Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Meaning Behind The Word "Robot" Is Incredibly Creepy

Evidence of a robot takeover is everywhere. Human jobs are being replaced on a massive scale by machines who can perform quite complex physical tasks. They already do our dirty work like defuse bombs, sort parts in a factory, and help guide a surgeon's instrument during open-heart surgery. One main reason that robots are replacing human workers is because robots don't have to get paid to do the same job better. One thing can be said for sure, robots are appearing more and more in our daily lives and they aren't going anywhere.

But where does the word 'robot' come from? 'Robot' comes from a deep dark past, and it's possible that the true meaning of 'robot' is coming to fruition in a modern era.

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Robots have been a part of sci-fi films for decades.

As technology has boomed, in particular since the turn of the 20th century, a cultural paranoia of machines has developed that has played out most notably in horror and sci-fi movies. As humans do, we naturally impose feeling and thought onto things that aren't living, and as a result, the robots depicted in modern media oftentimes reflect the appearance of humans themselves.

One signature of robots is that they lack the human capacity to feel emotion, but can appear to be people from the outside.

A robot that lacks emotion and consciousness can be easily controlled. We can make a robot do anything our human heart desires. As we speak, advanced robots are being developed to do incredibly complex tasks, and are replacing human workers on a huge scale. You don't hear any robots asking for a pay raise either do you?

The transition to a robot workforce has started.

Here is a German humanoid robot that is designed to perform many of the same duties as an astronaut on the International Space Station. AILA is designed to pick up more thoughtless duties that the astronauts are usually distracted by while performing high-level space walks like clicking simple buttons or opening doors.

World powers are seeking a robot labor.

At a recent visit to the 2015 World Robot Conference, Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao asked foreign robot makers to consider investing in the Chinese robot market. Rumors have it that the country is looking to revamp their struggling economy with an influx of robot-based labor. It is estimated that 800,000 robots will be infused into Chinese factories by 2020. 

Now that you know how the world is transitioning to a robot labor force, you will be able to see how it relates quite eerily to the original conception of the word 'robot'.

In 1920, the first appearance of the word 'robot' was in Karel Capek’s play “Rossum’s Universal Robots.”

Translated from the Czech word 'robotnik', it originally meant slave. In Capek's play, a major company ends up creating a group of beings that were identical to humans in every way except that they had no souls. Humans, of course, were their masters. These soulless beings eventually revolt in Capek's play, as most slaves do when oppressed long enough.

The world's interest in building a robot workforce is strangely consistent with the original conception of the word.

Slowly, we are training a mass of robots that will make manufacturing more efficient and potentially force humans to acquire new skill sets to compete for employment. Much like slaves, robots will tirelessly perform all of the actions that their human masters order them. On the other hand, is it really slavery if robots feel nothing? What do you think?

Even though we know that robots can't feel the dynamic emotions that you or I feel, it's hard not to impose our feelings onto them.

On example of this comes from the recently released Boston Dynamic video that showcases a new robot. Also in the video, a worker pushes a robot to see how it reacts to aggression. It's hard not to feel the same way as you do when you see a defenseless kid get bullied. 

Here is another robot getting pushed around.

It's hard to predict what the development of robots, or robot slaves, will do to humans.

Will we be replaced by robot workers? Will we become so dependent on cheap robot work that we can't function without them?

Maybe nothing bad will happen and they will just rock out for us.

Hey, at least we know that dogs will protect us if the robots ever revolt.

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Main image via YouTube / summertravel | Boston Dynamics 

Collage image via The Verge | Hilton / IBM


Author: verified_user