16 Aug 2018
Will robots replace us?
Robots taking over the world is a classic Hollywood film plot, but some fear this may become a reality.
In fact, did you know humans are actually now outnumbered by the number of mobile electronic devices on earth? If we include computers which are not mobile, devices which connect to the internet total up to reach around 34 billion by the year 2020.
Panicking about a robot take over? You really shouldn’t be – if you think about it logistically many people in the western world have more than one mobile device in their personal assets. It’s not uncommon for someone to have a personal computer, a mobile phone, a tablet as well as devices which are used in their professional lives such as a second phone or a computer in the office. Plus, these aren’t exactly robots…
Furthermore, these devices, despite being dubbed ‘smart devices’ are nowhere near as intelligent as the human brain, for now. However, they do have high intelligence potential for a few reasons including:
- They have advanced sensors including cameras, microphones, accelerometers, GPS, thermometers.
- They feature real-time connections to immensely powerful server farms which may operate without the battery power restrictions of phones.
So why do people fear that robots are going to take over the world and destroy everything we know and love about the world? Let’s take a gander at the world of robotics.
Robots are going to steal your job…
One of the biggest conspiracies is that robots are going to eventually take jobs from humans as it is believed by many that the value of robotic workers is far greater and potentially cheaper for employees in the long run.
Self-checkout services have been available for many years at this point. These are extremely convenient, especially for those who are just popping into the shops but are not likely to replace humans as there is still demand for people on the checkouts at conventional supermarkets.
That being said, the innovation of the Amazon Go store does not hold any demand for human-run checkouts. In fact, there are no checkouts at all and no cashiers. How it works is that customers can walk in, scan their phones using an app which grants them access, pick whatever they want off the shelves and walk out again.
This has been possible by a new generation of machines which have the ability to sense which customer is which and exactly what they pick off the shelves. It can even detect if a customer picks an item up and decides to put it back. Awesome! After the customer has walked out, a receipt will pop up on their phone displaying the items they have bought. Pretty snazzy, really.
A Robot Tax
A robot tax was proposed which would apply to firms who were investing in machinery to take the place of humans. This levy would ultimately slow down the level of automation in companies since it would make the machines more expensive to obtain and use.
Is the slowing down of automation a good thing to stop the robots coming for your jobs? Not necessarily for a country like Britain, which currently has about 33 robot units per 10,000 workers and a problem with low productivity in the workplace. This is low when you compare the UK to Japan which has 213 units per 10,000 workers. This suggests the need for more automation in the UK, not less. Rest easy British workers.
Robots are going to steal your partner…
Recently, we have seen a rise in the demand for sex robots and with this demand, far more innovation and development in the products themselves.
Due to how advanced and ‘humanistic’ sex robots are becoming, many believe that eventually human sex workers will be put out of the job and perhaps we see a collapse in people seeking out life partners with actual people. This can also be applied to friendships, especially as Artificial Intelligence now allows robots to interact with us verbally and physically.
Many people do not believe that sex robots will ever actually threaten the primacy of human-to-human relationships, especially because although a robot interacts with us, they cannot love us – a desire held by most of us.
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