Robots like UFOs have been among us for decades now. Scientists and inventors have been closing the gap on what man can really do through mind-boggling experiments like cloning and robotics. Inventions have been made using technology and decades of combined research from brilliant minds. Robots came from the ingenious minds of writers, with reference as far back as Frankenstein more than a century ago and have since been building through fiction and lab experiments. Motivated by the developing technology man has been able to recreate what could only be called fiction and today we now have robots.
Robots come from the word robota which is Czech, meaning forced labor. Hence the popular phrase from unwilling workers, ‘I am not a robot!’. Robots are part of what we call today, artificial intelligence. A term used to describe intelligent machines and software, like robots or voice-overs like Alexa of Amazon, Siri for Apple and Cortana by Microsoft. This also includes self-driving cars being designed by companies like Tesla and taxi giant Uber. The first robot to be invented was made in England in the 1950s. It was developed and sold as an industrial robot.
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There are several categories of robots, among them industrial or service robots that work in several warehouses today doing repetitive and often dangerous work. While there are also domestic robots that have taken over cleaning tasks and chores at home like vacuuming and lawn mowing. Most recently. Popular culture has entertained the idea of a sex robot. The sex robot has been deemed morally unethical and although none has actually been formulated to participate in sex the Samantha doll has become famous for its human resemblance of a beautiful woman. There are soft robots made with silicone to produce a softer more human feel. Scientist and inventors have argued that these sex dolls have benefits to the elderly.
One such robot is Paro who has been used to serve as a companion for the elderly with depression and dementia. It has been made to respond to touch, recall familiar faces and evoke positive reactions in the elderly. On a lighter note, robots like the FRIEND has been used in healthcare to help disabled people by facilitating movement. In the media, several shows and movies have depicted robots taking over from humanity and Stephen Hawking AND Bill Gates have both resonated the same message, however many scientists say that we are still far off from such reactions and such opinions will slow down the progress of AI.
In general, AI seems to be an evolving technology that most people seem to be excited about but are more cautious to trust. It is safe to say that yes, it is possible we will be living with robots a century from now but between then and now progress could be slow and far in between as people shy away from participating in AI experiments, such as self-driving cars. However, in reality, we have already embraced this idea by effectively making use of robots in our manufacturing systems and our daily activities.