The Japanese concept of animism, of breathing life into inanimate things, could unleash a wave of kinder, gentler robots who bring joy and efficiency while improving the healthcare experience, extending childcare as we know it, and elevating the customer experience in tourism and retail sectors. Podcaster Tim Romero gives an insightful spin on how the Japanese approach to robotics could make society better. Some jobs face elimination. However, explosive growth in the robotics industry could create millions of new jobs as the robots will demand hand-holding.

As we learn to interact with fewer humans during this pandemic period, could intelligent robots make us better human beings? The bane of machine learning and artificial intelligence looks scary as industries focus on automation. Could there be light at the end of this dark tunnel? Did rock band AC/DC get it wrong with their 80s anthem? I think the world ends up somewhere between Romero’s idealism and AC/DC’s fatalism.