How Might Robotics and A.I. Be Used At Events

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

We’re pretty much living in a science fiction novel. Maybe it doesn’t really feel that way because technology has a way of creeping up on us. We don’t freak out about technology because achievements that would’ve caused us to have an aneurism a century ago rollout over time and become routine, first in one use, one industry and then some spread throughout our daily lives.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the robotics industry, where recent advances have led to some downright revolutionary changes in how robots interact with their environment – and with human beings in particular. And then there’s A.I., Artificial Intelligence, and how do most of us feel about a robot that can independently from human assistance interact with us?

So, how might Robotics and A.I. be used at events? Can robots and Artificial Intelligence tie into your job as an event planner?

Take robots such as Suitable Technology’s Beam, for example. Through a docking station, or a telepresence robot and a computer screen the writer of this Forbes article is able to attend a conference, make her way around the floor, and even conduct a live interview with the CEO of Suitable Technology.

Like much new technology, the price tag keeps most of us at bay for some time (minimum investment around 20k, competition working on solutions for 10k and consumer devises at a few thousand dollars), but beam technology is already being used by large corporations and their CEOs to be at the meetings they can’t attend.

So if beam technology can be brought to an affordable consumer level imagine you’re running an event which anyone, from anywhere in the world can attend – without having to worry about travel expenses. Instead of flying to a venue, checking into a hotel, and being away from work and family for several days, one would simply log into their computer and take control of a telepresence robot.

Telepresence attendees will be able to wander around a conference floor interacting with vendors, guest speakers, and fellow attendees as though they were actually there.  

Not only that, recent developments in virtual reality technology such as the Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni could, combined with this technology, make the ‘virtual show floor’ experience an even more authentic one.

So, yes, this does create an odd vision, not to mention the downside for service industries, like venues, food services and hotels that support the large events. The car did away with the horse and buggy, but we’re not suggesting that telepresence will do away with actually attending an event. It may simply provide a potential new customer!

Next up is the topic of artificial intelligence. Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson – the heads of the XPrize Foundation – announced a competition in the field of artificial intelligence. Whoever develops the winning A.I. gets to watch it deliver its own TED talk, unassisted by human hands.

We may doubt that a digital host can engage as a flesh-and-blood guest speaker could – but seeing robots take the stage unaided by humans certainly would be fascinating. 

As with most technology, the uses become more mundane, could A.I. overhaul the logistical aspect of event management? As event management applications – and the algorithms that drive them – become more advanced, and A.I. is integrated into more uses perhaps it plays a role in the planning stages of an event.

We’re living in the science fiction novels of years ago. Event management, as with other industries, is altered by technology, including that of robotics and A.I.  We have already seen changes in how guests can experience an event, it remains to be seen if we adopt these changes, love these changes, or turn our backs on some of them. Historically, the latter option seems unlikely.