Mankind has always looked for ways to reduce manual labor and repetitive tasks. To that end, and in the absence of technology, civilization exploited various me- thods, often by taking advantage of their fellow humans.
Robots, as a potential solution, have long fascinated mankind, capturing our imagination for centuries. Even in Greek mythology, the god Hephaestus had « mechanical » servants.
But not until recently, has artificial intelligence finally progressed to a level that will become more and more life-changing for the future of humanity.
Today, robots walk, talk and to a degree, even think. These machines are becoming more present in our daily lives, and this will only increase with time. Robots can learn and even express emotions while storing staggering amounts of data.
Artificial intelligence is taking over from humans to the point of replacing them in many tasks.
The replacement of human workers in factories by automated robots is already widespread.
These machines can lift heavy loads and perform repetitive or varied tasks without fatigue or danger to the user.
Some robots go even further, developing new skills. They are equipped with a kind of « self-learning » intelligence that mimics that of humans.
In Japan, robots can mimic human exercise; bench-lifting weights as they imitate our every « human » move. Others even manage to beat seasoned athletes on a basketball court.
In Italy, androids like these have moved from playing sports to saving human lives. Recently, British artificial intelligence was able to diagnose heart disease, while Spanish AI has learned to spot weapons on CCTV, and Saudi AI technology can teach Arabic.
In Switzerland, scientists are developing a robotic hand controlled by brain waves, and in Poland, robots help blind people to see.
Even in the animal kingdom, AI is emerging as an important presence with robotic counterparts such as German cockroach robots and Dutch falcon-bots that can actually fly away. In remote locations like Fiji, bionic fish « spy » on coral reefs, feeding essential data back to scientists.
The flow of new innovations is constant, with robotic technologies continuing to evolve at an ever more rapid pace, with the goal of improving our lifestyles. With progress moving at such speed, and the boundaries between robots and humans narrowing, what can we expect in the future?
Are we heading towards a merging of human and artificial intelligence?
And if so, are we ready for it?