Humans always wanted to break the limits and do more than they could even imagine. This is the way of progress. The way which gave us the opportunity to live in a highly technological world, turning our daily chores into a minute work, connecting us in spite of the distance, reaching the farthest countries just within a couple of hours. We can do everything. The potential of human brains is immeasurable. No wonder that at some stage of the development people felt that they wanted to create ‘assistants’ who would perform the routine hard work and who would not differ from us too much. They decided to create the prototype of an alive creature – the robot.
Nowadays, robots are believed to become more and more intelligent with each coming day. Some scientists even agree that till the end of the 21st century, robots would grasp the world with their ‘hands’. True it or false, we must look at this problem closer.
At the present time, humans possess more intelligence than any machine. However, the robots, thanks to the continuous efforts of engineers, become smarter and smarter with each new technological invention. Every new processor empowers robots to have more sophisticated and strong abilities to perform those tasks, which can no longer be conducted with manual work.
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Humans are considered to be superior to all animals. But is it really so? We can observe how many animals possess better hearing and sight, perfect sense or camouflage (just let’s have a look at the chameleon, whose ability to look like any object in its proximity, creates an excellent protection from the predators).
It is stated that computing power is constantly increasing, but who created computers? Who improves their processors each day to give them this surmounting power? The answer is obvious. Nevertheless, it makes me feel uneasy realizing what power a senseless machine can possess, especially when this force is supposed to become much more powerful than humans have. 25 years is the barrier period for computers to take over. But is the situation really that bad?
Despite the fact that computers are going to have more processing power, robots do not become more intelligent, if taking into consideration other factors, such as emotional intelligence or ability to discern smells (drug-sniffers and robot-tasters, however, are already under development to fight against drugs smugglers; but a robot cannot feel the aroma of flowers). Nonetheless, this is another topic for discussion, and now I want to pay more attention to those factors which, actually, help computers to become as similar to people as it can possibly be.
When talking about the visual senses, up-to-date computers can perform iris and number plate recognition, read printed and handwritten input. We can create highly-detailed displays of 3D environments, enable robots with infra-red, ultra-violet and x-ray visions.
Aural information is also processed giving computers the possibility to speak and hear. What they lack is just the additional function to understand the meaning of the language.
Talking about kinaesthetic abilities – they are recognized to be least developed, though we can successfully use touchpads and touch-screens on our laptops.
Engineers are working to provide robots with some additional sensors to be aware of exact location, to ‘feel’ the weather, to ‘feel’ the direction, etc.
What is shocking, that robots can be able to develop some special senses on their own! We cannot even predict what kinds of robots can appear, but such possibility exists.
Let’s have a look what does the computer need to turn into an actual ‘robot’? As we may guess, the most important for the robot is to be able to move around. This is a very difficult stage for many engineers, as a lot of efforts have already been wasted and little positive results obtained, but each challenge exists only to be overcome. This goes also about programming of robots, which enables to link these senses and give them artificial intelligence. What scientists crave to do is to give the robots the ability to learn as people can do. This obstacle is not overcome yet. When it is, robots will be able to conceive information with unimaginable swiftness which leads us to the main problem: Will the robots be able to take over the world this era? Will they be able to eliminate people as just some consumers of natural resources who are too lazy, unmotivated, unorganized, and irresponsible to be granted with something as important as the right to rule over the world?
Notwithstanding the fact that robots will be programmed to obey humans, to never harm them, with the ability to learn, they will be able to remove or change chips with this initial information and people will not be able to do anything to defend themselves against robots as they will control everything: From means of communication to human military.
Nevertheless, we should not regard our future as a very dark one. Everyone can make mistakes, even powerful computing machines. Let us better hope that humans will learn how to use their own brains more effectively without application of senseless robots, which can be taught different tricks that can eventually harm us.
Continuing the discussion in the next article, the author, Joanna Bryson, assures us that even if the robots do take over the world, this will be purely the work of the humans. I totally agree with her, as this is just in our power whether to give such a chance to robots or not. Ms Bryson provides us with a great example to prove her point of view: “So a robot army going wrong and wiping out a village of civilians is just the same as a dam going wrong and wiping out a village of civilians. The manufacturers & operators of either artifact are the ones who must bear responsibility”(Bryson, 2004).
