Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Cloud Computing, disruptive technology.

Description: Thanks to fast, always-on Internet connections and vast server farms run by the likes of Amazon and Google, we’re able to offload more and more of our digital lives onto remote servers.

Source: GlobeandMail .com

Date: March 22, 2012

A cloud robot requires far less computing power because it can offload most of that heavy-duty number-crunching and data storage to an off-site computer.

“For the vast majority of processing, you can do that anywhere,” says Mr. Field. “It doesn’t need to be local to the robot. If you have a fast wireless connection then you can send images, 3D data, control… all the processing can be done in the cloud.”   Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

1. Why robot brains could be the killer app of cloud computing ?
2. What are some possible advantages of using cloud computing for AI?

27 Responses to “Why robot brains could be the killer app of cloud computing”

  1. CAP

    There are two main advantages for cloud robotics. One is that it is the ultimate outsourcing and two is its flexibility. This can help users want to use cloud robotics a lot more. Even though there are advantages to this, there are also a lot of disadvantages. Just like it says in the article, perhaps most importantly, trust and confidence will be paramount for cloud robot adoption. It is very new for most people and change can cause fear and distrust. I guess this is really just like for any product that is not familiar. Most people would just rather stick with what they know and have used before because they do trust it. Sharing a physical space with a robot is definitely a new thing for a lot of people and it will probably take a while for people to get used to it. They just need to start building trust and I am sure cloud robotics will be used by almost everyone. Another issue is if the network goes down then so does anything that rely on the cloud. Even though networks are used everywhere, there are still definitely some problems that come with it. Hopefully there will be a solution to this soon.

  2. LW

    I don’t believe robot brains will be the killer app of cloud computing. I believe that cloud computing will dominate the market as per robot brains. I believe robot brains will fail due to their complexity and im guessing large expense to build. Creating more difficulties and challenges to create a use friendly software that enable users to control the robot brain. Whereas cloud computing can be used at any length and for any application for cheap. Cloud computing is extremely essential because of its readiness to participate and adapt to certain situations. All that is required in order to run cloud computing AI is a fast speed internet allowing majority of the 3d imaging, pictures, data to be uploaded to larger servers where they will process the data and give orders. Although cloud computing is going to be very essential it does lead to questions on how the product will survive in a natural environment without easily accessible high speed internets or thermal reflections used for location. Some of the benefits of using cloud computing are the cheapness of materials, found in any hardware store individuals were able to create some artificial intelligence flies. Another advantage is the privacy act, in the case that these AI are used for military uses if one of the products fails no immediate information will be stored, thus complete secrecy is achieved.

  3. IDR

    Cloud computing has always been a good idea. I agree with the article when they talk about outsourcing and flexibility, it would be much less expensive and having the information available from anywhere is a great advantage. I can see how corporations will turn to this resource to minimize labor force, expenditures and plain physical space. Cloud computing makes sense in a few ways and I am sure this is the way individuals will manage and store their information. But just like many others, I would be worried about where my information is actually stored and how it is protected. Trust in new technological advances has always been a challenge for innovators, and cloud computing is not the exception. The concept is fairly young and like many other services, it will have to undergo a curve that hopefully will not crash and burn. And as silly as it sounds, the idea of machines over-ruling humans -à la iRobot- makes me think of how all these advances will affect our daily lives.

  4. Sarah Lawson

    This is more cutting edge technology than I could even imagine. To start, cloud computing itself is quite complex. Users can store files in safe clouds instead of on their hard drives. This frees up space on their hard drives for other things. If they are able to perfect the use of Cloud Robots, I think many firms would take advantage of this technology. The Cloud Robots can be set up anywhere and conveniently moved to where ever they are needed, but more importantly, they can be controlled from where ever. This brings a whole new meaning to the concept of outsourcing. Instead of using human contact, robots can do the jobs humans once did. This saves time, money, and the possibility of human error. Robot brains could be the first thing that comes to mind when people think cloud computing. Although the concept seems like a great idea, it is easy to see the complications of this technology and the time it will take for producers to perfect the robot brain concept. It might be a long while before we see a boom in the market for the large use of cloud computing. In the mean time, companies will have to deal with what technology has already presented, which is nothing short of fascination and key development.

