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Could Robots take over the World



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It is doubtful robots are going to start locking people away as in the movies "The Matrix" or "I, Robot", and it is highly unlikely they are going to start killing people as in the movie "The Terminator". If, however, one believes that people becoming totally dependent on technology is the same as "robots taking over" then it must be considered that humanity is starting to reach that point.

A robot is either defined as a mechanical device that behaves in a seemingly lifelike manner or a person that behaves in a seemingly unthinking, mechanical manner. For the purpose of this discussion the first definition should be applied with the stipulation that it include computerized systems that may or may not employ artificial intelligence programming.

Mythology and science fiction stories abound with tales of soulless, mechanical men that were created to either fight humanities wars or to perform the tedious work of men. In ancient Greek and Roman mythology there were stories of metal men that, through the use of godly magic, came to life. Leonardo Davinci once designed a suit of armor that through the use of an elaborate rope and pulley system could move like a man in the suit, and in the early twentieth century a Russian playwright wrote a story of mechanical men that performed the menial tasks once done by human workers.

Underlying all these stories was the human fear of people being replaced by these creatures or worse of having these robots turn on their creators in a Frankenstein monster way and start killing people. Even as recently as the mid to late twentieth century workers in auto plants and other factories faced the possibility of being outsourced in favor of robotic machines that could do their jobs; in some of these cases the fear was actually realized when people found themselves on the unemployment line.

Despite the fact that some people have lost jobs to robots and the speculations that robots will make peoples lives a life of leisure most find themselves working longer work weeks and nobody has a housecleaning robot in their home. Even with the technology explosion of recent years robots are hardly in a position to function without human guidance and control so it is unlikely that they will be locking people away as in the previously mentioned movies. Some people have speculated, without any substantial facts to back it up, that the internet is alive with it's own artificial intelligence. Even if all the robots and computers in the world were somehow alive, without people to operate their base systems they would all just cease to function.

All those robots and computers must have human operators, in which case, somebody could make the argument that the robots have taken over because without those robots and computers people would not be able live their lives the way they have become accustom to living them. How much of everyday life is directly dependent on some kind of computer or robotic aid? Peoples self parking cars can not find their way acrossed town without a GPS system. Commercials on television show people slowing the smooth operation of everyday life when they pay with cash instead of using a debit card. Some students now days probably would not know how to research a term paper in a library unless it had an internet connection.

A good argument for robots taking over can be made if peoples dependence on machines is considered. Most people in this world do depend on machines for some aspect of their life whether it be that they would not have a job without the machine or that their weekly pay is automatically deposited in bank and is accessed electronically. People depend on television, the internet, and their iPod for their news and entertainment instead of reading a newspaper or book or listening to the radio.

People speculate that the end of the world will occur because of global warming, an asteroid, or some other nonsense when the biggest thing they should worry about is a super-massive solar flare that ends up frying every piece of electronic equipment on the planet. The end of the world for most people will come when their bank account vanishes because of a power surge that destroys the computer.

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