Robots are coming. It just seems inevitable that with the advancement of technology, we’re going to have sophisticated machines. The question is this:
- are they going to be extremely helpful, or
- are they going to be humanity’s downfall?
Here’s a non-academic article summarizing the two questions by comparing R2-D2 and C-3PO. It’s a couple years old, but still spot on, I think. Here’s a great point:
R2-D2 excels in areas where humans are deficient: deep computation, endurance in extreme conditions, and selfless consciousness. R2-D2 is a computer that compensates for human deficiencies — it shines where humans fail.
C3-PO is the personification of the selfish human — cloying, rules-bound, and despotic. (Don’t forget, C3-PO let Ewoks worship him!) C3-PO is a factotum for human vanity — it engenders the worst human characteristics.
The chart is also humorous.
In short, the conclusion is that if we can a good future with robots, we shouldn’t anthropomorphize them. Let the robots be robots.