Robots have always been a fascinating aspect of the new groundbreaking technology in our current time. They help us complete task that save time and allow people to do other things, are companions to people, and much more. There are many different types of robots.
But what happens when robots start to think beyond the bounds of the creator? Movies have shown us this can be a 2-way street. It can be good, but it can also be bad. Is it truly safe to continue with the advancements of these complex machines? This essay will seek to answer this question.
The early history of the Robot
Humans are a very curious species. We are always striving to look what is beyond and what is capable and never stop to settle. Thankfully this curiosity has pushed us very far into a technological revolution. Where did this aspiration come from? It all started back in ancient times. Think about when the pyramids were built. Early lever and pulley systems were used to create many of the iconic monuments in the world today. These were the first ‘machines’. Fast forward to the year 1495 and we see some of the first renditions of the humanoid. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote a lot about automatons. Many of his notebooks were littered with ideas of mechanical creations. One of his creations called ‘Da Vinci’s Knight’ was replicated from old notes by roboticist Mark Rosheim. (See Figure 1)
The Role of Robots
A robot is created for a reason, contingent upon whether the undertaking is straightforward, complex and additionally requires the robot to have some level of ‘intelligence’. The motivation behind a robot will be chosen in the event that it is intended to be a shrewd robot or a moronic robot. Shrewd robots are versatile robots that work under modified control and can learn as they complete their task. Non-versatile robots do dreary assignments well yet gain nothing from their activities. Currently, robots perform a number of different jobs in numerous fields and the number of tasks delegated to robots is rising progressively. Robots are split according to their applications.
- Industrial robots – These robots bring into play in an industrialized manufacturing atmosphere.
- Domestic or household robots – Robots which are used at home.
- Medical robots – Robots employed in medicine and medicinal institutes.
- Service robots –Robots prepared to exhibit technologies, robots employed for research.
- Military robots – Robots brought into play in military & armed forces.
- Entertainment robots – These types of robots are employed for entertainment.
- Space robots –robots employed in space exploration & other activities.
- Hobby and competition robots – Robots that is created by students.
More examples of Robots helping out modern society are in films, such as the movie Aliens (1986). “In James Cameron’s action-packed sequel to the original Ridley Scott film of 1979, Lance Henriksen portrayed an upgraded A-2 model android, a knife-carrying synthetic humanoid, who served as the Executive Officer of the warship USS Sulaco investigating the missing colony on the planetoid LV-426.”
Robotic Culture and he current state of social interaction
Is it possible to have a culture with humans and robots
“By human-robot culture, we refer to the recursive impact of cultural values of human society in the development of robots and the influence of robot cultural values on human beings. Sabanovic proposed the concept of a mutual shaping of robotics and society, which portrays a bidirectional interaction between society and technology. This concept suggests that social and cultural factors influence the design, application and evaluation of technologies, and affect social values and perceived norms. Different cultures have their own art, music, traditions, beliefs, and robots. In fact, robots are part of culture and are distinct due to special cultural values.
We are now slowly moving away from ‘working’ robots and starting to transition into creating and developing social robots or entertainment robots. We see examples of this shown in modern technology. We have robots such as ASIMO (See figure 3) and Sophia the robot (See figure 4). Sophia is an advanced humanoid robot from the company Hanson Robotics. She’s packed with some very smart AI, partly powered by Google. She can hold conversations and even give speeches, and as well as answer questions. She will even throw out some of her own just like a real person. Sophia’s latest upgrade is a pair of legs to help her get around on her own. This is exactly the correct approach in terms of the evolution of robots. The next step is to create a fully social robot capable of interreacting and doing task all on its very own. The future between robots and humans is currently being thought about now. If we take a look at the film
I, Robot, we can see a clear connection between that and what might be a plausible reality for us. Throughout the first half of the film we see robots doing all sorts of task such as deliver packages, taxi driving, being in-house living assistants and so on. When will we reach the finish line to a true AI machine? “Understanding the social nature of material objects and the situated character of human bodies involved in scientific practices cannot be complete until we are willing to carefully observe the richness of everyday activities in the environment in which the bodies of social actors are designed and enacted.” Make them like us, but how far is too far? This is where it gets interesting. In order to get into the spot were in now, we had to push the boundaries. So, in order to get to the next advancement, we will have to do the same.
