I have been reading, as many of you would be probably, a lot about the applications of AI and how artificial intelligence and machine learning is evolving to be or feel like us humans and I could not help but wonder if that would be a good thing as many other aspects seem to be, so far and generally, accepted as the norm. I am referring to the news about the citizenship given to the AI robot named #Sophia !
Sci- Fi No more !
We all had our shares of Sci-Fi movies like A.I. Artificial Intelligence, I; Robot, and Bicentennial Man, to name a few, that really spoke to what is happening in our current time an age as robotics technology seeks to make robots more human.
I am not speaking of the moral behind what those movies aimed to tackle. My argument is why do we need robots to feel/act more like a human? As a scientist behind the technology or a researcher in the field of machine learning and neurosciences, yes it would be a great accomplishment and a break through to have something like #Sophia that feels and behaves like humans. But how would that impact businesses, the society and the normal average person!
Two impacts I want to highlight are:
- Industrial Revolution: I don’t need to even begin to list how robotics revolutionized and fast-tracked this sector. My thinking if robots would be more human, would that mean they might not accept to work under certain conditions? Would we want the supervisor to have the intelligence to strategize while other similar machines simply follow suit. Would we be able to control, knowing how machine learning works and, to a high-level, how far a robot can go with the logic to prevent the issues humans had/ have with this industry that mandated the need to automate through robotics? Can we guarantee that science would be able to zoom-in on the neural networks that enable the deep learning of machinery to prevent wrongful conclusions and errors manifesting from the faulty bases that exist? Meaning, it is a human who is programming and building the processes for robots to be able to make decisions and conclusions simultaneously. Will that human provide data that is based on how a human would think, which as we all know, might be very subjective and erroneous, or would the data be corrected to follow defined best practices, which is not what humans usually do!
- Behavioral Analysis: In the current era, research is based on interviews and surveys sent out to individuals with quantitative and qualitative set of questions that help build personas & insights and subsequently analysis on the defined segment. With artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning; conclusions and personas can be created purely from current data accumulated about the individuals from their interactions on social media, retail apps, or games and other applications that speak to their mental and physical state. Would an organization rely purely on what the data says about a person to declare the sentiment within and subsequently the efforts needed to boost moral in the company for example? Is the base (data automatically collected out of context, most of the time) a true reflection of who we are? Are the systems set in place to run the analysis equipped with human insights to provide answers that actually represent the individual?
It might seem from how skeptic my input has been thus far that I am against AI or the science behind machine learning. No, I am all for the science and believe the break through is revolutionary and would, for sure, make our businesses and lives much richer. My reservation is focused on the human aspect of all this. If we want the machines to be more human, why not just get humans to do the work. The objective should focus on improving processes, increasing efficiency, cutting down on costs and increasing through-put. Humanizing the data, robotics, aside from the moral aspects of how societies would look and behave around a “Humanoid”, for me defeats the purpose!
What do you think? Should Robotics be more Human?
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