Will robots have a positive or negative effect on society’s future?
Some people think that robots are very important to humans’ future development, while others think they are dangerous and have negative effects on society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
For the past century ‘robots’ have become increasingly important to human development, particularly in the realm of manufacturing but also in the fields of entertainment and work (although exactly what constitutes a robot is still debatable). Naysayers forsee a bleak future – a dystopian vision in which human involvement, individualism and rights are eroded in favour of machines – but I would argue that the benefits of robotics can and will override the negatives.
The advantages even simple robots can presently bestow do not really require much explanation because they are fairly self-evident: they can operate regardless of time, holidays or personal issues, and illness is a non-factor. More importantly, if set to the right callibration their work can repeatedly achieve close-to-immaculate results without the fallibility of human error.
In all likelihood the effectiveness of robots will increase, and the robots of tomorrow should show advances in AI (artificial intelligence) that permit self-correction and a heightened awareness of human needs. This will allow them to be more interactive and achieve more than repetitive automaton-style tasks. Aiding in domestic life and being capable of decision-making are the obvious goals for the sector, both of which could have enormous benefits.
All that said, it would be folly to simply ignore concerns about this trend. Whilst it may be some time before the capability of AI to encroach on human life becomes a viable possibility, there are immediate and real issues regarding robots effecting employment. It can be tempting for companies to replace human staff with machines, with workers untrained in robotics or maintenance potentially at risk of redundancy. Meanwhile the role of automatic machines in war, and their ability to mechanically cause mass destruction, is also a serious problem that needs addressed.
To summarise, I would opine that robots will continue to be prevalent in human development – indeed, it is almost inevitable. However, in order to ensure that a fair and protected society exists around this technology workers rights, retraining programmes and codes of combat are all going to need to exist (after all, development is only truly development if it aids society). With such adequate management robots should be able to assist human life for centuries to come with minimal disruption.