“Robots will continue to get smarter, but sometimes they will need to learn from the experts…us”
If you care about Robotics, Florian Pestoni is someone you should know.
Florian combines a career in building and leading teams, and creating innovative products—including working with giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Atlassian and Ooyala—with a relentlessly curious, ‘mesh network’ brain for a perspective that captures both the big picture and the nitty-gritty details of what it takes to lead a product team.
He currently brings that expertise as the founder of InOrbit Inc. that helps organizations streamline their robot operations with a cloud-based robot management platform built to maximize the potential of every robot.
Inorbit’s vision is pretty clear- to enable a world where humans, robots and AI work together to drive radical productivity improvements and empower people to reach new heights. They are on a mission to become the de-facto standard for RoboOps: DevOps for Robotics.
On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, we picked Florian’s brain on how he thinks about Robots shaping the Future of Work.
We discuss with Florian:
At the end of the podcast, Florian leaves us with a great question- ‘Are robots a workforce?'
What do you think?
Public perception of robotics
According to Florian Pestoni, attitudes towards robots vary from one individual to another and among countries. For instance, Japan has a fairly positive attitude towards robots, as evidenced by their investment in robotics research.
The negative attitude towards robots stems from fear. People have many misconceptions because of the stories in the science fiction genre. In many of these stories, robots can be seen taking control of the world and wanting to rule over humans.
Pestoni attacks these myths by saying that robots in real life do not even look like those shown in the movies. In fact, they may look like a tractor plowing a field or like a cooler that you would take to a picnic, except that it will move on its own. They are just machines trying to make our lives easier.
Self-supervised robots — possible or not?
Pestoni asserts it will be a very long time before robots will not need to be supervised, and they can never replace humans because there are certain things that robots cannot do. Machines are good at following commands and doing repetitive tasks, but they are not very flexible to adapt to changes. They need to work under a certain parameter.
Humans are malleable and can adjust to a variety of situations quickly. Pestoni believes that this intuitive ability is not present in robots and is nearly impossible to develop.
Specific tasks like setting explosives for mining operations will be fully automated, but knowing where to mine the explosives will require a human being for at least 500 more years.