Technology is a big part of today’s society and it is all around us. From the simplest technology to the most complex; we have become extremely dependent on it. We have become so dependent on technology; it’s a little scary. In class the other day, we discussed the article Robots That Care. The idea of robots to help recovering stroke patient, robots to help Alzheimer’s patients, or robots that helps children who are autistic, sounds wonderful. These robots can help recovering patients in a more positive way than other humans. There was even a study that involved robots that matched the personality of the patient. Everyone has a personality of their own, so can robots manifest personality? Yeah, it is possible to design a robot that can correspond to a certain personality, but the idea of having a robot with personality seems a little absurd, I mean; personality is what makes us humans.
There was a lot of debate during a class discussion on whether a robot can have emotions or not. One side argued emotions are all in the brain, as they come from chemical signals. The other side argued that robots have some type of emotions since they are able to manipulate our emotions. I remember reading an article about a Japanese robot named Pepper who is able to differentiate human emotions. Pepper is designed to analyze gestures and expressions through body language and different voice tones. Also, people can talk to Pepper and have full blown conversations with “her” as if they were talking to another human. Does this mean Pepper has emotions or does it mean she is able to manipulate how we feel so we think she has emotions? This idea made me think, how far are we willing to go with the use and development of robots? Personally, I think the idea of artificial intelligence is pretty cool. It amazes me how we can develop computer systems that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Robots are used in many different fields and can be extremely beneficial, but are we relying on them too much?
In the search for a new vacuum, I stumbled across a website that sells robots. (http://www.robotshop.com) There are robots that perform basic household tasks like vacuuming, feeding the pets, and cleaning the pool. There are even robots that are designed to care for the elderly, providing them with care, support, and surprisingly enough, some companionship since they spend quite a bit of time together. The main purpose of robots is to improve the quality of life. However, after looking through the website I posted above, I feel like some robots are now being designed to do the things we rather not do. These robots were designed to help people who are impaired accomplish basic tasks, but now they are being sold for a heck of it. As humans, we have a tendency to abuse things and I fear that we may eventually abuse the control and use of robots. Who knows, maybe this is how robots will take over the world.