If you saw the robot who could back flip earlier this week, maybe your next thought was of the Terminator coming to get you. At least that was my inner monologue at the sight of the machine clearing a height I can’t do now and probably never could have, even in my younger days. At around 160 pounds, the robot had more range of motion than I do in my weekly circuit training or boot camp exercise classes. Along with millions of others around the world, I watched in jaw dropping silence. I stemmed the panic by reading pieces like those by economics expert, Andrew Carlton predicts that machines will help us be more human. We won’t need to mundane tasks like math at the cash registers. We’ll be able to give and receive advice while shopping instead.
Here’s a few reasons why not to panic: the robots still need us to make them. (At least for now). For as long as that’s true, we should be okay. Hopefully we’ll – and by this I mean scientists working on these things – can be wise enough to build in fail-safes in the likely event the machines realize what a danger we are to the planet and our species.
Writers have thought about this possibility for decades. And we’ve been rewarded with their musings on the big screen.
Have you seen I, Robot? Or Robocop? The fact is machines could be better at this thing called life than we could. They won’t have the contradictions we do in our bad decision making. Think of it: a world of order. Run by the likes of R2D2.
Or, as Blade Runner showed us so vividly, a world where the machines want to be human as badly as the humans do.
Maybe this is all too far in the future for you.
You’re more worried about machines taking our jobs, like they did in the Industrial Revolution. Andrew Carlton says not to be because the machines are actually freeing us up to invent more things.
What do you think? Do you think we should be afraid of or embrace the machines?
Could machines help boost our overall productivity?
Sometimes I feel it’s one step forward and five steps back if it’s a busy day on the Internet. A student once asked me what I would do after finishing a massive overhaul of my office.
“Watch YouTube videos like everyone else,” I said.