Great Age before the Information Age was the Industrial Age. We also experienced smaller “ages” such as the Space Age and the Atomic or Nuclear Age, but these didn’t impact our daily lives like the Industrial Age and Information Age have.

Which led me to wonder, what’s next? There’s a good chance we will find ourselves in the Autonomous Age, a daily experience of interacting with machines, robots and drones accomplishing tasks formerly done by people — including ourselves. We already use industrial robots; this trend will continue into new, more personal areas.

Inside our Smart Cities, we’ll wake up in a talking house built by autonomous construction machines, eat breakfast food that arrived via autonomous shipping and then delivered by drones, and travel to work via autonomous vehicles.

Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and autonomous vehicles will be woven into the tapestry of our daily lives. Overarching infrastructures and architectures will coordinate all the diverse autonomous and intelligent devices that we use.

“Artificial intelligence is sweeping across industries, and its next frontier is autonomous intelligent machines,” NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang said, speaking at GTC Japan in December. “Future machines will perceive their surroundings and be continuously alert, helping operators work more efficiently and safely.”

Hang onto your hats — we’re just getting started.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.