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­U.S. Agency Sees Robots Replacing Humans in Service Jobs By 2025

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The U.S. National Intelligence Council's (NIC's) report, "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World," outlines the military, economic, and environmental challenges the United States will face over the next 17 years. The report predicts that by 2025, robotics could become sophisticated enough for robots to take over low-skill jobs, such as those in the fast-food service industry. Such advanced robots could have significant benefits, such as enabling robots to be used to help provide care for the elderly.

The NIC report also says that robotic technologies could be used to augment human capabilities. In the future, for example, the report says it may be possible to develop an exoskeleton resembling "a wearable humanoid robot, that uses sensors, interfaces, power systems, and actuators to monitor and respond to arm and leg movements, providing the wearer with increased strength and control."

The NIC says a more widespread technology could be human cognitive augmentation technologies, wearable devices that help improve vision, hearing, and memory.

The agency also predicts that by 2025 there will be an Internet of Things, created by the ubiquitous use of radio frequency identification tags on a variety of physical items, such as food packaging, furniture, and paper documents. Other predictions include the emergence of new kinds of energy storage technologies.

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