Technological advancement is moving fast within various fields. In Artificial Intelligence, robots have been modified to act like humans. Robots now have the ability to do chores and other tasks; even thinking. With such advancements, human race could be threatened and the illustration has been explained by Philip K. Dick's book Do Androids Dream of an Electric sheep. The fictional book describes a world whereby human beings and robots are indistinguishable. The context of the book describes how governments, in conjunction with the United Nations, encouraged mass emigrations of individuals to other colonies outside the Earth to preserve human genes (Turkle 14). The effect of radioactive material pollution on Earth was a threat to humanity and was driving the entire generation to extinction. Moving away came alongside with incentives of free androids, which are robots that resemble human beings. The resemblance of androids to human beings was so clear that the distinction could only be made through a tedious analysis of the bone marrow. The identity indicated how hard it was to prove the difference between humans and robots by physical and character observations (Dick 29). Rosen Association, a company in San Francisco, charged with the manufacture of androids, produced the devices whose identity was similar to human beings. After discharge to Mars, certain androids rebelled and made their way into overpopulated Earth, hoping that they will not be detected due to their very close resemblance to human beings.
The overpopulated world, full of androids that cannot be differentiated with human beings, is the result of the Rosen Association's exploration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Radioactive material is not the only threat to humanity, but also AI poses a threat to the generation since the difference between human beings, and robots could not be traced until further analysis could be conducted. In such a scenario, the identity of each species is threatened. Despite being identical to humans, androids were not treated as human equals, same to humans with disorders and disabilities (Dick 40). In an advanced AI era, people have developed robots that seem to have operated flawlessly alongside with other humans. The identity of each party, though, has been threatened. Human beings feel less human while interacting with the androids, while the robots also have equal emotion. The loss of identity in both scenarios can be investigated by companies manufacturing robots. Rosen Association, alongside with other companies that are exploring AI could produce robots that do not lose their identity. The importance of Artificial Intelligence cannot be ignored in various sectors of the economy (Turkle 89). In the health sector, technology has made electronic health records more comfortable to handle. The technology has also been used in athletics, finance and manufacturing industries. AI has helped corporate sectors to process their data and made data handling more manageable. Companies should, therefore, produce controllable androids that have human-human interactions. Given the growing developments in Artificial Intelligence, therefore, human beings can create robots that behave like humans but still have control over them.
According to Dick (103), the humanoid robot, created by humans, will have a highly functional system that would blur the process of distinction between the two. He refers to the manufacture of humanoid robots as a mobile donkey engine of the colonization program. As a colonization program, humanoid robots' functionality is perfect. Human beings will likely create highly functional humanoid robots that are knowledgeable. The evidence of this statement is proved by Philip K. Dick, whose book discusses of the humanoid robot (Dick 18). When the robots were sent to Mars, an alien world, they managed to conquer the other environment and even came back to Earth. As Dick explained, the humanoid robots constituted as a 'solitary predator,' they would therefore not survive if they had empathy for human prey who threatened their existence on Mars. The robots were knowledgeable. This was evident when they recognized their plight as slaves. Human threat to their existence made them develop no empathy thereby revolting by fleeing back to Earth. The creation of robots through AI will be a critical aspect of technology. Through evidence in the context of the book, robots will not only increase efficiency but also have the ability to act and perform tasks like humans.
In conjunction with their abilities, humanoid robots will participate in many responsibilities since their intelligence are comparable to human abilities. In the book, the robots' intelligence is evidence when they were on Earth. Garland, a police inspector, was abducted by an intelligent humanoid robot whose existence was threatened. In the context, the robot seized the inspector and started acting as a police officer in the station. These show how intelligent the robots can get, and also their ability to take up human activities. They also killed people who threatened them, a defense mechanism adapted from humans. From the excerpt in the book, Do Androids Dream of an Electric Sheep? One can understand how human tasks such as policing, can be taken up the robots (Dick 86). They can not only discipline individuals but also kill them when they deem it necessary. Apart from having the ability to be delegated with human tasks, humanoid robots are also effective in relating to human beings.
Humanoid robots' ability to effectively relate to human beings is evident when Caleb, at one point, falls in love with a robot. The fact that the relationship was formed is evidence that robots; relation to human beings can be legit. When Caleb is asked a question, his conversation revolves around Ava, a robot that Nathan had created. At one point, Ava lures Caleb to sex. The attraction makes Caleb curious and starts exploring the reasons why Nathan made her. The bond formed between the two shows how perfect the robots can be when it comes to relationships with humans (Dick 17). The level of interaction with humans can be so close to the level of sexual contact, which is considered the highest form of human interaction. In the end, however, people will have control over the robots.
Even though AI is a more potent force toward intelligence, human intelligence is superior, and the control of humanoid robots is inevitable. Deckard, a bounty hunter at the police station, on seeing the threat that the humanoid robots posed to human life, had to eliminate the androids. The context represented many instances in which the bounty hunter was sent to kill androids to ensure that they no longer caused any harm to human beings. Even though robots are created in a very instrumental manner, they can still be controlled and killed by experienced technological experts (Dick 11). Androids were able to kill human beings in the police station and on Mars, yet humans could control the robots. The ability of human beings to control androids can be questionable.
Human beings cannot control robots. After its creation, a robot becomes an independent individual, just like human beings, when they are born. They can think on their own, form habits, and even defend themselves when they are threatened. Robots can think and overtime form their colony, which is a representative of the human genome (Turkle 24). Territories are to be protected, and robots will do everything within their power to take over the human race. The preview of such a scenario is when robots escaped Mars and killed humans in the police station.
Human beings' intelligence is overboard compared to AI. Human beings are the creators of Artificial Intelligence, and their control over robots is evident in various situations in the book. Human beings, using bug hunters such as Deckard, are sent over to cities to kill robots and even reprogram them. It shows the control that humans have over the android. Therefore, even with human-like abilities, robots will be robots, and humans, their creators, will still have control over them.
In conclusion, the unprecedented rise in the manufacturing and use of AI can be projected. Even though robots can be humans, people will still control them, and unwarranted traits that pose threats to human existence can be shed off. Human control over robots means that firms manufacturing robot products can dictate the abilities of a robot. It means that human beings can use robots primarily as their helpers and remove unwanted traits, which could lead to threats to human existence in the real world. In academic essays, AI can be used in detecting fraudulent data, especially plagiarized content. The benefits of AI technology cannot be ignored. The technology should be used objectively with controls while programming robots considered to ensure less harm caused while interacting with humans.
Dick, P. K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ballantine Books, 1967.
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. ReadHowYouWant.com, 2011.
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