Opinion

Man vs. Tech: Can A.I. & Robots Replace Humans in 2018?

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Artificial Intelligence
PHOTOGRAPH: YouTube/SoftBank Robotics US |

There is no shortage of technology in our everyday lives. With the consistency of technological innovations popping up left and right, it’s almost as if technology will soon overpower what is left for us to do in our respective fields and industries. Does this mean that, in the battle between man and technology, robots and artificial intelligence will soon prevail? Could such a possibility even manifest as early as 2018?

Innovations in Artificial Intelligence

As of late, recent novelties in technology have been making waves for their innovations. One such project is the Sony Aibo, which was recently unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). As some may know, the Aibo was a product that first surfaced back in the 90s. However, the most updated iteration of the Aibo that was shown off at CES 2018 is considered to be the most lifelike one thus far.

The newest Aibo is able to react to not only more commands, but to acts of affection as well. It’s the closest that technology has come in terms of mimicking a real-life canine. But, as impressive as this might be, it also goes to show just how easily living beings can be replicated — and perhaps even replaced — by what is considered to be a non-living object.

Dogs aren’t the only creatures at risk of being replaced; humans also seem to be on the road of obsolescence, at least in some areas. The Amazon Go store is a prime example of this.

No Need For People Anymore?

To recount, Amazon’s Go store is a checkout-free store that allows its customers to step in, take their desired item off the shelf, and step out. All customers need to do is scan in with the Amazon Go app upon entering the store. The need to queue at a checkout line is eliminated as Amazon’s technology is capable of tracking what is taken from or returned to shelves. With the supplementary app, a customer’s bill is simply sent to their Amazon account.

While the very idea of a checkout-free store is arguably a convenience to a certain degree, it does pose a question worth pondering: do we still need people in retail in the years to come?

Such an inquiry is rather alarming, especially for the actual employees of retail. If retail staff can be easily replaced by technology, who’s to say that artificial intelligence won’t replace other areas of expertise? After all, several companies have already produced different iterations of humanoids. There’s Honda’s ASIMO and Pepper from SoftBank Robotics, to name a few. They may have a long way to go when it comes to being completely human-like, but they’re already on the road to such developments.

The notion of robots replacing humans is something that has come and gone time and time again, but with recent advancements, it seems as if 2018 is the year that the turnover from humans to robots begins. As technology continues to evolve, so does the possibility of robots becoming the new breed of humans.

Do you think 2018 is the year artificial intelligence finally replaces mankind? Sound off in the comments section below!

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