The Future with Robots

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.

About shaunmiller

I am an assistant professor (LTR) at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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