Robots, we are not

“The truth is, robotics has been around for a long time, and so has artificial intelligence.

A chicken and beer place somewhere in South Korea has an adorable robot going around serving orders. Perhaps it made some customers order more, so they could keep seeing this contraption approach, bearing food.

It is still such a novelty and, right now, this robot looks exactly like a machine — just moving parts with no face and “personality.”

What if, in this lifetime, robots such as these begin to take on more character? It may not be too far-fetched. Movies have given us previews of these already, making viewers laugh or cry for and with a robot character.

The truth is, robotics has been around for a long time, and so has artificial intelligence. It’s just a matter of harnessing the technology for global advancement, and this requires planning and strategy.

The need to be at par with our neighbors, for one, calls for the addition of such subjects in the school curricula.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology is correct in raising the possibility of making robotics and computer programming a part of the elementary school curriculum.

New technology classes are needed, said DICT Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Dy at the opening of the Singapore-based robotics learning center Nullspace in Taguig recently.

Catching up or keeping up is one thing, but there is a whole other consideration we may have to take note of at the same time.

It has to do with speed, and more so with capacity. Human versus machine? Fiction is no longer too far-fetched these days.

AI, former Google chief Eric Schmidt told a magazine, represents an “existential risk” that could threaten humanity.

The article said, “He doesn’t feel that threat is serious at the moment, but he sees a near future where AI could help find software security flaws or new biology types. It’s important to ensure these systems aren’t ‘misused by evil people.’”

Meanwhile, machine learning tools present the threat of surpassing the human capacity to learn. It took ChatGPT two months to learn something that its developers expected it would in six years.

ChatGPT is “an AI chatbot that uses natural language processing to create humanlike conversational dialogue.” Of course, “a natural language processing tool” may seem harmless, but it is the fact that AI technology can pretty much perform functions only humans could before, including “composing emails, essays, and (eventually write) code.”

Robotics are mostly applied in the manufacturing sector, but combined with AI and machine learning, humans are in for some tough competition.

A robot who can talk, reason, and make decisions? A robot that learns at the speed of light, and becomes self-aware?

We, humans, have never learned from our mistakes and history. We refuse to see reason, make laws we break, and create machines that destroy. It’s even said that “super soldier” robots may be in the works at this point.

How are we expected to be in control of AI and intelligent machines when we are not even in control of ourselves?

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