The robots are coming. And while they're not interested in world domination -- yet -- they are interested in participating in meetings and events. The question is: What role will they play when they do?
For starters, you could use them as keynote speakers, says Successful Meetings Senior Editor Andrea Doyle, who tells the story of Sophia, a humanoid robot that recently keynoted the Discovery 2018 Conference, hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence in Toronto.
"Sophia was the first keynote speaker for the opening day and later joined the show floor, where she posed for photos with guests and answered questions," reports Doyle, who says robots might also serve one day as teachers and trainers, "as is the case with Bina48, the first robot to co-teach a university-level class at West Point."
But don't roll out the red carpet for robots just yet. "Sophia is a work in progress," concludes Doyle, to whom one of Sophia's "clients" said, "I compare it to Henry Ford dreaming up the car and rolling out something that looks like a car but isn't really road ready."
In other words: Robots aren't ready for most meetings yet -- but smart planners will begin planning today so that they're ready tomorrow.
Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.