ITGS Syllabus

Friday, November 03, 2006

Topic 166

Social impact of human interaction with robots, for example, artificial pets, robots for the disabled and elderly by Nitish

“The simplistic assumption that replacing humans by intelligent artifacts will necessarily benefit society at large must be continually reevaluated. Clearly, contributing factors will involve concerns of efficiency, the role of work as a component in human self-worth, the distribution of wealth generated by advanced technologies, the potential for growing divisions in society resulting from gross inequities in income and from the loss of work as a central fact of life, and of course the unpredictability of regular and widespread interactions between humans and artificially intelligent programs and devices.”

Much ethics is involved with the social impact of human interaction with robots (artificial pets for the disabled and society) and many others.

Efficiency will be a big factor as the robots will be much more efficient than humans. Fewer mistakes will happen and there will be more work done in less time. Concerning pets for the disabled, the pets could be fitted with high-tech equipment such as cameras and sensors. This would help them better than normal pets would.

Another advantage would be that less manpower would be needed to do work. Computers will be handled themselves, and for example managers in offices would not be needed. Since human interaction with robots concerns all aspects of life, it concerns business too.

Disadvantages of robotics in daily life are also present. Due to machines replacing manpower in many fields, people will be deprived of jobs. This will result in disasters to the economy. This is also a big social impact.

Also, the value for man power will decrease. Companies will choose machines over men. It will be extreme if machines start taking over the jobs that men do, except thinking and imagining. The role of work as a component in human-self worth is also a factor.

Distribution of wealth is an interesting one. Since companies or people themselves will buy the machines and wealth will be distributed accordingly. Of course, a higher profit will be gained by the companies selling the products.

“Perhaps because of the gradual increase in the non-standard applications of computers, AI has appeared as somewhat esoteric and not of immediate concern except perhaps for security, military and financial applications. However, other applications such as speech recognition, increasingly sophisticated robots with planning and vision abilities are making their presence felt but with little public impact, so far. The fact that there is so little public debate, if any, about such innovations lends weight to the critical position that AI is a prime example of the technological imperative. That is, innovations diffuse because of an implicit and perhaps internal logical motivation, not because an open and democratic process has determined that they are beneficial for society as a whole, even though there may be temporary dislocations and even harm to some segments.”

The person is trying to say that currently, the technology is not developed enough to be a threat to anyone but the military, etc. He is saying that there is little public debate even though the AI is making their presence felt.

“What follows is speculative. Its purpose is to raise questions and to argue that a serious and ongoing analysis of the social impact of intelligent artifacts is not only necessary but long overdue. There is no shortage of discussions and analyses of the societal impact of medical and biological advances, ranging from cloning to genetic engineering, and to a host of reproductive technologies. It seems obvious that society must understand the implications of these technologies because of their intimate relation to the very basis of our existence. But except for a flourishing science fiction literature, there is very little in the way of a public discourse on the societal implications of intelligent machines.”

As of me, I truly think that the debates should get stronger, and that society must understand the implication of such technology, and its consequences.

Some other material to consider:

The following issues, first raised in Rosenberg (1992) still merit attention and certainly deserve critical evaluation in the light of an accelerated introduction of advanced, and even intelligent, technology into the marketplace:

1. A realistic evaluation must be attempted of current and near-future prospects for AI applications at home, in the workplace, and in the government.

2. A similar evaluation is necessary of the impact of computer-related technology in the workplace, balancing benefits against perceived problems, including deskilling, monitoring, job loss, restricted promotion paths, breakdown of traditional social organizations in the office, limited entry level opportunities, and health-related concerns.

3. The implications of partially realized intelligent systems in terms of the requirements placed on humans to accommodate to their, the systems', inadequacies must be considered. In the haste to introduce AI into the workplace, pressures may be placed on people to work with systems, which, while advertised as intelligent, are seriously deficient in many areas.

4. Of particular interest is the role of AI in decision-making, whether in financial institutions, in the executive suite, or in diverse military situations such as autonomous land vehicles, pilots' aid, aircraft carrier battle management (all of which are components of the Strategic Computer Initiative launched in 1983) or in the evaluation of possible nuclear attack (either in or out of the context of SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative).

5. Intelligent systems may find ready application in intelligence activities such as automatic interpretation of tape recordings and the cross-correlation of electronic files. Added to current threats to privacy, the availability of such powerful mechanisms could increase real and anticipated assaults on individual privacy.

Social impact of human interaction with robots, for example, artificial pets, robots for the disabled and elderly by Sung-Hwan

One day in the future, robots will be a common thing in our lives. Its need will be greatly necessary that we might not be even able to live without robot. Though at present moment the robotics is in developing stage, it will be not that far away till robots are common. The social impact of human interaction with robots is broad, since robots will be in a use for many ways.

For younger children, the robots will be used as a maid. It will look after the kids when the parents are not present. The problem with this is that the time spent between parents and the children would become less, since robots do the housewife’s job. The relation between the children and parents will not be as deep as now a day’s parent and children relation. Some children would even be more intimate with the robots than their parents.

Though, the robots will be a great help for many children. It will do the entire house job without complains, or with laziness. It will be never late on making food, or other things. Though this does not mean our moms are lazy or clumsy, but the robots will be less likely to make mistakes. It will also provide safety when the parents are gone. It will protect the children with its life (?), and check securities at certain times. Robots might even become a playmate. They could play soccer or other kinds of sports with the children.

The social impacts on the middle aged people are lesser than other ages. The robots might be used in the careers of the person. For example, the robot might be used to organize the desk he/she is using, or check the mail box for the person. This will give more convenience and time for the person to do other things.

For the senior people, the robots will take a vital part for their lives. Each person will have an individual robot that will take care of them. Also, they won’t be lonely, since they could talk with the robots or do other things with them. With the consistent help of the robot, the senior could go on a trip, or do any kind of things. They would likely to be able to enjoy the last stage of their lives. Also, there would be less accidents or injuries, since the robots will be there to help them.

Finally, for the disabled people, the robots could help them to be more sociable. If one is blind, the robot could lead him to wherever he wants. If one is unable to walk, the robot could take him in a wheelchair and travel to other places. If one is unable to speak, the robots could hear the opponent and use the finger language to transfer the message to him. Therefore, the disabled people could talk to other people with more convenience and be more sociable.

Robots will become very vital in human life. It could help us a lot, and make things more convenient for us. But, since it takes a large part in us, I think we need to be more careful and precise with making robots and letting them in to our worlds. We wouldn’t like things like the movie, “I, Robot”.


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