We are witnessing rapid technological growth. Artificial intelligence (AI) driven humanoids are emerging as an inevitable future. However, as the future is approaching, fears of these robots taking over the world also loom large.
To understand the full extent of upcoming threats, we need to decode their nitty and gritty.
In its simplest form Humanoid is a human-looking non-human entity. They look like humans, they act like humans, they pose certain features which are inherent to humans; but they are not humans.
The term came into existence in the 1870s. This was the time when colonisers were looking to degrade people preserving their own motherland. So, to classify themselves as superior, they termed them as humanoids. It was not politically feasible for a long time to use it. The word was transferred to the scientific community, which started to use it to describe fossils that looked similar to human skeletons.
When technology started to make strides in human lives, science fantasies forced scientists to look for human-looking robots. Humanoid seemed to be a fit name for these robots.
As the term itself clarifies, Artificial intelligence (AI) is any kind of intelligence that is not natural to living beings. These human beings include both humans as well as animals.
The mechanism of artificial intelligence is simple- AI machine watches some subjects (living beings, machines) reacting to certain situations. The machine then stores that situation and its related reaction in its memory. This memory is used to replicate the same reaction when similar kinds of situations arise in front of it in future.
Cutting to the chase, here is how you can simply understand AI. Suppose, you are watching a YouTube video on Sachin Tendulkar’s cover drives. YouTube algorithm is storing your watch time in its memory. Now, when you visit YouTube after an hour, videos related to Sachin Tendulkar will be on your homepage. Most likely, it will be a compilation of Sachin Tendulkar’s straight drives. This is artificial intelligence making a decision based on the past.
What are AI humanoids?
AI humanoids are basically those humanoids that are powered by artificial intelligence. These humanoids are filled with complex mathematical algorithms. Scientists have spent millions of hours teaching them human behaviour. Earlier they used to do only logic-based operations like calculations etc., but now scientists have been able to code their algorithms with human emotions.
How are they doing?
It’s still be quite early to say anything about their impact on humans. Robots have been used for quite some time now. But, AI-powered robots are not much in number. However, they are well-populated, so that we can see the possible impact of launching them in masses.
Currently, these humanoids are being used to provide tertiary services like shopping experiences, hospital bills etc. to people. ‘Mitra’ robot, created by Bangalore-based Invento Robotics was quite helpful in Corona when people preferred non-human contacts. The machine went on to handle entry-level services for patients.
Humanoids cannot be without negative repercussions, or are they?
Well, you are never free of consequences. Everyone knows that Humanoids are excellent for logical operations, but are humans a flesh of logical bones and muscles? No.
In human interactions, it is inevitable (and rightly so) to use emotions. A human without emotions is just a Darwinian progression. So, how do AI humanoids solve this problem? Let’s see.
Scientists chalk out billions of human emotions and fill some of them in the algorithmic form in humanoids. However, they have not been successful like logical algorithms.
Examples of Humanoid’s failures
Amazon’s Alexa is one such example. It has been hailed as a wonderful initiative that performs its operations on simple voice notes. It is a widely used product. One of its negative consequences was recently witnessed.
Recently, a small kid asked Alexa to offer her a challenge. Alexa being a non-human entity, asked the girl to do a task that could well turn out to be electrocution for her. Apparently, Alexa had ‘learnt’ it from the penny challenge on the Internet.
Sophia, another humanoid, was well in news for her upgraded human look. It was claimed that it’s a datable entity. However, when she went on a date with famous actor Will Smith, it turned out to be creepy.
Humanoids do not have sensitivity. If you train your self-driving car to apply brakes whenever it senses any obstacle more than one foot in height; it’s tough for it to differentiate between a passerby and a static human. Similarly, if you want to use them in the military, it will be easy to fool their movements. The enemy will train their algorithms with non-lethal demonstrations and when they will learn it, the robot will be destroyed with a surprise attack.
Simply put, the five senses of humans are not replicable in Humanoids.
One more threat Humanoids poses is that of its self-developing system. Since human emotions are not static and are subject to evolution, scientists wired humanoids with the ability to develop their own senses. However, with Facebook, it turned out to be disastrous. Facebook’s humanoid started to learn its own language, which led to it getting shut down by administrators.
When it comes to the emotional aspect, Humanoids haven’t been able to solve frame problems. Humanoids use only logic to drive them. Even if robots are wired with emotions, they are filled as logical inputs. However, logical inputs require the existence of undeniable truth. Human emotions are not undeniable truths. They are in fact subjective and non-static. It’s next to impossible to cram all of them into logical operations.
Also, I do not want a "Terminator" to come from the future to seek revenge for this tweet. 😅
— Tribhuwan (@tribhuwan_0196) December 30, 2021
Humanoids are excellent and better than humans in solving logical problems. They solve complex problems in quicker times. Corona vaccine being made within a span of 10-months is an ode to artificial intelligence. However, as of now, it will be unwise to use them as a replacement for jobs or any other human activity.