  5. Jillian

    A cloud robot is advantageous, because as described it “requires far less computing power because it can offload most of that heavy-duty number-crunching and data storage to an off-site computer”. I don’t know if I would agree with robot brains, because it appears as though almost anyone who has had minimal training can control them. I believe the standards and training, as well as ethical training should be crucial for having this type of control on such a device. This type of technology still has a lot of developing to do. Internet speed may decrease at certain times or often, the internet servers may even go down which would not only be annoying, but cause problems with accessing and saving data through cloud computing. I suppose the robots could earn human trust in time if there is a long-term ethical pattern. However, people may be opening up very confidential information to a robot; who is to say they can trust this system even with a clean history? As for fictional films etc about artificial intelligence taking over, I do not believe this would ever be possible. Someone needs to initially program these systems and these systems will only perform as far as they have been let capable to do so.

  6. Mike S

    I think that using cloud computing for AI could be a very big breakthrough. The ability to think from the cloud would mean less power is being used by the robots allowing for greater battery life and potentially higher reactivity (comes with connection issue). At the same time, would there be greater risk for an outside hacker to access the computers brain and use it for potentially malicious uses or mess with the system? I think anything has its ups and downs and the buyers must weight each before making their decision. I think it could be huge to have robot brains up in the cloud because so many people would want to be a controller…heck, I already want to look into doing the controlling for Heaphy after reading this article. I think it provides a bridge between videogames and real life that isn’t often crossed. There is a major shift in videogames that is trying to bring it closer to reality through augmented reality or increasing graphics to look more life-like. I think more innovations and enhancements in this area will be seen more frequently in the coming years and there will be a major shift for robots, as well as almost all other electronics, to be utilizing cloud technology for their computing.

  7. cl

    I can see cloud computing to be a major advantage for robots, just considering all the extra space that can be made by outsourcing, and also all the extra speed that this will result in. I was quite surprised to hear that the I phone app SIRI was in fact outsourced, which makes a lot of sense considering the amount of power that it would take to run it on the phone. One of the things that I am most sceptical with the cloud computing is the security, I for one do not like all my personal information floating around in some sort of “cloud” where it is easily excessible by pretty much anyone with any minor hacking ability. I do not think that robot brains wil be the killer to app cloud computing because of the simple fact of cost, the sheer cost and complexity of constructing a brain with any sort of brain power would be astronomical. Another thing that worries me is how dependent we are getting on the internet with many things that we do, and it would be silly for us to think that there is not going to be multiple computer crashes in our lifetime, and if you have it stored by clouyd and not on your hard drive then you will not be able to access that info in the event of a collapse

  8. Jon

    Advantages of cloud computing for AI include the cost reductions caused by not having to create and install hard drives in individual devices and the ability to perform more functions, as they can access the power from a more powerful off-site computer. The capability of an off-site computer represents a tremendous opportunity for creators. They can devote their time and resources to produce a centrally located device, instead of being concerned with how to most efficiently mass-produce a hard drive to function with individual devices. With all of their resources combined, and focused on one product as opposed to many, I believe they will be able produce machines more powerful, with more technical features. Cloud computing also can take away design concerns as don’t have to focus on producing a hard drive that fits with a specific design of the AI device. The actual hard drive on the off-site computer can be huge and ugly, because nobody will see it.
    Another issue to consider is the money that cloud-computing could save companies. Creators save money by not employing manufacturers to produce individual components such as technically advanced hard drives; instead they can use a smaller number of engineers to focus on the off-site computer, with the only worry being to adapt the AI device to the cloud.

