The Growing Use of Robots in the Future
In a few years, it will be difficult to imagine your life without robots. Since the invention of automation, humans and robots have lived alongside each other. Within the past few decades, humans have created smarter and more technologically advanced robots that are able to complete many jobs faster and more accurately than people. Robots have already improved industries such as medicine, education, and transportation. There is no denying that the future is robots, but what does this mean for society? What are the positive and negative outcomes of an artificial intelligence driven culture?
They cost less: Robots can be cheaper than hiring humans and with growing technology, their cost continues to go down. One robot used for welding (melting two metals together) cost $182,000 in 2005, $133,000 in 2014, and will drop to $103,000 by 2025. It’s cheaper to have a robot do the job in the long run than hire a human.
They have many abilities: Robots are built for their precise touch and accurate movements and the technology is just getting started. Now, robots can even teach adults or kids certain skills. Take Kubo, the robot that helps teach learners how to code through fun activities, or the Leka, the robot that helps autistic children create meaningful interactions with those around them.
They’re productive: Unlike humans, Robots are able to work long hours without needing to take breaks. They’re able to get more done during the same amount of time that humans can and they don’t get distracted.
Robots are accurate: It’s a fact that humans are not as accurate as robots. Unlike a human hand, the DaVinci (a robot used in non-invasive surgeries) has multiple arms that do not shake or tremble. Its controlled movements make for more precise operations and faster healing times. Without automation, humans couldn’t even make one computer chip because the job requires advanced control and our full attention.
They’re Reliable: Automation is stronger and more reliable than people, especially when it comes to actions such as driving. People are unpredictable behind the wheel. We text, get distracted, miss turns, or run red lights. A robot is always focused on the road and mindful of possible obstacles like pedestrians or stop signs. Robots are also good for doing boring jobs like weaving cotton cloth without making any mistakes.
They can do dangerous and unwanted work: Robots can do jobs that people are unwilling to do. For example, many robotic probes are sent into the solar system and they never make it back down to Earth. It would be difficult to find a person willing to take that risk, without the comfort of a space shuttle.
They’ll take jobs away from humans: Robots have gotten rid of a lot of jobs for lower-middle class people, especially in the auto industry. Assembly lines used to be made up by people, but now robots and machines have taken over.
There is still a learning curve: Certain jobs (like diving underwater to show scientists the ocean floor) are made for robots, but they’re still missing certain skills. Right now, even autonomous cars don’t work perfectly. There are many details that need to be worked out.
They’re not intelligent on their own: As of now, robots depend on humans for their intelligence. If we want them to learn something new, we have to program them to do it ourselves. They cannot think for themselves just yet.
They don’t have empathy: Robots do not experience human emotions or know what ethics are. We still need to figure out how to teach robots how to be kind, be empathetic, and form meaningful connections with humans.
They can’t work independently: We send robots to other planets so they can show us more of our solar system, but they can’t colonize the moon or other planets on their own. At this point, they still need us to give them commands.
Dangerous: We’re still working on the technology, so as of now, robots are slightly unpredictable. They can malfunction and become dangerous to those around them.
The future of robots
In the future, everyone will be working alongside robots because we will need them for more and more things. Jing Bing Zhang, the research director of worldwide robotics at IDC Asia/Pacific said that robotics will continue to change the way we operate and do business. Eventually, we will use AI to work in the warehouses and make deliveries for online shoppers. We will also see an increase in robots working in the service industries. There are even rumors that McDonald’s will hire robots to make their food. Author and public speaker Marshall Brain wrote in his essay Robotic Nation that human-like robots will be available to the public by 2030, and will replace people in house cleaning, teaching, caring for the elderly, security, and even providing patients with regular checkups.
Robots aren’t just here to take away jobs. The technology will also create jobs, as we’ll need more and more people to help develop ideas, plans, and designs for artificial intelligence. Robotics will also create jobs we can’t even imagine right now. Robotics will even affect our armies. In Israel, almost all high school graduates are required to serve in the army, but there may be a time when human soldiers are no longer needed. The United States Department of Defense predicts that in the future, 30% of combat soldiers could be robots. Of course, many people fear robots because we may not be able to control them, but it’s not clear if this will actually happen. The growing robotic technology means we will all be living a life we can’t yet imagine, working in jobs that haven’t even been created yet. As robots continue to become more advanced, humans will make progress and develop alongside them.
Robots might be able to do your job better than you even if you’re a doctor or a lawyer.