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Could Robots take over the World

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Robots, could they take over the world? This has been the dream of many Science Fiction writers for years. But now, as we move ever forward in the 21st Century, could those dreams now be turned into reality? I don't think it would happen just yet...but it will. We now stand at the cusp of the greatest evolutionary advancement Mankind has ever known. Artificially Intelligent machines have, to all intents and purposes, been around for years. For example: Take a look at traffic lights, computers that run hospitals, airports. shops and homes.

Computers that work for the benefit of us, in financial institutions like banks, post offices and such like. Indeed, we, as human beings, rely on computers so much now that I am sure the world would come to a grinding halt if it where not for them running our lives. Mobile phones, PCs, Blackberries, Games Machines. In fact our brains have been conditioned so much to having computers/robots around that our society is run by them. And maybe, while we have programmed them to do our bidding, they in turn, have inadvertently programmed us into accepting them? It seems like it, as we rely on them so much. Yes, they are still programmed to do what we need them to do. But there will come a time, in the not too distant future, when they will not need human interaction anymore.

To my way of thinking, Robots could be the next natural evolutionary step forward for Mankind. If you like, the next natural progression of the human race. We are certainly heading in that direction If we go by the definition that all computers/robots only understand one thing, Binary Numbers, which are zeros and ones, then they will never achieve true Artificial Intelligence. This is simply because they are/would, be governed by those same Binary Numbers that has always kept them 'prisoner' if you like. They understand ONLY Binary Numbers, nothing else, and act out their duties, according to the way in which those Binary Numbers are programmed into them.

I suppose that if you mean could robots take over the world - provided that they were programmed first by humans? Then, the answer would have to be a resounding yes. But that is not what the question is saying. The question is, will there ever come a time when robots/androids, will be able to program themselves? Will they ever be able to fully understand, comprehend, and take in the human language? Will they be able to immerse themselves within our Human Psyche? And, will they indeed reach a point in which they will become true sentient living beings?

I think that this is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Even now, as we speak Bio-Engineers are forever working on the Artificial Intelligence of robots/computers/androids. Indeed the Holy Grail, if you want to call it that, would be creating a machine that could truly 'THINK' for itself, without the aid of human interaction. Also, creating a machine that will not only be able to understand and recognize Binary Numbers, but would be able to understand the spoken able to understand the LANGUAGE that we speak.

And there lies the crux. Computers do not, as yet, understand the written word - never mind the spoken one. Oh, they can copy and mimic our voices up to a point. But they say things without understanding the meaning of the words. A bit like a parrot, who will speak our words, copy our words, but not understand what the meaning behind the words are. Until we can get across that barrier, then computers will always be beholden to us.

And what of emotion, passion, love, desire, hatred? What of those feelings? Will robots inherit all of our weaknesses too? I should imagine that what Bio Engineers would try to do would be create a machine/android that is devoid of at least one of those feelings, hatred. For isn't it true that hatred is the driving force behind every single war that has ever been fought? Would that feeling, that urge to hate be ironed out of any artificial creation we have made?

I am afraid that the future looks bleak in this respect, for, if/when robots do become truly Artificially Intelligent, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they would be used as cannon-fodder on the war field. Just imagine, a ready made {and never-ending} supply of troops. It would be a nation's dream to own and manipulate such an army. Testing is going on right now by countries who would love to use robots in such a way so they do not have to use their own manpower on the battlefield. Imagine an army of such force, such intelligence, marauding through countries killing everyone is sight. Imagine terrorists gaining access to this army? The results do not bare thinking about.

Drones {planes} are already being used on battlefields around the world. There is talk of the creation of minute, insect-like robots that would carry out reconnaissance missions. They would be virtually unseen, {simply because of their size} and they would carry on their backs a tiny lens, to which they would beam back, or relay all the images in whatever room they happen to be in. They would definitely be used for spying missions and would give the country that created them a huge advantage. But again, at the moment, technology like this would be controlled by human beings. The droids themselves would still be under the influence of us. When that day comes when they - helped by us - loosen their shackles, then you will see what true Artificial Intelligent creations would be able to do.

Yes, my friends, Nanotechnology is truly here right now, and we continue to work on it. Alongside Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligent beings would be a fearsome foe. But, that brings me to another question, as I am sure it has you too? Would any super intelligent sentient being allow themselves to be used as cannon fodder on the war field? This is the question that has to be asked. Some might say that it would be for the benefit of the whole human race that the droids sacrifice themselves. That really, you cannot class them as the same as humans because they are just not the same. They would not show the emotions we show, the passion, the caring. Indeed, they would be expendable.

But, of course you would be wrong. When it gets the to stage of a machine that has reached AND surpassed our own intelligence - in fact, surpassed it in such a way as to become truly 'Alive' with all the feelings and emotions that go with that, then I should imagine that like any intelligent being, they would not allow themselves to be used in such a way and would defend themselves. Would there then be a war between human and android, whose to say?

But then comes the other question: When a machine reaches 'true intelligence', we, as humans, would have to recognize the new life forms, We then would have to act accordingly and put in some sort of law that would forbid them harming us. A new United Nations Charter would have to be set up that would recognize the new life forms. But would that work? Would we be willing and above all, able, to accept the new life forms that will then share this planet with us? Who knows?

To Sum Up:

I suppose the title of this piece is misleading somewhat, because robots have ALREADY taken over. They can be found in nearly every walk of life now, and we depend on them far too much for my own liking. The title of the piece should have been, 'Will Robots Gain True Artificial Intelligence?' I believe, in time, they will. As to whether or not, they gain sufficient intelligence to enable them to truly become 'Masters of their own destiny' again, I say a resounding yes, it is going to happen. Maybe not in my lifetime or yours, but you can be sure that it will.

Whose to say that within, 60 or 70 years from now {assuming that the human race has not destroyed itself between now and then}, that people will be talking and communicating with those that they THINK are human? Indeed, they will look human, with the same texture skin tones/colour, act human, with emotions to go with it too. The only difference would be their superior brain power, they would indeed become the next evolutionary step forward for the human race. The next link in the chain of our advancement. We will become displaced, eventually, and replaced by human-looking androids. Who knows...maybe they would do a better job of running the world then we humans ever could...? It is a pause for thought indeed.

More about this author: Wayne Leon Learmond

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