There is no need to worry about robots developing their own way of thinking, according to the article, but we should worry about those who control laboratories where such research is conducted. We must not ascribe to robots those features which humans possess. We should not accept robots as humans. We create the way robots are, and the way they think and act, if we do something wrong, we must fix this problem. We put into them what desires they will have.
Requirements How to Take Over the World.
When humans started colonizing the Earth, they would never become what they are now, if they didn’t learn, if they didn’t work, if they didn’t have to protect themselves and adjust to the surrounding environment. All robots can do is just to accumulate information, but not comprehend it to make the next steps according to the possible events. They can easily and swiftly find the solution and solve some problems which were programmed in their chips beforehand. Robots will act according to that programming, but it doesn’t mean that they will act in the way that they made up themselves. All choices they have are just to follow the programmed chip. If robotic engineers manage to overcome this barrier and give robots the ability to learn, process, and comprehend information as humans do (which is too far from being done now), then we can start to fear for our lives. However, it is in people’s hands to choose what kind of robots to create. We understand well that if the army of robots is created for military actions, nothing good should be expected from them.
If humans want to do something good, they must do it good in all aspects. By improving one side, we make the creature unbalanced. Robots are just machines, like any electrical appliances that we daily use in our homes, nothing more. The sooner we understand it, the sooner we will get rid of any fear that robots can ever take up the reins of the world.
My opinion is that this is utterly impossible for robots to rule our planet. Until humans think what they are doing, such endangered situation will never arise. Of course, people are prone to make mistakes, but the more of them we make, the wiser we become. So, if those responsible for building robots make some mistakes which give machines that power which they should better not possess, the same people can take that power away from them by fixing the mistake. Machines are machines and will always remain the metal can despite all those horrors depicted in the movies, which actually were the first to create panic thoughts among people about the potential robots threat.
Rick Hyland states in his work that the ability of humans to adapt, to learn, to reason is too complex and unpredictable. Our minds are too sophisticated. Even nowadays, all scientists agree that the potential of our brains is unfathomable. We still know very little about our own powers not mentioning those of the machines created by us. Robots will never be able to achieve this level of productive intelligence as humans possess.
On the one hand, if humans decide to make a very powerful robot capable to do everything the human can do, but with bigger speed and productivity, I am sure that our engineers will manage to make it. But the question arises: What for? Why do we need such dangerous creatures? Of course, we can use these machines in various industries to alleviate manual work (like healthcare, transportation, farming, mining, food industry, etc.). However, we already use them there, so why would we try to make some super-robot-human-creature? If we create something, we can destroy it. If we don’t want to destroy it, and if it happens to be in the hands of the person who wants to do harm to other people, then we will be harmed. We definitely don’t need it. There is no doubt that it is the duty of the government and other empowered institutions to control machines and those who work on them in the proper way.
In the conclusion I would like to say that the word ‘robot’ originates from the Czech word ‘robota’ which means ‘work’. Here goes that the duty of robots is to do the work imposed by humans as they are almost the same mechanisms as washing machines, laptops, cell phones, etc., as Joanna Bryson aptly stated. Artificial intelligence can never reach that level of development as human intelligence, which allows us to feel, to understand, to sympathize, to love, to enjoy. Yes, I truly agree with the fact that in some 20 years the computers will be able to process such amount of information, which the human being cannot even imagine, but this definitely does not mean that those computers will rule over us. At that level of life where we are now we need high technologies to help us do the job which is too difficult or dangerous for us. We can develop our computers more and more giving them all the power possible, but we should not lose our control of them, and until we want to do this, this will never happen on its own.
A good thing for us to do is to self-develop all the time: in such way we will keep up the pace with any technological advances we make, even those that outdo us. To evolve we invent different things which make our lives more versatile, more interesting, and easier. The best we can do is to develop in such a way that we will help each other. We must help our planet, which is too much in danger these days, with all the harmful pollutants and weapons shaking its protecting layers all the time. We must learn that greediness for power and money is not what will make us happy. Robots can be our best friends helping us to live a great life. In this case we will not be afraid of what we create, and that it can start controlling and destroying us. We are what we think and what we do. If we are oriented at robots-killers, there definitely will appear some ‘clever’ people who will make the chips for destroying and insert them into these machines. However, if we regard them only as our assistants, we should not be afraid, as we are conscious of our deeds and possible impacts on society. We are here to find our destinations in life, let us make it a positive one!
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