To prepare scientific texts and predict the Stock Market; in a few words, to assimilate data and draw logical conclusions from them. These are essentially the activities that are currently ascribed to robots. Yet, they are only the tip of the iceberg. The next step is the development of creativity and self-awareness.
This opportunity has been pioneeringly identified by Hod Lipson, an Engineering and Data Science Professor at Columbia University in New York and a leading expert in Artificial Intelligence, who has developed Pix18, a robot-painter that looks like a photocopying machine and that, when "inspired", autonomously makes oil-on-canvas portraits with always different styles.
If you still do not think that this is exceptional, you should consider that Pix18 can autonomously acquire new skills and that its artistic ability evolves into directions that cannot even be foreseen by its human creator. In essence, it is creative, a quality which had previously been regarded as belonging to humans only. As stated by Lipson himself, the robot spends most of its time on Google Street View, reproducing the landscapes that most impress it. What is more: “I find it often in my living room, having fun portraying my cat" added Lipson.
Therefore, it seems that the next evolution for robots is the acquisition of the ability to generate ideas, paintings, music and objects by learning from experience and self-knowledge, and then be able to develop into something else. Right, but into what? That’s something we do not know yet.