Haven’t we all loved watching the cartoon series Richie Rich as a child, can you recall Irona, Richie’s robot maid ? Irona used to do all the household chores and at a very fast speed compared to that of any other human. Didn’t we all feel, well how lucky Richie is to have Irona to do all the work for him, but think about the reality, in our lives, we too are so dependent upon Artificial Intelligence and Machines.

We can say without a doubt that we are very much dependent upon machines, devices, and technology.

We start our days with it and end them with it. It’s almost like we are habituated to it and cannot do a simple task without it. Even remembering important dates and events, Google Assistant does it for us, putting up automatic reminders when we receive an mail regarding some event, we would have just forgotten about it if that wasn’t there. So can’t we say that AI is more proficient than us? It is evident that artificial intelligence though designed by us is way ahead and faster than our minds. This dependency can be a huge problem, the immense potential AI has, the recent developments making it faster and better with time, can turn into something threatening to our race.

Science and technology are improving day by day, giving more power, more efficiency to artificial intelligence and machines and making it more at par to us humans, even better than us in many ways. “The downfall of mankind”, what if AI is the worst decision ever made in the history of civilization. Artificial General Intelligence, a system which just like the human mind and is as intelligent as a human being in every aspect, except it can think billions of times faster than we can. This would be a big-time threat if a reality, but we cannot say if it might even come into existence, yet this is not the real concern, we should fear what’s beyond it. V.I.K.I., a robot character in one of Will Smith’s famous movies, ‘I, Robot’, based on a novel written back in 1950, tries to take over mankind, there are several other movies that talk about AI taking over the world. We all love watching science-fiction movies, have watched a bunch of movies on Artificial Intelligence and Robots, but often tend to forget about it right after we are out of the theatre.

The development in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence is moving at breakneck speed. Here we look at Artificial Intelligence but there is research going on about Artificial Super Intelligence, ASI would be way more superior than the human mind, would have cognitive abilities and would be very advanced. Developed to find errors in our work, detecting them faster than the human mind and improving itself, and ultimately reaching the point where Artificial Intelligence identifies errors in humans and wants to rectify them! As a kid who hasn’t dreamt of having a robot friend just like you who could understand your feelings and reciprocate them.

Humanoids, now we finally have them, more real than ever before. A robot resembling a human, they have given them the touch similar to human skin, hair, eye color, every small detail that could make them look human. Humanoids were developed back in the 1990s, then just having an outer structure somewhat like the human bone structure, but since 2002, they have been developed into real-human looking android robots. Most of us have seen videos of these human replicates, they are capable of having a dialogue with you, scientists have tried to wire them to respond to emotions, have a proper conversation, encode and decode instructions. One of the most famous among these must be Sophia, the social humanoid. She appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show in 2017, Sophia was developed by a Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics in 2016, she can even play rock-paper-scissors, now who wouldn’t want this humanoid as a friend. There are many others like her, but it would be ironic if this human-looking robot created by us someday becomes capable of taking over the entire humankind, including the ones made them with their very own hands. Well as of now no matter how smart we’ve made our machines, with the current level of advancement they aren’t of any threat to us. But the problem is we’ve never valued prevention over cure, and here there will be no cure, no turning back. It is not possible to stagnate the development of AI and robots but we should keep in mind that our motive in all this doing is to aid us, not to create a threat for ourselves. Our favorite science fiction and movies talk about the hypothetical ASI, about robots ruling humans, machines taking over the world, the time of doom.

We are making something unstoppable, we are progressing towards the end of the human race, and surprisingly this is our definition of progress. There will be a world where we would have created minds that would control that of our own, well, to be honest, it’s almost like a fantasy world , you can think about anything that might happen, possibilities of everything getting out of control. Don’t we all imagine, what if we can just have a plug, a switch or a button to just control it, stop it? But that is wishful thinking, closing your eyes and expecting the other person not to see you. Well, only if it were so easy. The ASI would have intellect enough to find ways to preserve itself and stop or destroy anything that could harm it.

Issac Asimov created ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ which he mentioned in his science fiction “Runaround” in 1942. He elaborated upon them further in other of his books. If a robot like this could be created by mankind, it shall never call for any harm. The laws were;

  1. ‘A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.’
  2. ‘A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.’
  3. ‘A robot must protect its own existence long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.’

But doesn’t it sound too good to be applicable, anyway, if these rules are actually kept in mind, the thought of ‘would robots take over human race’ would not be a concern? Then again it is just a rule in science fiction. We can never determine the potential of ASI, it can do that might even defy natural laws for all we know. It is a choice we have to make, do we wish to just blindly keep walking towards this probably fall into a pit dug by our own hands, or are we willing to take precaution, watch our step and save humanity while we advance in the fields of science and technology. All this work we are putting in is to have AI as a boon to us, it is necessary to put a little extra effort to foresee the unwanted consequences and take a step back. Our movies only seem nice as movies, there might be a day where we won’t be there at all to watch them.

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