  9. Michael

    I think cloud computing has merit as does on site computing. Cloud computing is advantageous because it is cheaper to hook up multiply systems than to give each its own high performance processor. Much of the computing that is done now is done off site. My mobile phone does much of it off site as where I work. This brings up the issue of security. In the finical sector most cloud computing is done because of security issues over VPNs this is good because it keeps our data secured. If this was processed local it would be open to exploitation by people who would take advantage of it. I am glad that my phone uses cloud computing because it give me the user a more enjoyable experience. Whether they data I use is used properly I really don’t care about as my information is out their anyways if someone works hard enough to find it. With processors being moved back to the location they are need there are also advantages such as faster processing and better communication time which are important if the milliseconds of computing is important to the user. Whether this will happen or not is hard to say as both types have advantages and disadvantages.

  10. Scotty

    Cloud computing could be a huge advantage for these robots, considering they can outsource the space currently used to store servers n so forth. Not only can they outsource but they can take advantage of the rest of the worlds resources. Lets consider for a second that japan has the best technology for most things, and american company could get it s directions from a server abroad. My only concern for this however would be if there was some sort of distortion in the internet connection lets say there is a natural disaster in japan ( not mocking) just saying it is deffinitally possible for another one to occur. i don’t think that robot brains will be the killer to app cloud computing because there are always costs that are to be accounted for with such a move. The cost of doing something like this would be very very large and only the fortune 500 companies would be able to afford it . Unless they come up with internet with no connection errors ever i don’t think this will ever occur. Because then companies would be relying days worth of operations simply on the internet. The question you wanna ask yourself is , is the cost of downtime worth relying your whole companies income production and profits. In my opinion not a chance systems are not advanced enough yet but i do believe that in the future it will happen.

  11. Sarah Fletcher

    My biggest concern with developing trust in robotics controlled over the cloud would be potential hackers. Maybe that’s being paranoid or maybe I’ve just watched too many movies. I think that although there are security features such as authorization and authentication that can be put in place when using the cloud, there are always people who are more technologically advanced. I honestly think that no matter what is put in place for security features, there should always be concern and supervision in place for potential hackers. The amount of damage that could be done with cloud robotics if hacked remotely from a citizen could be scarier then the idea of people controlling random robotics to begin with. I’m not sure what all their plans are for these cloud robotics to take on for tasks but the potential power that could be drawn from the cloud is huge. On a more positive note, this is a huge advancement in technology and could be used to do great things as well. I’m sure it has potential to advance telepresence surgery and many other high tech and educational uses. I was actually surprised to here that Siri was outsourced from Apple. It makes a lot of sense as I actually have a 4S and there is usually a delay in Siri’s response and it also doesn’t take as much battery power as I would have guessed.

  12. John McAllister

    As mentioned in the article, referring to “the cloud” is the hottest thing in the internet industry right now. While building trust in relying on a far away data storage system may be difficult to gain at first, it proves endless amount of possibilities. Apple’s Siri program is a good example of cloud memory and has proven to be helpful to people on a day to day basis while being as efficient as possible. Whether or not these robot brains could be the killer app of cloud computing remains to be seen. One thing that is known for sure is that no matter how high the artificial intelligence gets, it still needs a human aspect to operate it. Bob Bauer of Willow Garage said the advantage of treating human intelligence in this is two-fold: “One is that the cost of labour is clearly less. It’s the ultimate outsourcing.” This is certainly true and while we are sure to see plenty of new advantages from the development of artificial intelligence, cost of labour will be one of the most critical. That leaves us with the question of how far it will go and how many jobs it might replace. The future will certainly be an interesting place for the next generations.

