This Week On Bullish: The Automation Revolution

Hello friends, and welcome back to another episode of Bullish, TechCrunch’s first talk show.

This time around we dug into the idea of automation, working to understand where to draw the line between intelligent hardware and robots. That, and whether machine learning fused to learning systems is something that we should embrace or fear.

To help us dig into the topic, we had Brady Forrest drop by the office. Forrest is deeply involved in the startup community working to build hardware for what is next. It’s not a simple task. The old joke that hardware is hard persists for a reason.

Opinion on the matter is somewhat divided — Elon Musk has rung the alarm, but other technology figures are less concerned. I recently learned after kicking it with IBM’s Watson crew that the work to build software systems that can teach themselves is well underway. But that is only part of the picture. The world of hardware is far and away more than software. You have to build both.

How long — or soon — until the average person has a number of devices in their home that help them do life? For the technology-savvy, the answer is sooner, I presume, than for the less tech-focused. At the same time, something cannot become ubiquitous without reaching the mass market, and that means Silicon Valley can’t be more than a beachhead.

Will our robot revolution be powered by small companies or large incumbents? Let’s find out.

Bullish airs every Wednesday morning at 7 am Pacific, and 10 am Eastern. We’ll see you all soon.