Robots: The Modern Golems, At Your Service
In medieval times, golems were animated creatures constructed by humankind. A golem was a clay statue animated by magically calling upon holy names. Our very real modern equivalents are robots, androids, artificial intelligence (AI) and the like. Over the past few decades, these more recent versions have been making a slow transition from science fiction to science fact to industrial technology. Few would be recognizable by medieval man, but we’re seeing more and more of these latter-day golems in the consumer space.
According to Business Insider, there will be a $1.5 billion market for consumer and business robots by 2019. Autonomous drones are finding applications in surveying and monitoring around the world, and industry has been applying autonomous technology to factory and warehouse automation for years. In the past decade, autonomous vacuums have brought robotics into the consumer space.
Robotics is becoming real to the consumer, so it is worth considering how robots are perceived. Consumers have seen fictional robots portrayed in film and television as sometimes helpful, sometimes terrifying. Unsurprisingly, consumer attitudes about getting up close and personal with real robots are mixed.