The Lack of Unique Human Abilities in Robots by@ejioforfrancis200

The Lack of Unique Human Abilities in Robots

Researchers in robotics development have not understood the intricacies of human intelligence. They say robots are biologically limited in their make-up and do not have the natural power-house like in humans. Despite all these, robots are yet to perform tasks in which complex, rigorous human intellectual capabilities are required. Robots cannot perform scientific analysis at particularly complex levels that usually bring about novel epiphany that engenders scientific discoveries. They cannot teach like humans because they lack the power to engage in interactive exchange between a teacher and a robot.
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Ejiofor Francis

Tech enthusiast and writer. Columnist in many other authoritative publications.

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Humans have proved to be not only biologically complex creatures, but also one with uncanny, complex intellectual capabilities; they have successfully created robots after their own likeness. Robots now do repetitive work in which human labor becomes too costly and ineffective to justify.

In fact, there is hope that these robots will surpass many human limitations–many of which have already been met. To researchers in the extensive field of robotics development – the speed, accuracy and intelligence these robots currently exhibit are monumental achievements – while to others who have a modicum of knowledge of robots, these exhibitions by robots are cause for concern. They worry, like Polish playwright Karel Capek painted in his play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”, that robots will eventually displace humans from their jobs, or worse still, like presented in “Terminator” series, that robots might become future overlords and go to war with humans.

How much human abilities are robots able to exhibit? 

To a large extent, contemporary robots have replicated human dexterity, perception and intelligence. For example, Kismet, a robot developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, owing to sophisticated hardware and high-level programming, works like the human nervous system, which consists of both voluntary and involuntary functionality. T-HR3, a robotic avatar developed by Toyota, mimics the movement of its human operator, and will be able to perform surgeries in the future while being controlled from another world by a doctor. Sophia, an AI-powered humanoid robot, talks, draws, sings and shows some emotions–and Ameca, another AI-powered humanoid robot, mimics human-like facial expressions. Despite all these, robots are yet to perform tasks in which complex, rigorous human intellectual capabilities are required. This is a consequence of the fact that researchers in the field of robotics development have not understood the intricacies of human intelligence.

Why do robots lack unique human intellectual abilities?

What is known is that human intelligence manifests in the elaborate and interconnected networks of neurons within the human brain and is a function of learning and experience. Neurons in the human brain form electrical connections with one another, but it is rather unclear how they collectively cultivate brain activities like thinking and reasoning. Consequently, researchers in robotics development have been unable to download into robots this wondrous human intelligence–and hence robots lack the intellectual independence that they will need to beat humans at their own game. Furthermore, robots are biologically limited in their make-up and do not have the natural power-house like in humans–therefore, availability of power for use will continue to limit the functionality of even the most sophisticated robot for quite a long time.

Moreover, the human sensory system–vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste–are naturally complex. However, they are somehow being implemented into robots through elegant technology. For instance, robots like Ameca and Sophia are already doing well at responding to these human senses, but their ability therein is still considered to be in a nascent stage like that of a newborn baby that lacks the experience to understand what it senses. The recognition of sound, for instance, by a robot is intricately dependent on the extent of its “lexicon”, where the sound is compared among similar sound waves–and the lexicon does not expand unless through high-level programming, which needs to be carried out regularly. Besides, robots lack empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another–and it has been established that empathy is a powerful driver of many human decisions and actions. In essence, robots can replicate emotions but cannot feel them; they can show sadness but do not feel sad.

What are the jobs robots cannot do because of lack of unique human intellectual abilities?

Robots are unable to undertake tasks in which special human intellectual capabilities are needed. Robots cannot perform the duties of a doctor who has not only medical education, but also the experience in prescribing medicines, applying operation techniques, and using medical apparatus. Robots cannot perform scientific analysis at particularly complex levels that usually bring about novel epiphany that engenders scientific discoveries; although they can be employed to do certain tasks, robots cannot be depended on for new ways of completing those tasks. Robots lack emotions and hence are useless in creative writing, which is a work of feelings and emotions brought on paper through words; they can only write what humans instruct them. Robots cannot teach like humans because they lack the understanding power to engage in interactive exchange as demonstrated between a teacher and the students; a teacher understands the teaching materials as well as the students on an individual level.

Conclusion

Robots have done exceedingly very well in performing jobs humans considered drudgery, in which health risks and hazards are high and human labor is mostly costly. They have allowed humans to improve on their living standard and become more precise and accurate in carrying out their jobs, especially those that are done casually that do not need intellectual capabilities but precision and accuracy. This is because robots are currently as intelligent as to only follow rigidly and precisely the instructions laid down for them by humans. Therefore, they have enabled humans to upgrade their skills and go for those jobs that maximize their advanced intellectual capabilities. Although robots are seemingly intelligent–especially when considering the speed and accuracy with which they perform tasks–they are not any more intelligent than the human that controls them. If ever they have any intelligence of their own at all, it is still not up to that of a housefly. 





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