I really do think that robots could take over the world. This is not science fiction but a real belief.
Now, I am not saying that the world will end up like the Terminator or the Matrix movies. I mean the robots might be more subtle than that. In any event, our technology and robots at the current time are not anywhere near the levels at which we need to fear for mankind.
Really, our cybernetic technology and robots are in their infancy. We are only just now starting to create robots that can physically attempt to walk like humans. We are still a long way from having robots that can walk without jerky movements like real people. The robot of today can barely walk without falling over, let alone walk and run like humans. As for robots looking like humans, we have not even begun to attempt that.
Of course, our definition of robots might need to be looked at differently. By definition, robots are automatons, which are nothing more than self-operating machines. The word can be used to describe a robot or any autonomous machine. The word automaton is derived from the Greek word automatos, which means "acting of one's own will".
By definition, many devices around us are essentially robots. The device that we need to think of as a robot taking over the world is the computer. Computers would be the brains of the robots. They do not need arms and legs to control the world. They can control the world through all of the devices that use computers to control them.
We have the technology for artificial intelligence but, again, it is just in its infancy. We do have strong artificial intelligence at this time compared to what we have seen in the past. However, if computers are to control the world, they really have a long way to go.
At this time, computers are just becoming a major part of society and our lives. We all think that computers are a major part of us already and some of us believe that they could not function properly on the job or elsewhere without the use of a computer. We are depending more and more on computers and it shows. Just imagine how big of a control computers will have over our lives in the future. It really is scary.
Think about it. Computers are a part of many, many devices that we have now come to rely upon. There are computers in our cell phones, televisions, cars, planes, satellites, and many other things that many of us think we cannot live without.
If computers were to knock out our access to cell phones and other communication devices, it would really be a hard hit to our way of life as we now know it. Sure, there still are many parts of the world that do not use computers or technology and they will not be affected by it. But, for many of us who have come to depend on technology and computers, losing access to these devices would really be felt by us. It would make everything more difficult because we have tons of systems set up to rely on communication and, if we lose it, it would take months or years for us to go back to the way it was before computers were everywhere.
We use computers to track satellites and monitor planes from air traffic control. At any moment of the day or night, there are thousands of airplanes in the air flying across the country and the world. We rely on computers and satellites to track the planes so that every plane has its own planned route and planes will not crash into each other. If the computers and satellites go down, there will be hundreds of air collisions by airplanes and tens of thousands of deaths.
Just using the two above examples is enough to show you that, even at this time, computers really do control our lives. Computers would go down by accident or on purpose, it would create havoc in the world.
Computers also control things like weapons, such as nuclear missiles and other kinds of equipment. If a computer error occurs or a computer decides to do it, we could have a nuclear apocalypse. The enemy would see our missiles coming and would retaliate with their own nuclear missiles. It would be a nightmare.
At this time, we do not have robots with arms and legs that can physically attack us. People with this idea might need to wait several decades or a few centuries for this to become reality.
What we need to be worried about are the brains of robots, being that of computers. Computers are now a major part of our lives and we are working on artificial intelligence. If AI becomes, say, 25% smarter than it is today, then I believe that we need to enact safeguards in case computers become self-aware. I'm not saying that this will happen but, if robots or computers are to present a real problem, this is how I think it will happen.