History has shown that as new technologies come along, most people are slow to adapt, taking time to become familiar and comfortable with the new tools and their impacts and applications. The problem that arises with AI and robotics is that these resources are growing exponentially, making it all the more important to discuss their uses and implications now.
One important question is: how can we prepare to adapt for a future in which we live and work with robots on a daily basis? While there is no absolute, perfect answer to this question, one very important thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of robotic aides is to improve our lives in a measurable way. Remember to also view the infographic: 9 Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence is Important Now
As more AI-powered tools begin to take on the tasks that were once performed by us, it’s possible that the original purpose of robotics will eventually be forgotten. We need to remember that robotic tools are here to serve us, not the other way around.
While I don’t have every answer when it comes to the best ways to adapt to life with robots, here are some of the questions you can consider that may help guide your thought process and inspire you to take action:
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- What can you do personally to help society as a whole to adjust to living and working alongside robots?
- What do politicians and world leaders need to know about robotics and AI to help them to be successful?
- How can we educate our children about the uses and implications of robotics?
- How can we foster an increase in the number of educators who can communicate the importance of robotic tools and teach ways to work together with robotic aides?
- What are some ways that educational institutions can develop programs to share positive information about robots?
- What are some of the important ethical guidelines that should be in place regarding the use of robots and how can we implement them effectively?
- How can we ensure that robotic tools are available to all socioeconomic groups?
- How can we avoid potential drawbacks or harm that may be caused by robots?
- How do we make sure that everyone in society has the same opportunities to learn about and benefit from robots and robotics, rather than just the wealthy?
- How do we make sure that interpersonal communication skills don’t suffer, in a world where many people might choose to communicate and spend most of their time with robots instead of humans?
My own reflection on this is that we urgently need more public education and conversation about the roles of robots in society. We must address issues like how their roles will evolve as they become more popular and lifelike, what their relationships will be to humans, and how the roles of humans may change as a result.
We need to engage in these types of discussions and education before there is a major proliferation of human-like robots. If we are not properly prepared in advance, then a sudden influx of these robots could lead to social unrest, including a lot of confused, angry, and otherwise unhappy people. Remember to also read our blog post where we talk How To Use Robots in Education