Recently X-Prize launched the $10 million AVATAR challenge whose goal is to create:
(An) avatar system that will seamlessly transport human skills and experience to the exact location where and when they are needed.
I have been thinking a lot about Avatars the past few years and believe this is something that will truly benefit the world as a whole.
A.I. (artificial reality), robotics & V.R. (virtual reality) are still in their early stages but we can leap ahead if we couple A.I., robotics & V.R. with human operators.
I believe there is a way to have a robot that could do the dishes, laundry and even cook, but it feels like we are still a long ways away from this happening based upon where we are with autonomous A.I. and robots.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics graphic above, we spend an average of 1.25 – 2.15 hours per day on household activities alone. That’s 40,000+ hours or 4.5 years of our lives we could spend doing things that we want to do. I believe with the Avatars we can add 4.5 years (at least) to all of our lives and live healthier and happier. We could eat healthier meals because we don’t have to stress about all the work involved in preparing healthy meals. We could spend more time with family, friends and helping others if we did not have to spend time maintaining our things. For the first time in human history, we will be able to dedicate more time to people and less time to tasks!
How could we create a world like the one I am speaking about? As an entrepreneur and coder, I am dedicated to agile development, which to me is about building things with what we have and that work now and updating over time as technology advances.
It is entirely possible that today we can utilize people power from around the globe to control real Avatars that could do the laundry, dishes and even cook. There is a lot of people power around the world not being utilized every second of the day. If you look on sites like Task Rabbit, UpWork, and even Craigslist, you will see that there are thousands of skilled people around the world looking for work.
What if you had an Avatar that would work in your home and tap into this pool of underutilized human potential? Imagine an avatar in your kitchen that when you wanted to eat you just told it what you wanted, for example, a turkey dinner, and then this request was sent to the cloud and people bid on the task and the winning bidder could then use the Avatar in your own kitchen to make the meal.
This would be revolutionary and I think this is why the X-Prize is such a great opportunity to make this happen.
I can see a world not too far in the future where the time we spend on things we don’t want to do is done by a remote person who wants to do them giving us more time to do what we want to do.
The natural progression of all this is that the Avatars would learn from all the tasks being performed by talented humans and eventually match and far surpass them. We will all have gourmet chefs, maids, butlers, personal assistants and heavy-lifters on demand, anytime. Machines will do all the work!
Today, only the rich (or very creative) have dedicated chefs, maids, and butlers. In the future, everyone will! We have seen this before in history where only the rich could eat any food they wanted, now we can (called buffets, even the richest kings would have been jealous about our modern buffets). Only the rich could afford plumbing, electricity and now we all can. Only the rich had the luxury of relaxing and not worrying, soon we all will have that luxury. I wonder…what will we worry about then?