• Question: do you think robots will take over the industrial world and will create a new level of s.t.e.m if so is this actually a good or bad thing

    Asked by bag9 on 21 Jan 2020. This question was also asked by danger.
    • Photo: Daniel Bearup

      Daniel Bearup answered on 21 Jan 2020:

      At the moment it is unlikely that robots will create anything. We have been using robots to do industrial tasks which can be programmed directly for quite a while. We are now seeing a new way of programming robots, allowing them to “learn” to do a clearly defined task. This will expand the number of things that robots can do (self-driving vehicles, image recognition being examples).

      However, developing a robot that can identify a task that needs to be done in a real world situation, develop a method for doing it, and then do it seems quite a bit further off to me. Until a robot can do that it isn’t really creating, it is performing tasks that it has been designed to do.

      Now, that doesn’t mean that increased automation in industry and beyond won’t lead to big changes in our society. For example, there are large numbers of jobs involved in the transport industry. Self-driving vehicles could, potentially, put a lot of people out of work. There are important “human questions” that need to be asked about how we apply technology/support people affected by it.