Robots. This is a word the majority of the people are familiar with yet do not actually know much about. Robotics is the study of robots; it includes the design, construction, and overall working of them. And technology has improved so much that it has enabled the development of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Currently, there are four main types of robots: drones, cyborgs, helper, and conscious robots. Although there has been an exponential growth in the number of people who use robots, and robot use is widespread, there is still controversy over their development.By looking into the aspects of each specific robot we can make better sense of how robots affect our lives.
Drones give various benefits regarding the transportation of goods. Due to our fast-paced society, people want things to get done faster every day; thus, delivery services have had to speed up as well. Drones have really sped up the delivery process. However, they are more importantly used for delivery of medication to remote or dangerous areas where hospitals are not well equipped and roads not well developed. They are also used to take photos or videos for monitoring or entertainment purposes. Despite all of these positive impacts, they may also bring chaos to society because they are also used as weapons all over the world. Adding to this are the severe environmental problems they could create with increased emissions of millions of “small airplanes” flying around everywhere.
Cyborgs refer to organisms with natural and human-made body parts. They enable longer human lives along with better recoveries. The purpose of their creation was for the development of space exploration, but they have been developed to replace dangerous surgeries by acting as “implants.” Due to their creation, there no longer needs to be long hospitalization periods because you can simply replace a broken body part with a new robot one. Whilst this solution seems simple and efficient, the cyborgs cannot be totally reliable. Not only is it new and not fully tested, prices are extremely high. Only the rich minority would be able to afford this technology. Thus, there are various considerations that need to be made before fully launching this technology to the public.
Helper robots help us in numerous tasks in our daily lives. Just as factory machines have reduced the labor needed to create products, helper robots reduce the working hours of service workers, people who have jobs that require providing service such as a cashier to other people. Many cashiers at McDonalds became unemployed due to the new development of delivery robots and ordering machines. Whilst the company is benefiting due to paying less for its employees, there are serious issues of unemployment. Various service companies are incorporating robot systems into their stores, creating thousands of unemployed. Some people have said, “Robots may one day take over the world!” and we should wonder whether this replacement will really benefit us.
Out of all robots, conscious robots are in the spotlight now, especially with the creation of the robot “Sophia.” She was the first robot ever to be considered a citizen of a country and interact with humans. While she is just a programmed robot, scientists are looking forward to creating more advanced robots that would be human-like, conscious. It would be exciting to create a Santa Claus robot and keep children happy during Christmas, but that’s not how everyone thinks.
Looking at the four main categories, it is clear that there has been exponential development of robots throughout the years. Living in a fast-paced society, it seems that the majority of people believe that technologies such as robots are necessary for comfort in our lives. Having numerous tasks that need to be done in short intervals, it seems rational to create these helpers. Nonetheless, there are also numerous detriments the robots will give to the society.
Replacing human workers with robots would be greatly beneficial in terms of economics at companies because they cost less than human workers, whilst can work for longer hours. Moreover, the development of transportation robots would help with faster exporting, along with bringing comfort to many injured people. On the other hand, the development and creation of robots cost a lot and also use a lot of resources. All of the ordering machines used in fast food chains run on energy that most likely is to come from burning fossil fuel, which is greatly harmful for the environment. Most of all, innumerable people all of the world who sustain their lives with these labor jobs will become unemployed and live in poverty. So, how do we resolve these conflicts?
As with most things, the development of new technologies has various advantages and disadvantages. Currently, the majority looks upon the creation of robots only positively whilst there are also other factors to consider. What is most important is to maintain a balance. By considering all of the outcomes and attempting to maintain this balance, it would be more likely that robots will bring a better change to the world. Besides, it is unlikely that we can stop the development of robots. We can only work to maintain this balance for the good of mankind.
By Justine Kim, Chadwick International