  13. Tyler

    Cloud computing would be something that could make a huge difference in the world of robotics and artificial intelligence. By being able to connect to the cloud robots would be able to gain so much more processing power than what would be able to normally fit inside of a robot. This would allow for vast improvements in the size of robots compared to how much data they would be able to process at one time. With this ability computers would be able to get smarter all the time which could be a huge benefit for humanity. I suppose one could say that it would be the “killer ap” for cloud computing meaning that this would be the one thing that really sets cloud computing on the next level (like apple has with the app store that sets it apart from many other tablets such as the Samsung galaxy tablet).
    The combination of cloud computing and robot brains together could lead to a marked increase of the use of cloud computing and allow users to be more comfortable using the process and cause for a more dramatic shift to cloud computing than what is already occurring today. So this could be a big step forwards for both robots and cloud computing

  14. Morgan

    AIs utilizing cloud computing would be able to perform everyday tasks such as starting supper before you get home, taking the dog out for a walk, vacuuming… virtually any household chore could be completed while you are in the office or on vacation. Surgeons are already using robots to do very complicated procedures but cloud computing makes it possible to perform these tasks from across the country or even the world. Rescue services such as firemen, SWAT teams, and bomb squads could also benefit from the technology because actual humans would no longer have to go into dangerous situations. Robots could be sent in to fires or hostage situations and be controlled by operators in order to rescue people or diffuse volatile situations. AIs using cloud computing could also change how wars are being fought; instead of sending in soldiers on the front line, robots would be there instead.

    Cloud computing has a potential to be a huge market and there are endless possibilities for robots utilizing this technology. I think the world is growing tired of gaming apps and it’s time companies start coming out with practical applications of apps.

  15. aaron

    I think that cloud computing could be the next big thing. Just the idea of outsourcing a person labour for cheap to build a luxurious product in somewhere like north America, to sell to Americans, would have people wanting this technology. But only if the technology and machines are affordable. So in my opinion it is not a matter of if something like cloud will come up, it’s a matter of when it will be created. To the extent that people accept it is another story. People in my opinion are moving to slow for technology(me being one of them). For example, I do not have an I-phone, but even if I did, I don’t think I would use siri much anyway, especially if I thought someone was actually responding to me. But it is a good idea to use other servers to process the information making the device more use friendly. Not to mention in the future, when our portable devices could have enough processing capacity for it size to withstand its own artificial intelligence. The Idea of an app that could hold the processing power of the “cloud” to your finger would have drastic impacts on peoples lives.

  16. Josh

    I feel as if this article makes many points that could be used in the previous article about the nature of robots in the workforce and the implications of adding more artificial intelligence to the labour force. Cloud computing exemplifies that there will still be a need for human employees regardless of the number of robots that start doing tedious and difficult human based tasks. While this entire concept seems to be a little ways away from being a legitimate solutions to workplace demands it is a fascinating thought. What worries me though is the ultimate level of security of these cloud based servers. While I’m sure they are highly protected and companies who operate them take the utmost care of them it still worries me to to wonder what would be the result if control were to every be lose or the security compromised. Safety of works and good produced would be clearly be the primary concerns but if something were to go wrong huge consequences could arise and ultimately have significant damages.

  17. Jarrett

    i agree with sarah above, I feel like there is the potential for even more abuse within the system and even more issues with control. I think that people should never trust physical things when they are being controlled remotely. I think that there is a potential for many things to go wrong, especially with cloud computing. Cloud computing is essentially trusting your data, software and systems to a third party companies servers. This third party has to have access to all of the contents in the cloud, and in doing so, there is a large risk for abuse. I think that sarah is right in saying that there are ways to add security, such as encryption and authorization, but there are still people who can get around that if they choose. Also, when you have computer professionals working for the third party that have complete access to their servers, why wouldn’t they have the ability to tamper with said servers and cause issues. I feel like if robots are controlled through the cloud, there is the potential for numerous problems to happen and that potentially, lives can be lost.

  18. Mr. White

    When I was a young kid, I used to watch the Terminator movies all the time. Arnold Schwarzenegger was my hero. At seven or eight years old, I had thought killer robots were totally science fiction. Now I realize that “judgment day” is an entirely possible concept when you imagine the technological advancements that humans are capable of making hundreds or even thousands of years in the future.

