Robots Against Humanity: Ameca Humanoid Robot At CES 2022
Ameca is a humanoid robot create by UK based company, Engineered Arts. Humanoid robots are no longer just an imagination depicted in science fictions books and films of the previous years and century. Advancements in robotics has been incredible and it looks like all the pieces are coming together. Engineered Arts is not the only company who is building humanoid robots like Ameca. There are other companies and academic institutions who hard at work in innovating in this space.
Developments in AI field, machine learning, renewable energies and batteries, and even cognitive science will all contribute in perfecting next generation of humanoid robots and having them amongst humans may just become a normal thing.
Robots has been amongst us for a while now. Some are good and useful. Some are just frustrating, intruding, and rude. Slowly but surely we are getting used to this reality. I am not talking about humanoid robots. I am talking about bots of the internet, bots that send massive amounts of spam emails, bots that make robocalls, bots that answer the phone when we call customer service. I am talking about Siri, Alexa, and Cortana - personal assistants installed on our devices that provide somewhat of a useful information when needed. But other times might even be spying to report back to the company, so they can come up with better ways of monetizing.
Yes, we are used to robots already. But we don't notice or maybe even don't care. However, having robots in a human form makes us realize this reality.
Engineered Arts demonstrated Ameca in CES 2022. A very impressive humanoid robot that can interact with humans like a human. It makes facial expressions like a human. It talks like a human moving the lips to resemble the words being uttered out of the mouth. However, the speakers are actually on the chest and visible. This may also change and be improved in the future. It has cameras in the eyes, and using face detection, it can recognize humans and turn to them. Microphones built into the ears can tell the robot where the voice is coming from and act accordingly.
It has arms, hands and fingers that can move around like human arms and hands. Not sure if it can grab items and perform tasks with hands yet. I am sure they would be working on that too, if haven't done so yet. It can't walk yet. They said they are working on building legs that will give the ability for Ameca to walk around.
There is AI implementation in Ameca. However, it uses half AI and half human help. In other words, humans in the other room or remotely connected control Ameca and Ameca just replicated the facial expression of the human controlling, speaks as instructed, moves hands, etc. Engineered Arts believe that humanoid robots like Ameca can be used for various human tasks like an assistant at the airport, receptionist at a hotel, and more.
I do believe humanoid robots can be very helpful in taking over tasks from humans, but more so for dangerous tasks like wildfires as firefighters, mining, space exploration, etc. Things that are that present high level of risks for humans to get hurt.
While there might be a need for humanoid robots, that doesn't mean they would be most effective, efficient, and productive in human form. For example would you want your humanoid robot sit at a desk and write a novel, or respond to business emails using a keyboard? It would look cool. But robots don't need keyboard or mouse.
There is already advanced machine learning technology that can write articles, books, or other forms of writings that aren't distinguishable from human works. And it keeps getting improved.
Putting all these pieces together: sophisticated hardware, advanced AI, machine learning, super fact internet and telecommunications, big data; shows that robots will be amongst us in very near future. I don't think robots pose a direct threat to humans, as often presented in sci-fi movies. lol. But there are some economic implication to consider. Will they cause massive job losses? If they do what would be solutions?
Technology will keep getting advanced. Stopping or slowing the progress down is not an option. Also, technology has been useful in many ways in many fields. Just look at the use of technology in medical field. Machines are useful. I think same will happen with robots. They will be useful and slowly take over some labor intensive and high risk jobs. Humans will do the work of maintaining the robots to make sure they are working properly, update software, upgrade parts, etc. There will be new jobs, better jobs for humans. Or maybe even for some it will free up time to do things they enjoy the most.
Some people jokingly say, when robots come all we need to do is buy one send them to work and earn the paycheck for us. That's a cool idea, but won't happen. If a person can buy a robot to send to work, most like the company will be able to buy hundred times more and make them do the work for free, instead of sending a paycheck to somebody.
There will be other opportunities for humans too, like joining networks and letting networks pay the bills. For example, let's look at bitcoin. I have heard Edicted and many others saying that bitcoin doubles in price/value every year. Looking at price history it does seem to be true. Assuming this pattern will continue, it can be a good idea to buy bitcoins and let them do the work of earning the paycheck. If you make $100k a year at your job, you invest $100k into bitcoin and let it double every year, and that way you would be making the same amount as did when working for someone.
Of course it is an oversimplification. But there is truth in it, and shouldn't be ignored. I remember last year today, bitcoin price was appreciating $1000 a day. If you have couple bitcoins, your bitcoins were making couple thousands dollars a day for you. It would be nice if it continued. But in a long term this pattern might still hold.
Another source of income can be participating in Hive network. Let's say you invest same $100k into Hive. You might be able to make 7-10% in curation rewards, all while the underlying assets itself is increasing in value/price. That is assuming price keeps going up in a long term. With any investment there is a risk, and things may not play out as expected. But what there will always be some value in being connected to networks that offer financial incentives.
Speaking of networks and blockchain, I think this technology will also play a great role in robotics. Eventually, robots will have to behave more autonomous, but there will still be a need to keep track of actions robots take and these can be recorded in the blockchain as transactions. This will also enable robots to engage in financial transactions. Think of your self-driving cars going to a charging station and paying with a bitcoin or hive wallets. Or when we go to stores where we can self checkout and interact with some kind of robot or machine, and it can transact in blockchain money. I doubt visa or master card with be the choice of robots for payments. Because they can detected how banks been robbing people with these crazy transaction based feed and maybe even laugh how naive humans are.
Are robots against humanity? Probably not. For now it seems like we trust them. We are willing to trust the code with our financial system instead of humans at central banks and governments when we believe bitcoin is the future. Robots probably will be more reliable than some of the humans. Maybe we should send some of them to Congress.
There was a tv series Travelers, where humans from the future come to the past to prevent something bad happening in the future. They keep referring to this person who sent them as a Director. Director said this, director instructed that, etc. In the end this Director was revealed to be a super AI, and humans put all of the trust in this AI and it was basically the global president or something. I don't think that is happening either. Humans like to keep the power to themselves.
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