Robots, Schmobots

Why Robot's Won't Take Over the World 

Jacob Mangas

Opposing Opinions

Photo: Radical Compliance

The Automated Apocalypse

Robots Are Taking Over the World

Martin Werner

September 2nd, 2017


Robots: the longer we have them, the more sophisticated they become. Day by day, we humans are creating more advanced entities to mitigate tasks or to entertain us. But as advanced as these robots are becoming, some people worry that robots will take over the world one day. Quell your worries, this nightmare will never happen. A robot stays strictly to its program, lack a mind with any form of imagination, and need maintenance to survive.

 

Programming severely damper’s a robot’s chance of individual thinking. A robot doesn't just go rogue whenever it feels like it; instead, it must complete the task given with the capabilities given. For example, a robot arm in a manufacturing plant is only meant to move or assemble objects, repeating the same action over and over again, until the task is completed. Only an external force can change its resting location, since the part does not have the ability to do so. However, there are some more complex robots that follow their commands, but can transport themselves. If something has not provided the robot with these commands, it will do nothing.

 

In world history, we see multiple attempts of dictators trying to take over the world or conquer more land for their country. But, dictators run on their own mind, and so do other humans. A robot has to obey the command whenever it is given one: there’s no excuses like “I'm tired today; I don't want to go to work.” The only situations in which a robot will not take commands is when there is a problem. It’s not that robot not wanting to do its job, it’s an error. However, robots do, in a way, think: constantly calculating things based on commands. But their mind is only limited to what we have provided them.

 

To add to their limited motion, robots do not have the ability to repair themselves. Over time, things can go wrong with robots, like rusting parts or a glitch in a program, which is why they must be monitored and repaired to make sure nothing goes wrong. Most of the time, a human must find and patch glitches in the robots. Monitoring is essential to the manufacturing industry because if a robot gets an inch off on a measurement, it could ruin the whole product, causing a chain reaction in the other assembly units.

 

Previously, I spoke on a radio show about if robots should have rights. In my opinion, the answer to this is yes. There is nothing that poses a threat now or ever to the human race as a whole with humans at the helm of manufacturing and commanding robots. They are not capable of saying something is fair or unfair because they cannot care with no mind to try. The only situation that comes even close to robots taking over the world is if a HUMAN manipulates one to kill. It is receiving commands from individual and carrying them out, therefore the human is the mastermind behind any kind of assault.

 

Robots have definitely integrated their way into our lives and have become extremely helpful to us in production, manufacturing, and entertainment. Luckily, there is definitely nothing to fear from something as simple as a robot, in a manufacturing plant or not.

Automation threatens our very society at its core. Robots have long threatened blue-collar-- workers with automation, and there is no reason for them to stop. With artificial intelligence on the rise, much more than blue-collar jobs will be on the line. With their capabilities ever increasing, what was previously science fiction could soon become reality; no job is safe.

 

For a long time, people have feared robots and their job-stealing tendency. This is a legitimate fear, as automation can put entire towns out of jobs: an example is Youngstown, Ohio. Robots are cheaper; they don’t need health insurance, and they don’t take sick days. Robots are more efficient; they don’t make mistakes unless you tell them to. Robots can be programmed to do almost anything. Nine times out of ten, they’re the most qualified candidate for the job. There is rarely a reason for any employer to choose man over machine.

 

Some believe certain jobs, like those that require social interaction, could never be automated. However, robots already do many of these jobs —like a therapist or a workplace manager. Technology is ever advancing. Long ago, it would have seemed crazy to think any kind of machine could replace a human doing any job, but now we know better. Robots learned how to become better than us at simple tasks, and we weren’t ready for it. Now, they are learning how to become better at us at much harder tasks—like driving—and we can be ready for it this time.

 

Now this problem is evident, but a solution is not simple. There is no need to abandon automation, as it is clearly a blessing in our world. Automation can make driving much safer, or could even eliminate the problem of gerrymandering. We must find a way to take advantage of automation, without letting it take over the world.

 

However, automation isn’t the only problem with robots. As new kinds of automation develop, we should start to be worried about things other than losing jobs: artificial intelligence may soon pose a threat to our species.

 

Now, this talk seems silly; a robot could never rebel. Such a scenario is only science fiction. But ignoring the possibility is, well, ignorant. It might seem like a simple, pre-programmed calculator could never turn against us; it just does math. But artificial intelligence is the new fad, and robots are learning to make their own complex decisions. Before, we thought robots taking our jobs was a silly idea, and then they took them. Now, we think the idea of robots threatening civilization is a joke, but then they might do just that, as Elon Musk, who has contact with the latest innovation in artificial intelligence, has warned. I will not claim that I know as much as Elon Musk, and I will not claim that robots will take over the world, but it’s better safe than sorry—and I do believe that if we don’t make sure we’re safe, there’s a good chance we’ll be sorry.

 

We can prevent these things from getting worse, and we can do that without getting rid of automation. Robots have enhanced our lives in many ways, and they can continue to do so. But as they have enhanced our lives, they have often overstepped. So to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, we need to stay alert.