    When you historically look at where a lot of major strides have been made in technology, there is no question the Department of Defence/US Military Industrial Complex has made significant advancements. For example, NASA began as a military project; satellite technology began as military; internet began as military; nuclear technology is where it is at today because of its military application. The list goes on and on.

    I wonder what some of the world’s top militaries are doing with AI, particularly the United States. Can you imagine robot troops that are immune from chemical and biological weapons replacing human troops? This should not sound outlandish because the US military has already begun using air drones in live combat.

    When I think about planet earth in a thousand years or two thousand years, I think it is entirely possible that human beings will have taken AI to the point where they can no longer control it.

  19. Amby O

    Robot brains are very advantageous as it has a lot of potential to be the top leading cloud computing service. Its advantages are that it is flexible and it has outsourcing. However, consumers have to worry about privacy with all these cloud computing ways. Like where is all my information being stored? Who else will have access to all my information besides myself? It is definitely worry some because of privacy. Individuals are very private especially when it comes to personal information being posted online and other people having access to it. I don’t know how I feel about allowing a robot to have access to my private information. Individuals sometimes find it difficult to trust humans and now they have to be open to the idea of trusting a robot. I’m not too sure how they are going to adapt to this and be open to going ahead and trying this new technology. I feel that once humans start to trust robots to do these things, they also have to worry about other things. Other things such as if the network for some reason crashes, they lose all their information on there. It’s quite difficult to trust that all your information is in good hands and nothing will ever happen to it when that’s not the case. At the end of the day, computers can crash as it is technology and when something crashed, everything can be lost but hopefully it’s backed up somewhere else!

  20. Andrew D.

    The biggest reason that cloud robotics could become the killer app of cloud computing is that, by allowing all of the processing to be done elsewhere, more space and hardware is freed up for other things. This is seen in the example with Siri. By not having the voice processing done on the actual iPhone, it saves battery and processing speed for other things. A few advantages of using cloud computing for AI would be that the AI could be controlled more easily since the processing is coming from a server hub and also that the machine using it could be smaller and more efficient on battery or whatever power it is using. If the AI machine was getting out of control it could be shut off or controlled from the cloud server room, regardless of where it is. It could also be far less expensive if each individual device didnt need to have its own processor within it.

  21. Debbie Kennedy

    According to our text, robotics at the moment is very expensive and not very many organizations use this technology. Unless they find a way to make robotics cheaper to use, I can’t see it being a killer app of cloud computing. At the moment, the cloud computing done is meeting requirements of small and medium businesses and are able to compete effectively with larger companies. They haven’t yet produced a robot brain that mimics exactly like a human in every way and if they ever do the amount of data the robot would have to hold is huge…..although this may be achieved sometime in the future, but not anytime soon.

    Because AI technologies are concerned with generating and displaying knowledge and facts, there are some advantages to cloud computing for AI. Human knowledge and facts can be stored in AI and the knowledge and facts can be retrieved much faster than a human can put it together. And because AI learns as it goes and it can solve problems faster. Some possible advantages of using cloud computing for AI is having AI solve problems for you and doing work for you based on recognition of input. I can’t see why it couldn’t do this because AI has many capabilities and will continue to improve.

    I really think it’s silly to think that AI will reach where science fictions movies are today. AI will not evolve and take over the world. It doesn’t have a soul and it isn’t a life. It can only go as far as we make it to go.

  22. Jenn Burton

    The movie Terminator comes to mind when talking about robots. It turned ugly for Skynet in the film and humanity became a slave to what they had created. I, Robot is another movie that shows the disadvantages to creating a robot, meaning the tasks not done by humans anymore and the coldness of leaving the robot to do a parents job. Cloud computing and the Siri feature on the iPhone are great applications and convenient; however, a human being is still doing the work and still needs to have the knowledge to do so. Asking Siri a question means you know what you’re looking for and is a voice command of a web browser such as Google.
    All of what we do know relies on a server and network, if the network crashes or goes down, the task can be lost or even delayed. Having the ability to use a robot and virtually complete tasks from anywhere in the world (you’re on a business trip in Europe, and need to do something at home in Canada), creates the basis of a robot being programmed to do tasks without a virtual component…taking me back to Terminator.
    These advances are great for knowing our limitations as a human species but when will it become too much or go too far?

