Apocalypse. Armageddon. Doomsday. End of the world. However you want to call it, it is expected to come someday, we may not be able to witness it but as of today, there's a lot of interest regarding this subject.
One day it will happen, I just hope it's not in this generation. But just for the sake of imagination, how do you think it will go down? Nuclear bombings? Nuclear meltdown? What about asteroid shower part 2? Alien invasion? Or will we meet our end in the mechanical hands of the machines we made - a robot uprising.
There is a theory in the scientific and technological community that is usually referred to as technological singularity. It pictures a world with super artificial intelligence that could sustain itself, update itself, improve itself, protect itself and replicate itself. It is super-advanced that no human is needed for it to exist, hence the humans will be extinct.
This reminded me of the series Person of Interest, but in that series, the superintelligence uses humans to do its bidding to rid the world of "bad" people. Anyway, that's a story for another time.
Laws of Robotics
Our end was brought by robots, how do you imagine it? Does it look something like the terminator? Can you imagine robots invading key and strategic places to bring humanity to its knees? Author Isaac Asimov, who was known for his works in science fiction, particularly stories pertaining to robots came up with three laws of robotics which were accepted and somehow observed by real-life robot creators.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws
If human creators adhere to the aforementioned laws of robotics, then we shall not fear a robot invasion soon, but of course, humans really find ways to mess things up and has a knack for having a good thing blowback to his face in a matter of time. I believe that the ultimate goal of the top military is to deploy a robot on the battlefield to slaughter human opponents. Just like the movie universal soldiers where they used cyborgs to do mercenary jobs.
Ideal Robot Society
I think that the robot invasion will come in a different face and in several phases. One of the phases is replacing humans do tasks and rid of their jobs. In the last few decades or so, the constant decline in the employment rate is evident as more and more factories/corporations opt to automate certain repetitive tasks. As AI and robots merge better together, I believe that more and more complicated and complex tasks will be assigned to them.
Imagine robocops protecting and serving the community aside from the human cops that we know. Don't you think that discrimination of any kind will be lessened if not totally eradicated? An impartial robot judge brings down a verdict without prejudice and accurately judges every situation. A flawless doctor doing surgery with total precision. And a robot government that is totally free of corruption. When you think about it like so, does it really sound so bad? But what are we humans supposed to do then?
Another phase will be when humanity totally gives up reproduction and turn to robots for companionship. Can you imagine that? How would you picture the "perfect" partner? Someone who knows how to listen, someone who does not argue with you, someone who can ride each and every mood you may have, will that be okay if that someone isn't human?
It might sound weird and far-fetched at first but technology marriage isn't a new concept. Some people are really "married" to robots. Although these marriages aren't really legally acknowledged, this might not be the case in the near future.
If humanity ends with the aid of AI, I think that it will be brought upon by our own stupidity, greed, or just about anything. Our own annihilation will be brought to us by our own hands. Robots and AI will be the cause of our doom, they may be the instrument to implement it but they will not cause it. And even if they can, that will be our own fault since who made them in the first place? It was us. None other than the almighty humans.
Thank you once again for humoring me with one of my ramblings and random thoughts. I hope that I did not scare you for a bit there. Anyhow, if you have your own thoughts you wish to ponder with me, kindly drop a comment in the comment section and let me see what I can add to it. I appreciate your time and as always,
Christoph Salge 2017, Asimov's Laws Won't Stop Robots from Harming Humans, So We've Developed a Better Solution, Scientific American, accessed 20 May 2021, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/asimovs-laws-wont-stop-robots-from-harming-humans-so-weve-developed-a-better-solution/
The Complete Robot n.d., The Complete Robot, Wikipedia, accessed May 20 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Robot
Mark Robert Anderson 2017, After 75 years, Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics need updating, The Conversation, accessed 20 May 2021, https://theconversation.com/after-75-years-isaac-asimovs-three-laws-of-robotics-need-updating-74501
Siobhan Treacy 2018, Robot-human marriages: The future of marriage?, Electronic360, accessed 20 May 2021, https://electronics360.globalspec.com/article/13207/robot-human-marriages-the-future-of-marriage
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