Take the design of ASIMO’s body and Sophia The Robots head and you have a complete humanoid. It is hard to imagine a future with robots because there are so many different possibilities. In films such as The Matrix and The Terminator we see mankind overwhelmed by the robot majority and faced with a struggle to keep the human race alive. Those two movies have a slightly different approach but are very provoking as a result. The Matrix is about a computer hacker that learns he is actually in a computer simulated reality, which results in him having to make a very important choice. The Terminator is about a robot sent back through time to kill a woman who will give birth to a future leader against the opposing machines.
What do we get from these movies? Why are they important? These movies create a necessary question. Given the disparity in possible negative and positive effects that Artificial Intelligence brings, what can be expected of future relations? This is where the discussion of a robotic culture becomes imperative. “Robot Community Culture” refers to the creation of values, customs, attitudes, artefacts and other cultural dimensions among the robot community or multi-agent systems. Robot community culture is emerging as artificial culture in robot societies.” The thought of ‘Robot Culture’, from this point of view, identifies with the social development which has risen through purely automated impact. Robot culture alludes to values that robots themselves may hold and could in the end move towards the development of a distinct robot culture. The essentials for robots to advance ‘culture’ in the human definition would be an autonomous, basic and self-intelligent personality that is created in a way that prompts cognizance and, preferably, mindfulness of the robot.
“With the development of mobile and virtual forms of communications, people are mostly encountering the scenarios to perceive and act on environments that are increasingly distant and distinct from the physical world. The “Sense of Presence” enriching everyday life has attracted the attention of researchers both in the areas of remote communication and virtual environments.” Can a robot become a part of human culture? This is a very difficult question to try and grapple. If a robot can think on its own, and have individual thoughts just like a human can, doesn’t that make it technically human? The only way to know this would be to run intelligence test on the robot and even then, I do not know if there would be a clear answer. Then this begs the question of, ‘what separates humans from everything else?’ This alludes to the topic of a revolt. A clash of cultures if you will.
“One of the reactions of humans to robots, known as the “Uncanny Valley”, deals with unease and even revulsion at the sight of robots that mimic humans too closely. Another major concern about robots from the public perspective is the safety of robots for use in society. For example, between WWI and WWII, people were worried that robots might be built only to revolt, extinguish mankind and go on to rule the world.”
Is it safe to push the limit of these machines? I think it depends. It’s all on the outlook and the end objective. The way it is shaping up, the rise of technology in inevitable. The rise of tech is changing the lives of everyone as we know it. It may not even be a question of if we should push the limit, because there is no doubt we will. It will most likely be a question of how can we control it.
Tesla, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, says he fears a robot dictatorship. ‘If one company or small group of people manages to develop god-like superintelligence, they could take over the world,’ Musk said in the film.4 Another interesting possibility is the notion that robots will start to replace humans in the job market. Robots don’t complain, get sick, and only do the task they are given. This is definitely a possibility. If you let one AI get out of control, then that is essentially the end. Does that mean that there will be a World War 3 with Man v. Machine? We really don’t know. We are close to real human and computer interaction in a social context. That is why the aspect of robot culture is so important. “The notion of technology shaping human actions is especially relevant in the case of robotics, since they can possess properties that are characteristic of interactive and intelligent artefacts. In other words, any human interaction with robots is essentially a social and cultural one.”
The future could potentially be very bright with the addition of AI on our planet. Cures for incurable diseases, new structures in uninhabitable places, space exploration. We already have robots doing these very things, but they are on a human controlled level. We really don’t know the possibility until we encounter it in the future. It is an exciting journey simply because we don’t know what will happen.
However, there can be very negative side effects with creating artificially intelligent machines. Once they gain more intelligence than us, (one can assume that they will) then they won’t stop being curious and gaining knowledge after questioning their own existence. Much like how robots tend to replicate human tendencies, they will also develop the hunger for power, greed, control. That’s when it gets bad for humans. I am not sure if there will be a way to stop them.
We know that the human race will seek to create a copy of us. Why? Because we have a certain innate trait, which is in all animals. That trait is curiosity. The struggle then will be a battle of control. I think we understand the implications of what can happen with pushing Artificial Intelligence, so it is safe to assume that there will not be any problems and in fact, the idea of a possible combining of culture with robots. should be welcome. When robots can do everything on their own, will they need us? Will they want us around? That is a question you will have to decide.