Robots! We were first introduced to the concept and their existence through the world of cinema. Movies like the famous Terminator and Star Wars franchises, Metropolis, Avengers: Age of Ultron, A.I., Big Hero 6, Wall-E, Real Steel, the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, and more have painted a vivid picture of this world and the idea that this science fiction concept could become reality. With the advancement of technology, the science fiction-based possibilities have almost become actuality.
Robots in Our Midst
Today, devices like Alexa, Google Home, Amazon Echo, and even Siri in iPhones are all examples of robots that utilize artificial intelligence to communicate with the user. The combination of technology and new discoveries in the field of artificial intelligence has led to the creation of robots that could pass for humans. One of the most famous humanoid robots is Sophia, the first robot to become an official citizen of Saudi Arabia. This robot was created by Hanson Robotics and is one of the most advanced versions of robots we have seen. She was first activated in 2016, and from that point, she has made headlines all across the world. She is able to display 50 different facial expressions, express feelings, and speak on her own like an actual human.
Another one of these ground-breaking robots is Atlas, the robot that can actually move like a human being. It doesn’t have the artificial facial details that Sophia has, but the impressive level of motion and flexibility makes this robot extremely advanced. According to livescience.com, “Atlas has a four-limbed, bipedal frame that would invite comparison to the human body regardless of how the robot moved. But in a series of videos released over the last few years, Atlas demonstrates mobility that is uncannily human: recovering after being shoved, performing backflips, jogging over a grassy field and practicing robot parkour.”
Robots: Friend or Foe?
There is a very large debate today about the introduction of robots with artificial intelligence into our society. While robotic functions have proved extremely useful in handling adverse situations, calamities, and conducting rescue missions that would normally put human beings in danger (like the Atlas robot), robots are sometimes perceived as replacements for humans in the workforce. However, in reality, they create millions of jobs, from engineers to software managers to programmers that handle all of the robots’ capabilities.
The introduction of Artificial Intelligence and humanoid robots have raised a major concern: will the time come when robots learn to think for themselves and humans lose control?
As Stephen Hawking once stated, “Success in creating A.I. could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, A.I. will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It will bring great disruption to our economy, and in the future, A.I. will develop a will of its own…in short, the rise of powerful A.I. will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.”
You might be thinking that the world isn’t like the Terminator movies: robots can’t have minds of their own, right? Well, there is an incident in which this has happened. In 2017, Facebook created two chat bots, Alice and Bob, and tried to see if they could communicate like humans did. Instead, they did something more: they started conversing in their own language. They “modified English to make It easier for them to communicate – creating sentences that were gibberish to watching scientists.” The fact that these robots can make decisions and have conversations on their own that we cannot understand poses a threat to safety, since we might not be able to monitor or control the things the robots say or do through their advanced artificial intelligence. (This has some serious Terminator vibes, right?)
As we can clearly see, the world is slowly being revolutionized by robots and artificial intelligence as technology advances. These robots can be extremely helpful in saving and protecting lives, but they could also be the catalyst to robot world domination. As time goes on and robots advance, only one question can be asked: is this the biggest accomplishment in civilization’s history, or its last?
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https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-robots-could-change-the-world-by-2025-2014-8 https://www.livescience.com/topics/robots https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/blog/5-top-advances-in-robotics/