Sun, 23 Feb, 2020

Robotics and The Future of Humanity

By Ashmita Kunwar

As long as human beings don’t face a major threat of extinction, developments in technology will never end. Technology is the greatest mean for the development of civilization in today’s world. Whereas at one time people had to wait for months to get a letter, we can now get information from the whole world, from any corner of the Earth. Technology has become so important that its grip is almost impossible to break. Computer technology began with the invention of abacus and it has now reached to the point of artificial intelligence, which can even challenge human existence. With the passing of time, the technology which is grounded on the principle of artificial intelligence is only evolving to a greater force. Robotics technology, which is based on artificial intelligence, is evolving and various advancements are being made in this field. Yes, no doubt, robots can make our life very comfortable. Modern robots are constructed in such a manner that they can even realize human language, feelings and emotions. They can work in the absence of human beings with the help of intelligence that is programmed into them. Considering the present situation, we cannot foresee an end to the progress in robotics and probably the day is not too far away when the ability of the robots to interact with the human beings will challenge the intelligence and the capacity of the human beings. As it is we are too dependent on technologies. We don’t have to start far away, we can consider our unchecked use of mobile phones and computers. This pace can create an imbalance between humans and robots. The day is not far away, when we may have to act under the insistence of the robots. Just as many years ago, dinosaurs were dominant, in the future, robots have an equal chance of being dominant over human beings. The ability of the robots to work with 100% efficiency at a high speed may put at risk human employment in the future. With such powers, they can easily replace human beings in the future. There may come a time when robots will be superior to human kind if they receive the self-improving and self-controlling abilities. In fact, many scientists and philosophers have begun to argue on the possibilities for the human race. Computer technologies have gone too far; there should be a limit to everything. If a certain limit is not imposed in the advancement phase, we will face difficulties because of our own inventions one day. I’m not saying that we should stop the development of the technology but we should certainly be aware of the risks. Only a few years back, when we had heard about the invention of robots we thought it was either a joke or a story, but it happened. Now it’s time for us to think about the future, to protect ourselves from these artificial machines called robots. In coming days, these machines will become more advanced and create an impact on our life. This is a matter of great concern. Acknowledging this fact, UN had organized a four day session to discuss the possibility of banning “lethal autonomous robots.” The gathering was totally focused on drones and the automatic robots that are used during wars as a weapon. It is vital that we act immediately before it is too late. The images are vivid and the message is loud. Given the situation, is it that far-fetched to imagine a war between humans and machines, like we have seen in the Terminator series? The day of extinction called “Dooms Day” will prevail if artificial intelligence goes out of our hand and the machines will start to question us like in “I Robot”.