10th November, 2020
Open Collaboration

Robots on the Rise: The Upswing in Human-Machine Commerce

Tags: DLT, Robotics, IoT, Autonomous Commerce, Machine Customers

Project Methodology

The convergence of smart devices with the internet is creating a new inflection point. Billions of economic activities are already taking place between devices, sensors, and machines to unlock new types of value exchange and financial services. For the first time ever, autonomous and semi-autonomous machines will have the power to make their own decisions, buy and sell services, and operate in the economy as a new type of market participant. 

This near future is creating a network of devices that are self-sensing, self-executing, and self-optimizing, with little-to-no human intervention. 

Each machine will have an identity, history, and bank account to store digital value (tokens). Under this model, these machines can request and provide services and complete payments. A self-driving car could (for example) lease itself out, offer transport services to passengers, hire service engineers, and pay for its own replacement parts. The vehicle turns itself into an economic agent that fosters new micro-service ecosystems around it and as markets mature, those services become commoditized. 

Within the next few years, further opportunities will emerge for companies to:

  1. Leverage machine-and-device-generated data to extract meaningful business intelligence 
  2. Monetize and sell the data collected

The Machine Economy is well on its way to building a promising new framework for businesses through the advancement of smart sensors, robots, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. 

What’s possible with technology is no longer a distance ideal set in the future. Now, there is an opportunity to determine how the convergence of human-machine commerce, autonomous devices and the rise of robotics will impact the future of business and society. It’s time to use technology with humankind in mind.

The Important Question

How might the rise in robotics impact the way in which humans and machines create, develop and purchase goods and services?

Framing the Challenge

We can only begin to understand the business effects of robotics and machine learning by investigating the topic itself: human-machine commerce. This is your opportunity to explore Robots on the Rise: The Upswing in Human-Machine Commerce. If you are interested in contributing to this study, your submission should include answers to the following:

  • How will humans coexist with machine actors?
  • To what extent will humans contribute to machine transactions?
  • What are the main drivers?
  • What core technologies are facilitating this?
  • Where are we in terms of technological development for a time when businesses can program machines to independently transact and participate autonomously, securely, and reliably?
  • What threats and opportunities do applications of robotics in business pose?
  • What system design elements need to be considered when establishing human-machine commerce capabilities?
  • What are the emerging business markets?
  • What are the potential use cases/scenarios?
  • This one’s up to you: Please add any additional thinking or research on the social, ethical, & sustainable impacts of human-machine commerce or fully autonomous commerce.

What’s in it for you?

  • Become a published contributor on the NBT Academy 
  • Build up your skills using NBT’s design thinking approach
  • Receive recognition from our Press partners for your contribution
  • Access resources and tools to develop your thinking around a topic
  • Be on the forefront of change and get support to make an impact on societal issues 
  • Connect and collaborate with global technology experts, strategic ecosystem partners and industry innovators

Who Can Participate?

Are you working on an idea centering around the Machine economy, sustainability, open innovation, or any other focus topics that will lead to a more prosperous and resilient future? We’re looking to connect innovations with key resources to take your concepts to the next level.

  • Academia (students and professors)
  • Researchers
  • Startups 
  • Corporate innovators
  • Technology experts
  • Developers
  • Design thinkers

Submission Guidelines

We plan to create a compelling study on The Future of Work in the Machine Economy and we need your input! Submission guidelines will be updated by 31 October. Until then, these are the tentative guidelines in place:

  • Make sure your submission is in PDF format 
  • Your thinking needs to be supported with facts
  • Sources must be recorded
  • Remember to create your author bio

Create Change with Us

Have questions? Want to submit your ideas?
Reach out to us.