Humans and Robots: Dilemmas of Coexistence
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Contemporary scientists have perfected machines to the point where robots have become so intelligent and capable that they may be perceived as a threat to humans. As the capabilities of robots increase, people may feel that machines will replace them by taking over the existing employment opportunities. Furthermore, there is a threat that humans may lose their status as the masters and rulers of the world by allowing robots to make decisions and think independently. However, the analysis demonstrates that such a threat is exaggerated. The development of highly skilled and intelligent robots poses no threat to the status or employment opportunities of humans because the usage of robots will help people to focus on new, creative jobs and possibilities that the employment of robots will offer.
There is no need for humans to feel inferior or obsolete because of a significant progress in robotic sciences and artificial intelligence. The existence of robots that can perform various actions faster or better than humans does not make the latter inferior. People are not going to lose their status of the masters of robots since they are living creatures with consciousness, pride, foresight, intuition, and dignity, not mass-manufactured, artificially created machines. The retrospective analysis of how machines entered people’s lives demonstrates that there may be a short period of adjustment as robots substitute humans. However, the greater employment of robots creates an increased demand for engineers, service personnel, mechanics, programmers, and IT professionals. Therefore, there will be numerous opportunities for people to develop and grow professionally. Thus, in a hypothetical scenario when robots are going to become common workplace equipment and household appliances, there will still be demand for people’s creativity and work. For example, Kevin Kelly believes that people have to let robots take over certain jobs that people have been doing till now for three reasons. First, robots can often do a better job. Second, humans will be free to undertake new, more fulfilling occupations. Third, people will have more time to create a better society for themselves and future generations (Kelly). One may compare the usage of robots to how people in ancient Greece used slaves. While slaves were doing all the ‘dirty’ and difficult work, Greeks engaged in sciences, arts, and sports. For example, instead of spending time and efforts on washing and cleaning clothes myself, I turn on my washing machine do it, and, as a result, I am free to engage in other creative and productive activities. Therefore, it is beneficial for people to let robots do mundane work while investing their energy in endeavors that benefit humanity.
Despite the described benefits of the employment of robots, there is a potential danger that people will become overly dependent on intelligent robots and not capable of living without machines. There is a whole range of seeming dangers humans might face as they introduce robots into their daily lives. For example, overreliance on machines may result in soaring unemployment rates and make people so highly dependent on artificial intelligence and computers that they will have to accept the decisions that machines make without considering the impact of the robots’ actions and decisions. Moreover, there is an apprehension that machines can be used to control people and limit their privacy and freedoms, while people will exercise only a limited control over robots. However, Kevin Kelly makes several valid arguments as to why machines present no threat to the current and future generations. For example, the author argues that the development of robot-related industries will create significantly more occupations and employment opportunities than the adoption of robots will eliminate (Kelly). Furthermore, the spread of robots throughout manufacturing and service industries and households will create thousands of new business opportunities for employers and entrepreneurs. In addition, Kelly insightfully notes that robots usually do not take good jobs from people. On the contrary, they perform tasks that humans could never do, such as making computer parts or performing complicated brain surgeries. Finally, Kelly claims that as robots perform most of basic work, more people have possibilities to pursue their interests, build fulfilling careers, and enjoy better health and higher living standards. Thus, people should start thinking how to improve their lives by using robots instead of being concerned with the restriction of the expansion of automation.
The analysis demonstrates that there are no valid reasons for humans to fear to be substituted or made obsolete as a result of the employment of robots. Furthermore, the positive aspects of increased automation and adoption of machines greatly outweigh the negative ones. Therefore, the usage of highly intelligent and capable robots poses no real threat to the superior status, employment opportunities, or future development of the human race. On the contrary, the introduction of more robots will lead to a greater demand for qualified human specialists and will offer new, previously unknown possibilities of progress and development.