3 Reasons Why People Are Afraid of Robots (And Why They Shouldn't Be)
Posted on Jul 24, 2017 7:00 AM
Robots have become an integral part of the manufacturing industry, but they’re also moving into other industries as well. As they continue to become a larger part of our society, people are voicing growing fears about them. Whether it’s a fear for their jobs, their lives, or something else entirely, it’s all built on a lack of knowledge.
3 Major Fears About Robots That Simply Aren’t True
We’ve all seen science fiction films about robots turning on their masters and we’ve certainly heard naysayers talk about how robots are coming to steal human jobs, but are they really so bad? The answer is no. Let’s explore three fears that about robots that simply don’t hold up to the light:
1. They’re Not Safe
First and foremost, you’ll hear about how robots aren’t safe. While it’s true that fenced robots in manufacturing are behind said fences for a reason, that’s not to say that their collaborative counterparts are dangerous as well. While nothing is completely safe, collaborative robots are in fact built using a standard set of guidelines known as the ISO TS 15066.
These provide some standards for collaborative robotics to abide by, which helps manufacturers ensure that their robots are as safe as can be. Today’s standards, combined with safety technology, has resulted in several excellent options for safety with collaborative robots:
● Power and force limiting
● Speed and separation monitoring
● Hand guiding
New safety technology continues to emerge as time goes on, quickly revealing that humans have no need to fear their safety around robots in the workplace, so long as they are well informed.
2. They’ll Take Our Jobs
Throughout history, people have always feared technology, because they were scared it would make their jobs obsolete. Cars, the printing press, industrial technology, all of these things were met with fear in the past. People were afraid these things would put them out of work, but in every case, they did not.
Instead, technology creates new industries, new jobs, and more prosperity as a whole. With robots, the same thing is happening today. People in manufacturing are afraid their jobs will be taken, but new jobs are already being created.
Whether it’s someone to program the robots, or a human to work on more intricate tasks that robots can’t perform, new roles are emerging as robots increase production and lower costs. Back-breaking jobs that humans hate can now be given to robots, thus freeing them up to do more rewarding work.
There’s nothing to fear, because technology creates far more than it destroys when it comes to industries, jobs, and careers.
3. Artificial Intelligence Is Dangerous
We’ve made some huge strides in regards to artificial intelligence, but we’re a long ways off from robots that are as smart, or smarter than humans. People who think about decades in the future may have concerns about the intelligence of robots being used against us, but that’s not something we need to worry about now.
The current landscape of robotics puts us squarely in control. As a result, the idea of robots turning on us or becoming sentient is still in the realm of science fiction. Major technology figures like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and others are already thinking about how to properly harness A.I.
Geoff Hinton, known as the “godfather of deep learning,” told the BBC that “You can see things clearly for the next few years, but look beyond 10 years and we can’t really see anything. It’s just a fog.”
Instead, we should focus on the fact that today’s A.I systems can process information too vast or too complex for humans to grasp. There’s nothing to fear from the growth of A.I as we are still in the infancy of the technology.
The most common fears surrounding robots are often birthed from a lack of knowledge. Now that you know these things, are you afraid of robots? Have you ever been? Let us know in the comments!