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And what about robots taking over human roles? We have seen machines taking over traditional human roles, be they simple appliances at home or machines and factory systems in industries that rendered human labour useless. 21st century technology is proposing a further taking over of such roles, as robot babysitters emerge to replace nannies. Once the province of speculative fiction, these babysitting robots are on the market, appealing to busy mums and dads (and inquisitive, eager kids who would prefer a cute petite robot to a naggy nanny who would force veggie down their gullets) with their abilities to make conversation, recognize faces and keep track of kids.
There are much ethical frontiers of robotics to challenge indeed, as we question ourselves: can robots really replace humans to assume delicate roles such as personal care in our society, in our families? Can maternal instincts – something so intricately tender and hardly explainable in full – be reproduced or mimicked by science and programming? After all, what lies beneath the friendly, benign looking robot nanny are but codes comprising mere numbers and alphabets.
Perhaps the answer would lie in statistics – an estimated 5.8 million personal service robots are now in use, five times more than industrial robots. People are happy to use them for tasks once fulfilled by people, and a survey of public attitude towards robots found that many are willing to use them as babysitters, while more would use robots as priests and massage therapists. It may sound preposterous, but this is happening – especially in highly modernized cities like Japan Tokyo, which is at the peak of the robotic industry.
We are moving on from the era of television, computer and Internet into an era of robotics. However we must take some moments to contemplate the effects of long term exposure to robots and machines, because human behavior will most certainly change as these artifacts are introduced – the key concern being: for better or for worse?
Technology will never stop moving forward, and god knows what comes after. Human-bots to replace functions of robots?
Now that – is a scary thought.
Athlete Oscar Pistorius, known as the fastest man with artificial limbs, is also nicknamed the Blade Runner.
British Ministry of Defense have named their military satellites “Skynet”, which is in control of 4 unmanned Killer Vehicles (MQ-9 Reaper). Talk about daring the robots to destroy us all.
Long before robots were introduced to humans, Mary Shelly has already postulated the presence of the uncanny valley with Frankenstein’s monster.
Programmers are taking into account that AI is far superior compared to human intelligence in the aspect of chess, and work on handicaps such as giving the AI less time to think, or removing a piece from the computer.
Deep Thought became the first Artificial Intelligence program that managed to beat a grandmaster of chess in a tournament when it defeated Bent Larson in 1989