Robots taking over

Hello people!! Glad to welcome you back on my blog. This week I’m going to continue writing about technology that is changing our world. Last week there was the story about robots used in war, a great thing if you asked me! But this week I will share my thoughts on robots we are seeing more and more. Robots in daily life, made to make life easier.

Nowadays we are seeing the first signs of them emerging and this raises a lot of thoughts. I don’t know about you but I’m really thinking about this subject. The first thing that struck my eye is that they are taking over people’s jobs. People like me and you are losing their jobs to robots. Is that what we really want? This robot-revolution started with the main thought of making life easier. I was reading these articles about why people made robots in the first place and believe me, almost all the time it’s because they want to make life easier. Maybe this is because we humans are lazy creatures of nature…? Of course there are also robots being made for fun, to battle against other robots for example. Think about the Robot Wars show of the BBC (if you haven’t heard of it, look it up, great show!). But the main reason why they are made is to make life easier or more enjoyable.

Last week I gave the example of robots being used in warfare. This is a positive development I think because it’s preventing people from dying in war. With robots in daily life there are also a lot of positive sides. Think about a robot mowing your lawn whenever you want or a robot vacuuming your room. These robots are already available and they are making the household a lot easier. But it goes even further then your home environment. When you go to public places there is a big chance you will see some robotics too. This is still in an early stage though, but it’s getting there. Take Schiphol Airport as an example. It is the biggest airport in the Netherlands (based in Amsterdam) and I can ensure you it’s a very busy one… This week they started using a robot to guide people around the airport to gates! Very handy and easy of course. I think that we are going to see more and more robots in public places as of today. It’s inevitable I think because we keep developing with the years passing. But it’s not all great stuff.. I think this change also has a downside.

I have talked about it already briefly but these robots are also taking over our jobs. Think about this robot at Schiphol. It’s great that they have one but it also contributed to someone being fired. Is that what we want? It isn’t easy to get a job nowadays, so to lose yours is a big blow. And the second thing I wonder is, is this robot doing the job better than a human could? Even better, think about Moore’s law. This law basically says that hardware will get smarter within time. What if robots outsmart us humans at some point? I guess these are some examples of  questions that could be the start of a great discussion. I would like to hear from you guys what you are thinking and I look forward to write to you again next week. And keep in mind, robots are taking over!!

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The influence of technology on future warfare

13th of November 2015, my 24th birthday, it was a wonderful day for me. But then late at night I turned on the television. What I saw then, was nothing but sadness. In Paris there had been terrorist attacks and more than 120 people lost their lives. The first thing that I thought after seeing this was war. The last couple of months it’s all over the news; IS, refugees, bombings etc. It makes me think that a war against IS in the Middle-East is not that far away now. But is that what we want? Of course no one wants war but sometimes it’s inevitable. The worst part of war is that it is only going to take much more lives. Or maybe there is a solution that can spare the lives of soldiers and change warfare for good. I think the solution lies within technology. Think about it, it has always been technology that has changed warfare. In WWII for instance they created tanks, submarines and fighterplanes. Of course they still had to be operated by humans but it made warfare totally different than before. But now technology is even further ahead. I was reading about technology within warfare when I saw this picture.

big dog

It’s the newest thing regarding modern warfare. It’s a robot as you can see and it’s called the “Big Dog”. I’ve even seen a video of it in action and I can ensure you, it’s impressive! I really think that robotics are going to change warfare for good. This robot dog for instance can be send into warzones to give soldiers support. It can transport bag, ammunition or can even carry a soldier. It’s also possible to attach a weapon on it and send it into gunfights. I think sending these unmanned robots into warzones will save many soldiers’ lives. Of course they still have to be controlled from a distance, but that’s better than sending humans into warzones. It’s just like a drone but this one operates on the ground. It can see all the surroundings by making use of the camera’s on it and it’s very well balanced so it can even go over obstacles like rocks or a stairs easily. In the video it even got kicked hard by a soldier and corrected it’s feet instantly without falling over. But by collaborating with my teachers Jordi and Lorna some interesting downsides to this technology came to mind. What if a soldier creates feelings for this robot? The first think I thought was, that cannot happen, impossible. But actually, it already has happened. A soldier that had worked with this robot dog for months got real emotional after it was destroy in combat. He even gave it a kind of funeral… If things like this are happing, than what is the added value of sending in robots instead of humans? I guess this new technology in warfare has its pros and cons and you can discuss that, everyone has a different opinion about it. But the thing is, it is happening right now. The technology is already here and warfare will be changed by it, rather you like it or not. I do think it will evolve even further within a few years. First we thought these war-making robots were only to be seen in  Star Wars movies, but now it’s becoming reality.

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