Are Robots Beneficial for the Future?
Robots are one of the best innovations that humans have created, but could they turn into one of the worst? In recent history, robots are being created with much more developed software which will be beneficial for the future. They can now process more information and do more human activities like developing medicine and military ideas and exploring planets and jobs too dangerous for humans. At a point, though, it is possible that the software of robots could become much more developed and they could gain a mind of their own which is terrifying. Robots can have a very positive role in society, but there are many negative aspects that humans need to be aware of, as it could lead to human demise.
Throughout this unit of science fiction, I gained plenty of evidence that robots, in general, can be extremely beneficial for society. For example, in Bicentennial Man they take Andrew to a robot psychologist who states, “Naturally, since we build everything about the Three Laws, those are incontrovertible” (Asimov 523). These robots were trained to follow Asimov’s three laws of robotics. If all robots in the future follow these three laws, society should have nothing to worry about because robots will have little power in society. Robots could integrate into society and could live in a similar role to the way that slaves lived in the past. This is something that needs to be monitored though because humans also have to follow laws, but many humans do break laws and harm others. The same thing could happen with robots if we are not careful. If one robot malfunctions or goes against the three laws, humankind could be in danger, especially with the increased intelligence the robots have.
On the other hand, the robotics unit also gave me the opinion that there are many negative aspects of artificial intelligence and its role in society. If robots become more developed they could implant minds of their own, like what happened in The Second Variety when Rudi states that they, “Found out that your claws were beginning to make up new designs on their own” (Dick 385). This is alarming as the claws that were created by the U.N gained minds of their own and developed new and improved prototypes that were much more developed than the ones the U.N created. This allows me to believe that the future of robots on earth could be similar. They are smart enough to rule, to manipulate, and to kill. They didn’t monitor the claws and how they were developed and it ended up being the demise of humankind as the robots killed the last beings on land and then proceeded to invade space. Also, at the end of the story, Hendricks is about to die and he realized: “They were already beginning to design weapons to destroy each other” (Dick 410). This quote also alarmed me because if these robots could create weapons to destroy other metal beings, it would be even easier to develop weapons to destroy all of humanity. The robots had the capability and intelligence to do it. But, with good monitoring of these beings, this can be avoided. Yet, there are many cruel people in the world who I believe would commit a crime like this if nobody monitors them. Also, in Bicentennial man Andrew was freed, but “not everyone accepted Andrew as free” (Asimov 531). This scares me because if Andrew is viewed as equal to human beings, the three laws of robotics no longer apply to him and all it takes is a malfunction for a robot to be murdering or manipulating humans. Also, if people don’t see a robot as free, it could lead to lots of violence between humans and robots, similar to what was seen in the segregation era. With proper monitoring of robots or putting an instant kill switch on them, humans could be safer, but there is never a guarantee that robots will be unaggressive to humans. In my opinion, robots are too dangerous to be integrated into society as free, they need lots of monitoring and need to be easily overridden to have any role in society.
In conclusion, the robots unit of Science Fiction taught me that Robots can have a very positive role in society, but there are many negative aspects that humans need to be aware of as it can lead to human demise. Though robots are doing more human-like activities, it is still alarming that they are getting more and more developed because it is possible that they disobey the three laws of robotics. In recent history though, robots have been very beneficial to humanity and have made life a lot easier for humans. Robots are one of the most useful and beneficial things that humans have created, could the innovation take a turn for the worst?