The impact of the breakthroughs in information technology like the computers and the World Wide Web has been phenomenal and has been taking the world by storm until today. Today, the services generated from these technologies already cover a very wide scope, ranging from instant messaging, electronic mailing, electronic banking, e-commerce and e-business, education, and even electronic governance and a lot of other services.
These technologies also paved the way for other phenomenal discoveries and inventions especially in the very interesting and amusing field of robotics. The interest of the world in robots and artificial intelligence nowadays has been very well depicted in literature as well as in films. Truly, the peculiar mystery behind these robots has always made them a very fascinating topic. Also, the field of robotics has resulted in numerous reactions, opinions, and arguments as to where this technology might take the world.
One interesting reaction about this issue is laid out in the essay “The Real Transformers” by Robin Marantz Henig. The Real Transformers The essay basically revolves around the central idea of the future of robotics and artificial intelligence. It attempts to answer questions like how can the abilities of robots differ 30 years from today, and what improvements and developments can possible happen? In the article, the author recalls how the world tried to foresee the future of computers and information technology around three decades ago.
Certainly, in those days, people never thought those slow and bulky computers would be able to bring the world the services that it enjoys now such as Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Skype, and YouTube, among others (Henig, 2007). The article also discusses the possibilities that the future may hold numerous wonders and surprises about the development in the robotics technology that humans may not be able to foresee today. Thus, what people see today may not even give a hint as to what the future robots may be like. Henig (2007) also explores the nature of sociable robots compared to any other type of humanoids.
He explains that these sociable robots, unlike any other robot, are especially designed to sense their environment and be responsive to it. Also, sociable robots also possess a physical body which will enable them to experience the world just like how humans do (Henig, 2007). Henig (2007) states that this is also one factor which rouses the curiosity of people about the possibility that robots may have the learning and thinking ability, as well as the problem solving and reasoning capabilities that are way beyond what humans can do in the future.
This idea also incites some interest in knowing whether it is possible for robots to actually have emotions like that of humans and be as sensitive and affectionate like humans as well. If they will come to possess human qualities, Henig (2007) wonders if there will come a time when robots would not be able to determine whether they are robots or not and whether or not the one they are talking to are robots as well. These are just some of the insightful and interesting ideas explored throughout Henig’s article.
Aside from this, the article also discusses the current breakthroughs in the robotics industry. Henig (2007) cites several robotic abilities such as voice recognition and mimicry, face recognition, human-like movements, and human-like physical features. In several ways, these developments can already give people hints that the robotics industry and the artificial intelligence technologies are already in the process of making what people expect of these robots in the future.
In one way or another, the breakthroughs, developments and innovations in artificial intelligence are indeed taking the world nearer to what has been perceived as the ultimate age of robotics, when robots would appear to be perfectly like human beings. All the aforementioned progress, insights, predictions, fears, and optimism about robotics and artificial intelligence have been very well depicted in this article by Robin Henig. Response and Critical Analysis It is very evident in the modern age that robots already play a very interesting and amusing part in the general interest of the people.
Thus, this article poses a social relevance that everyone can benefit from as it tries to explain the nature of these humanoids and where their current development might possibly take them in the future. This technology of the artificial intelligence can be considered as one of the most brilliant inventions of the human mind. However, considering Henig’s discussions, when that point comes when the robots’ capabilities will surpass that of the human beings’, can the technology be still regarded as one of the most brilliant inventions and breakthroughs men created?
If robots will soon become more intelligent and efficient that the human beings, can they be considered as automated helpers still or some kind of threat to the human race? As Henig (2007) discussed and expounded on these thoughts, the idea appears frightening yet optimistic at the same time—frightening because of the thought that robots may eventually have that impeccable thinking and reasoning ability that is so outstanding that they might surpass what humans can do and enable these humanoids to rule over human kind.
On the other hand, it can also be positive in the sense that when the time comes that the efficiency of these robots will be at its best, all the grueling and difficult tasks in the world will just be as simple as one click of a button. In many ways, this article poses a significant piece of knowledge in all the robot-fancying minds of its readers. The pieces of knowledge that it shares may open a lot of minds on the nature of these robots and how they actually work in less technical and geeky terms.
Thus, understanding robotics at its core may indeed be very difficult, but understanding its wonders and its possible developments and improvements may help in bringing about a positive outlook towards man’s innate intelligence and innovation capabilities as manifested by the phenomenal existence of robots and artificial intelligence.
Henig, R. M. (2007). The real transformers. The New York Times.