Are robots going to revolt in the future?

Most of you are probably familiar with the Terminator and the Matrix franchises. In Terminator 3, there’s an ongoing war between humans and robots, which is eventually won by the latter. The AIs are firing nuclear missiles that wipe off humanity, which concludes this story, in the most pessimistic way. In the Matrix movies, humanity is enslaved by AIs. Humans live in capsules, while they are drugged, acting as “energy sources” for their robot masters. Both franchises are very popular to people and they are a part of modern culture. However, these movies are greatly exaggerated and some of these events are not going to happen any time soon. There are a few good reasons behind this. Let’s dive into this matter a little.

In case you’ve never heard of this, there’s a popular sci-fi scenario that claims that, one day the machines we create will become conscious and they will turn against us, in order to enslave us or kill us. There are hundreds of movies with this theme. However, this is only a fictional scenario and I believe that it will never come into fruition.

First of all, let’s start with the basics. AI is short for “Artificial intelligence”. The so called “AI” has some applications in our world, however it’s not the real deal, it’s just smart programming. Back in my college days, one of our teachers had told us about these neat programming methods that developers use, in order to make machines “intelligent”. Programmers know what I’m talking about here. The AI is used in games, software, online journals etc. AI systems have managed to beat champions of chess, like Garry Kasparov. However, this thing is just sophisticated programming, not true intelligence. You will be amazed at how inventive people can be, if you see the methods they use to make machines “smart”. A truly intelligent robot, would be able to think on its own. This thing only exists in movies so far, it has never been implemented yet.

The robots of our days can only follow the instructions they have on their memory. Programmers have written these instructions and robots act on them actually. This is what programming is, to “teach” a machine what to do. AIs and robots are only meant to do what they were programmed to do. They can’t deviate from this behavior, because they are not conscious and they cannot think on their own. I’m gonna give you an example here, to explain the differences between humans and current robots. Imagine that you are locked away in a cell somewhere in this world and you want to escape. You could come up with some ways on how to get out. For example, you could ask someone from the outside, to smuggle in a rasp, to grind the bars of the window of your cell.

The imaginary prison

Then, you could create a rope with the sheets of your cell and get out of it. Or you could steal the keys from the prison guard, when he is not paying attention. An inventive person could come up with some strategies on how to get out of this cell and he could probably succeed, if he has an efficient plan. Now, let’s assume that a robot is locked away in that cell instead of you. The robot will not be able to think on what to do. It can only follow the instructions that it has on its memory chip. If the developers have given it the ability to sneak out of jail, then the robot could probably bail itself out ( But it can also fail, just like the human). If it is not programmed to break out of prisons, then it will stay locked away for eternity (Until someone releases it that is). As you can understand, robots cannot act on their own. They can only do as they are instructed. This means that robots will probably not revolt against us any time soon, as they have no will on their own.

The conclusion of these thoughts is that robots will not start a deadly uprising. However, this doesn’t mean that AIs are completely harmless, they still pose a big threat to the world. I’m talking about the jobs that will be consumed in the future, by robots and machines. Jobs that require very little intelligence are in danger, since they can be automated by sophisticated systems with advanced programming. The only jobs that will thrive in the future, will probably be programmers, technicians, manufacturers and solo businesses where you don’t need to employ a robot. There will be major shifts in modern societies and many people will be threatened with unemployment, due to the rise of AIs. However, according to experts, these changes will start taking place in a decade or so. This means that you still have time to adapt to the upcoming changes that are going to take place.

Here’s a fun fact about robots and AIs. According to Daskalakis (An MIT professor), AIs can bean humans in chess, but humans can beat the robots in poker. This means that humanity still has some trump cards up its sleeve against the machines. Not all hope is lost for mankind. Alright guys, I’m done blabbing for today. I hoped you liked this post. Bye bye!

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