Prof. Schmidhuber's talks
have featured slides such as the one above.
According to Nature's millennium issue, the most influential
invention of the 20th century was the one that triggered
the human population explosion: the
Billions of people would not even exist without it.
Currently we are living through a
robot population explosion. It
is most visible in a few countries where the human one has
stopped. See Japan's and Germany's weird population pyramids
above (projections for 2025): few young people; many old people.
Eventually all nations will feature similar demographic statistics.
Then who is going to do all the work? Robots, of course. In 1980 there were
just 30,000 robots; in 2002, already 1,000,000, almost half in Japan,
one third in Europe, especially in Germany,
the world's 2nd-largest market.
The robot population explosion
might eventually overtake the human one,
once cognitive robots no longer have to
be hardwired but learn by themselves.
That's what they are working on at
TU Munich's lab for cognitive robotics.