  23. Keely

    Robot brains could become the killer app of cloud computing, although there are still many problems with it way it works, I believe eventually it will be a big hit. As virtually all household chores could be completed before you even got home, it’s a huge advancement to technology today. Surgeons already use this type of robotics for complicated surgeries, and being able to incorporate this type of technology into everyday life is almost unbelievable.

    I think one of the biggest concerns of robot brains is potential hackers. Although there are numerous security features “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. There needs to be a vast amount of security and supervision towards these robot brains, as there is a huge risk to what could happen if they were hacked. A person’s entire life could be altered by something as simple as one command. Though it is a good idea, I think it needs to be looked into much further. Another concern of robot brains is that it is very expensive, and it may be hard to get into the homes of the public, it may end up being just something that is used by big corporations, which may end up taking away people’s jobs

  24. Reply

    Cloud computing is a hot issue right now and it is unbelievable how a huge amount of data can be “stored” in the invisible space. Also how Robot brains can be controlled in anytime and anywhere is just fascinating. However, I am not sure if this can be the killer app of cloud computing. As it is mentioned in the article, cloud robotics is a relatively new and very small field right now. Also I think that the connectivity issues is a huge problem because if the network goes down, then the robots become useless right away. I am also concerned with the security issues as well, for example, the robot does not know who the user is, and it just works under any demand or potential hackers over valuable information. Maybe I mostly focus on the negative perspective, but the future definitely looks so much more fascinating in the next generation.

  25. yue pan

    There are some advantages of Cloud computing: quick start building applications.The biggest advantage is to quickly build our enterprise applications, such as we now want to develop a website, we don’t have to spend big to buy hardware cluster, we don’t have to cost form a software, only to the construction of the all needs above the clouds, convenient and quick also save money, the enterprise is absolutely is a quite good choice.If we use robot brains be an app, it will save time and money. we do not need worry about how much cost to provide a new application and how many employees will be operated to a new website as well. New York Animoto company’s chief officer rider. Jefferson once said: “cloud computing for the emerging enterprise that is really easy, because it can help you use a small amount of money can very quick business plan into practice; cloud computing changed between enterprise and the rules of the game, it makes entrepreneurs in the beginning of foundation is set with confidence to the expansion of business around the world.” I guess that is why robot brains could be the killer app of cloud computing.
    Cloud computing advantage two: low cost investment flexible
    Because the size of the cloud can be dynamic adjustable, easy to expand and easy to handle, so enterprises can not increase hardware investment to meet application and user scale growth (cost reduction), also need not interrupt and depressed for project (loss less). For large companies, big sometimes turns or ship; For small and medium-sized enterprise that, project operation costs fell sharply, competition big enterprise, can and will be.
    High-tech consultancy company CIMI chief executive TomNolle said: “to measure whether the company has good cloud service the first consideration, prospects that you have IT framework resources use diversity. If you always experience a lot of peaks and troughs, you may be forced to put more IT resources to peak period used, and the cloud service will make you less into big applications.”
    What cloud computing is good, is really a different people have different views, the problem of anyone. Whether to choose cloud computing, the key see it can really improve your work efficiency. For example, for a big company, it is with high efficiency, complete in itself of the data center, then use the cloud service outsourcing may not only not increase efficiency, but will lower your work efficiency; But for many small and medium-sized companies, and other enterprise sharing cloud computing resources but bring high efficiency. In addition, cloud computing vendors provide service is different, the measure index are different. If a cloud service provider is to provide simple network storage, it is simple; And if it is for an enterprise application products, to provide computing clouds data center request was very high, must have a high degree of reliability, and fault tolerance and usability.
    For cloud computing you may also is not very understanding, but by then the prospect of IT

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