In the movie Bicentennial Man, Robin Williams plays a robot that transforms people’s lives by helping them make their everyday tasks easier to accomplish- things like opening the window, cooking dinner, and cleaning the house. Although the trailer claimed that every household would have an all-in-one robot by 2005, a commercially available, massively-adopted robot who can do those things is still pretty far away.
Several features of the robot are, however, available as cutting-edge AI technology. Take the Roomba 614 Self-Charging Robot Vacuum. Standing at 3.6 inches, it can clean the hardest to reach places in your kitchen, again, making your life easier. Like Bicentenial Man, the iRobot Roomba is the quintessential example of how humans and artificial intelligence should work together. AI should make our lives easier and we should let it runs its course.
Some people fear that technology is taking away people’s work ethic, much like the future pictured in the movie, Wall-E. In the film, everyone ends up on a spaceship because earth becomes an uninhabitable, toxic wasteland filled with trash. The spaceship that people live on is filled with countless automated features, rendering their day-to-day tasks meaningless. Many of the people in the movie have become obese because everything has become so automated that people do not have to do anything.
These two different scenarios then raise the question, where do we draw the line between being overly-reliant on technology and using it only for the betterment of our lives?
Can technology and AI really develop and advance too much? My answer is no. One person can probably have too many AI products or rely on AI too much—Siri: walk me upstairs and put me to sleep. However, there is still a ton of growth to be made in automation with artificial intelligence, and we shouldn’t be anything besides excited for that.
People argue that technology will replace humans. To an extent they are right, but not totally. Yes, self-checkout will probably replace the cashier at almost every grocery store. However, think of the new jobs and companies that are becoming available to manufacture self-check outs? Think of apps like Instacart that replace the shopper instead of the cashier.
Industries replace themselves and evolve through technology. It is our job to keep up with the trends and make the most needed skills available for emerging job-seekers to learn.
We have to work with AI and not against it. Its rise in prominence will only grow- this is inevitable. The world will become more automated. But we can’t fight this technological revolution out of fear of becoming too lazy or overly dependent. We should work with it and use AI to develop things that our ancestors could have only dreamed of.
With the quest to singularity being of-reach within the next two decades, people are becoming increasingly curious about how AI and humans can coexist in peace. However, the truth is we have already begun working together alongside artificial intelligence, slowly transforming the world we live in.