Robots could be the next disruptive technology for the world’s largest companies, with companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon expected to merge, according to a new report from research firm Gartner.
The companies, which include Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter, are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2021 that would see the merging of all their robotic technologies.
Gartner expects the companies to share a common set of core technologies, and said that the combined companies could become “a truly disruptive force” in their respective industries.
The company expects that by 2020, robots will account for around half of all computer-generated work.
Companies have been scrambling to make sure they can compete with the new technologies, with Google already trying to integrate its robotics technology into its search engine.
Google has also been working with Facebook to bring its artificial intelligence (AI) systems to its own products.
And Google’s own facial recognition service, dubbed Watson, has been rolled out on mobile devices.
The MOU comes after a decade-long battle for supremacy between the two companies, when it was clear that Google was the clear winner in the battle for the consumer internet market.
But it also comes amid mounting concerns about the impact that robots are having on the workplace, with experts worried that robots could make it harder for workers to perform complex tasks, including at home.
The deal between Google and Facebook, for instance, is believed to have raised concerns about a possible loss of productivity.
“In order to compete with Facebook and Google, these companies will need to develop their own AI technologies that can solve tasks that humans can’t,” said Gartners chief research officer Matt Osterholm.
In addition to the merger, the MOU will also involve the merging on April 15 of several other companies, including the robotics giant Autodesk, the maker of the Maya and 3D printing technology that was used to make Lego.
It will also see the sale of Autodesky’s software to other companies.
Facebook’s robotics division is also being sold off to Autodesks.
Osterholm said that while there are no guarantees that the companies will be able to remain together, he believes that the MQO agreement is “a good thing for the companies, because it means that they have a common business strategy.”
“I think the deal is a win-win for everyone involved,” he said.
While the companies have not been able to agree on their own technologies, they are said to be working together to create a shared AI platform, Autodesck.