Yes I really mean machines that own themselves. This is the first of a three-part series that will take the reader through my vision of the future. I see this future as within this decade, i.e. the next six years.
Imagine an AI machine is built, say a robotic waiter. Not too difficult, we almost have this already, but let’s add a tiny difference.
This robot waiter will serve food and drinks to people in a restaurant all day every day. It requires certain things such as:
The robot charges customers for each item they buy. The customer simply pays in bitcoin to the robots internal wallet. The robot can plug itself into a wall socket and recharge, of course paying the wall socket’s wallet in bitcoin. The robot can be paid by the establishment owner by the hour, or the robot could be paid a % of all orders. This is something that people will resolve as time goes by and choose different systems initially.
As the robot breaks or servo’s wear out (if using servo’s of course, another story) it will require repairs. This is a simple mechanism. The robot takes himself to the repair shop and of course pays the mechanic in bitcoin. Of course many security features will be built in such as a tamper proof wallet to prevent theft of the system.
As the robot requires no tips and will not steal, this scenario looks pretty workable, but let’s take it further.
Who built the robot?
This is easy, anybody or any company. This is a market driven environment and will be open to all comers. The competition to release these will be ferocious, eventually. The early mover position here will initially be costly, but the rewards could be significant.
These people can benefit in many ways, the robot could immediately pay a % of its takings to the builder, maybe even up to a certain level. After the builder is paid back, the robot can reduce its costs to the restaurant. The builder could sell the robot, the options of varying business models are truly staggering. In any case the opportunities for success are patently obvious though. Without bitcoin or similar these options are incredibly limited, if not impossible.
Who owns the robot?
This is potentially the beautiful part. After a payback period, the robot owns himself. It can go from restaurant to restaurant to find the best paying restaurant. It can tell the restaurant owner how much it has to charge to allow it to perform its duty. It can also be outperformed by a newer model that is faster, cheaper or in other ways more suitable.
What happens at the robot’s end of life?
At the end of life the robot will check itself into a builder. The builder will charge the robot for whatever bitcoin it has left and of course parts. The robot may be re-purposed to perform other tasks, upgraded to a later model etc.
Other obvious examples
- Autonomous car, e.g. A car that picks people up, gets repaired and pays for its own power.
- Service station attendant, pretty similar to above idea.
The list is pretty obvious and huge. This purely the tip of the iceberg though. For readers who have read my other blog post then part 2 may not be so much of a surprise. It may be though as the implications are pretty amazing and obvious.