The NY Times has an interesting article on the growing role robotics and smart machines are playing in the military. Key quote:
"New robots — none of them particularly human-looking — are being designed to handle a broader range of tasks, from picking off snipers to serving as indefatigable night sentries."
The trend towards smart machines is not limited to the military. Intuit, our partner on the Intuit 2020 Report, refers to this trend as creating products that "do it for me."
In Intuit's case, this means creating accounting and tax products that greatly reduce or never require data entry (the software does it automatically) and leverage local and cloud data and services to make decisions (with permission) for the user.
This is a big shift from Intuit's traditional approach, which focused on making it easier for customers to complete tasks like data entry and make their own decisions.
The next decade will see the rapid growth of decision making smart systems. Most will be software products that mine the rich datasets being created by cloud computing, the Internet and sensors to make decisions for businesses and consumers.
But like the military example, we will also see robotics becoming increasingly common in the home and places of work.