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We are in the 4th industrial revolution the Digital Revolution which is causing boundaries between reality and virtual world to become blur. Last month when we played a VR game in Singapore, we couldn’t feel the difference between being in the combat zone to fend off zombies and standing in an air-conditioned room wearing many gadgets. In our country where we have shortage of labour there are high chances, we might see robots in the service industry, maybe within a decade our SIT food court might have of kitchen robots that speak variety of languages, prepare different cuisine food and serve us. Naturally the next question is would robots overtake humans, are we getting dumber or smarter? As of today, we cannot be sure about the answers as it is a big IF – will robots overtake humans or be submissive to the tasks created by humans. Such questions raise a warrant to pen an essay on a comparison between Humans and Robots. In this essay we compare 5 basic characteristics between humans and robots to gauge where we stand as of today.
“Positive natural selection, or the tendency of beneficial traits to increase in prevalence (frequency) in a population, is the driving force behind adaptive evolution.” The beauty of any life on the earth is adaptation. We can adapt to different environments or different tasks unlike robots which are made for a predefined setting. A news reading robot might not be able to defend the country in terms of need or go to school to adapt to new skills. This beauty of adaption has made humans survive countless changes in environment and made us build necessities which has been the mother of our survivals. Will robots be able to survive change environments or able to adapt is a question that humans are trying to answer or building AI robots that can learn but still at its infancy.
Humans are logical, we have been taught and trained to be logical but unfortunately, we are also illogical because our logic is impacted and changed by our emotions. A decision can be good or bad, but it becomes great or worst due to the emotions attached to it. When Capitan Sully made a decision to land US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson river (index 2) when birds hit the flight, he was a hailed a hero by local media and given a medal but at the initial stage his logic to land on river rather than return to the nearby airport was questioned by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The decision to land on river was applauded mainly because all the crew and passengers survived making this accident known as miracle of Hudson river in history of aviation. Capitan Sully made this decision as his logic was attached to the emotion of saving lives.
Robots are programmed to be logical; a basic computer became useful and indispensable is due to the lack of emotion and able to do its task based on the logic fed into the system, but this could make it potentially evil too. A robot will be good in selecting candidates by merit as it will have no emotions attached to the personal profile of the candidates. Robots and machines will always be better in executing logic independently of the emotion involved.
This argument is in favour of Robots as they are program to perform at their peak as core potential invariably of what happens. If there is a marathon between humanoid (Human like Robots) and man, most probably humanoids will win hands down as they are not affected by noise, light or other sensory reactions. Quantum supremacy (Index 3) can be achieved only by AI Robots which would have taken more than 10,000 years by other computers. This speed is an argument winner for Robots.
From a young age I wanted to become an engineer and when I heard my Dad speak about his class ambassador stories I was inspired to become one, this planning some time years ahead can be done only by humans, robots lack planning, thinking ahead or decision making skills that can alter the course of pre-programmed thoughts. Mapping out steps to reach a goal or change them to accommodate a situation or event to still reach that goal is the forte of humans. If Robots can do this then we can assume that the difference between Robots and Humans hardly exists.
Recognizing our parents, friends, someone we know and making a connection to establish a context is something Robots are catching up with, Artificial Intelligence (AI) trained models help in recognizing a customer or verify a customer similar to Voice Biometrics setup by DBS bank (index 2), customers can chose the option to verify them in less than 15 seconds by their voice instead of PIN or passcode. Trained models of Robots in form of service chat bots are able to identify emotions or answer queries based on a context. Speech, Voice, Text and Image recognition by Robots has blurred the lines in reality with Humans.
The comparison of 5 qualities are only the tip of the iceberg, there are far many things to consider like creativity, innovation etc. Humans are no match to Robots in terms of speed, logical decision making, accuracy and efficiency but we humans have an advantage in terms of our intellect, re-organizing process, planning, creating, able to forgive and many more, these are hard to quantify. Humans become clear winners in this comparison due their main advantage in curiosity, thinking for necessity and reaction based on instinct. In the coming years, this comparison will come up until one day the argument might tilt in favour of Robots, still continue as life is a cycle and we humans will find ways to survive unless we destroy ourselves before we can evolve again. Until then we can still debate on this comparison!
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