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What Will Our Robotic Future Look Like?

What Will Our Robotic Future Look Like?
Robots are on the way to replace almost all human activity...Photo by Jonny Lindner

Dreams on robotic future are well described by one of the Francisco De Goya’s caprichos: "Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels." The word “Robot” originates from Slavic “rabota”, which in modern language means “work”, but comes from ancient “rabu” with the meaning of “slave”. This is what most people see the robots functions in – serving.

Purely by definition, robot is “a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer, and can perform certain tasks that are considered hazardous for humans”. They are usually distinguished by application such as those developed for domestic (pool cleaners), industrial (automatic rigs and workers), medical (surgery), military (discovering and destroying bombs), science (space and deep water exploration), service, entertainment and many more needs.

The most popular definition of robots nowadays is, however “a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically”.

For modern civilized human a subject of humanoid robots is just like the subject of the automobiles with the internal combustion engine was for those, who lived at the beginning of last century. They were not around yet, but readily expected by any person with the self-esteem and some basic knowledge of technologies and societal trends. Nevertheless, some of the robotic future beliefs are not more than the utopic dreams, whipped up by many movies on subject, born in wild imaginations of fabulous writers.

Let’s face the reality – robots are already eliminating the jobs that in not so distant past were performed by people. There are multiple examples all over the world, including leading manufacturers of automobiles, industrial machines, and domestic appliances, financial circles, harvesting and processing agricultural produce, even customer support.

Who said the robots will be readily accessible for everyone? There is huge number of homeless people and people who suffer of lack of very basics, not to say anything about those, whose everyday life is a struggle for a piece of bread. It would be quite fondly to consider them buying a robot or even to consider they need one. Robots would not make life of the majority easier or more comfortable. They would make it for maximum 2% of the world population, those reach and famous.

Human being, driven by blissful ignorance and ambitions of omnipotent creature, strongly believes that robots are totally harmless. Why should they be not if they are created BY humans FOR humans? Let us not forget that human being is not always humanist and those shamelessly developing deadly weapons can switch to creating robots.

“A person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner” – is the last definition of robots I have found on Internet. Let us not become the one.

Utilization of modern sophisticated technologies might lead to development of better and even cleverer robots, which would become serious competitors to people. It is believed, in future, robots will substitute human being in almost every element of life, still remaining human’s servants. It is, indeed, a noble desire to free people from routine, dull or heavy work…unless you take into consideration the fact that by fulfilling this desire millions will be thrown out of their work with no means of taking care of their families.

Let’s face the reality – robots are already eliminating the jobs that in not so distant past were performed by people. There are multiple examples all over the world, including leading manufacturers of automobiles, industrial machines, and domestic appliances, financial circles, harvesting and processing agricultural produce, even customer support.

Robots are cheaper, faster and do not have human error factor. This all is undoubtedly true and formally logical if no such notion as humanity is considered, if any employee is presented only as a job performing screw of any given industry mechanism, without thinking of his or her personality, nature and families behind them. We are called human being not just because we can walk straight and think, but because our lives are accompanied by emotions and feelings, which is impossible for even most sophisticated robot.

“A person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner” – is the last definition of robots I have found on Internet. Let us not become the one.

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