In 2007, Japan installed an average of 4.1 robots every hour, according to IEEE Spectrum. And while Japan leads the way in robots per person, the magazine deemed Europe the “epicenter of global automation,” with an average of 50 robots in use for every 10,000 workers. Some $18 billion were spent on robots worldwide in 2007, and futurists don’t see humans stopping their push for automated helpers any time soon.
In fact, the next 15 years may bring about a “mass hybridisation between humans and robots,” professor Antonio Lopez Pelaez of Spain’s National Distance Learning University told the Guardian newspaper. Pelaez predicts a rise in artificial robotic body implants, and believes that humans will develop greater emotional attachments to the machines. “Just as you can see dog owners talking to their pets today,” according to Pelaez, “soon we will be talking to robots.”