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In the future your sales assistant could be a robot. This fall, customers cruising the aisles of Lowe’s home improvement stores in the San Francisco Bay Area may see a new type of employee taking inventory and assisting shoppers.

In the future your sales assistant could be a robot

You won’t find a nametag on this worker, but you won’t confuse it with other employees, either. The new kid in town is the LoweBot, an autonomous retail service robot that scans and audits store inventory on the floor. It uses voice recognition to identify products for customers and lead them to the right shelf — in multiple languages. The retailer is deploying LoweBots at 11 of its Bay Area stores over a seven-month period using NAVii robots made by Fellow Robots, following a successful two-year pilot program of a first-generation robot called OSHbot that was tested at one of Lowe’s Orchard Supply Hardware stores.

While robots have been used behind the scenes in retail for years, Lowe’s and other retailers are now putting them on the retail floor. “Robot use will probably grow.” 25 Hours vs. 30 Minutes. Is technology making us more or less intelligent? Editor’s note: This article is part of our collaboration with Point Taken, a new program from WGBH that will next air on Tuesday, June 21 on PBS and online at

Is technology making us more or less intelligent?

The show features fact-based debate on major issues of the day, without the shouting. The smartphone in your hand enables you to record a video, edit it and send it around the world. With your phone, you can navigate in cities, buy a car, track your vital signs and accomplish thousands of other tasks. And so? Each of those activities used to demand learning specific skills and acquiring the necessary resources to do them. Now all of those tasks are solved by technology.

These are not recent trends, but part of the history of technology since the first humans began to farm. Specialized knowledge As Adam Smith noted in his 1776 “Wealth of Nations,” specialization enables people to become more efficient and productive at one set of tasks, but with a trade-off of increased dependence on others for additional needs.

34 Remarkable and Surprising Things About The Future — Life Learning. 34 Remarkable and Surprising Things About The Future I’ve been reading and thinking about the future a lot recently, and decided to spend a week “nerding out” at Singularity University, to satisfy my curiosity.

34 Remarkable and Surprising Things About The Future — Life Learning

It was a great event, featuring experts from across the entire spectrum of technology and innovation. In this post I’ll share the ideas I’ve been developing for some time — based on my own research as well as time at spent at SU — on how we should think about the future and the myriad opportunities it presents. I am extremely optimistic about our future being a world where powerful technologies solve some of our biggest challenges across a range of industries from medicine to transportation to energy and many others.

This will result in a significantly better standard of living for all as well as many remarkable inventions, in the same way that we live significantly better and different lives than our great great grandparents did. 1. 2. 3. Joël de Rosnay - Le Carrefour du Futur. The Difference Between Linear and Exponential Thinking. As humans we evolved on this planet over the last hundreds of thousands of years in an environment that I would call local and linear.

The Difference Between Linear and Exponential Thinking

It was a local and linear environment because the only things that affected you as you were growing up on the plains of Africa was what was in a day’s walk. It was local to you. Something would happen on the other side of the planet 100,000 years ago you wouldn’t even know. It was linear in that the life of your great grandparents, your grandparents, you, your kids, their kids, nothing changed generation to generation.

It was pretty much the same. Today we’re living in a world that is exponential and global. To give a visualization of this, if I were to take 30 linear steps, it would be one, two, three, four, five. That’s the difference between our ability to project linearly and project exponentially. In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio. What 100 Experts Think About The Future Of Learning. If you’re an educator, surely you know that technology has and will continue to have an incredible impact on learning.

What 100 Experts Think About The Future Of Learning

Whether it’s the Internet, innovative learning tools, or teaching technology itself, these two subjects are intertwined. In these talks, you will find essential information for educators concerned with technology. General Learn about making technology work in education and more in these talks. Rethinking the Student Experience in the 21st Century Public Research University: See how a diverse student body and technology can make a difference in the student experience today. Sharing Education These talks explore the idea of open, shared education. Hector Ruiz on Connecting the World: Hector Ruiz lectures on Internet access for everyone. Creativity & Innovation Watch these talks to see how you can foster innovation and the creative spirit. Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity: Ken Robinson’s lecture makes a case for a more creative education system.

Internet & New Media. What 100 Experts Think About The Future Of Learning.