Imagine a world, where everything is automatic. For example, the door of your house opens on its own as soon as you face it. Your car starts as soon as you enter and takes you to your desired destination. The cleaning of the house, the washing of the dishes, all is done on its own without you moving an inch. Sounds exciting, isn’t it? Well, all this is not too far. We have already entered this era of Robotism.
Robots or bots are in our world, right now. Today, robots can be teachers, drivers, astronauts, waiters or soldiers. ‘Alexa’, the robot teacher, is being used in at least 3 schools in rural India. A restaurant in Bangalore is using robots for delivery service. KEMPA, RADA, Mitra, Mitri, IRA – all are robot guides or hosts, being used at airports, banks or theatres to greet people and respond to their queries. Daksh, the defence robot, is being used to detect dangerous explosive devices.
Robots have importance in places where the work was being done by 10 people and you just need one robot to do it or, where there is not enough skilled manpower. No wonder, robot sales are increasing in India. It saves time and money and turns out more efficient. However, not all is good in this new world!
Imagine a world, where your every action is recorded. For example, your watch records the number of steps you made during the day or your toothbrush records the time you spent to brush your tooth and refers you to your doctor if it is not sufficient. Your door refuses to open because you are unshaved and it does not recognize you. Or your car refuses to start because you did not get its pollution check done.
Sounds like a nightmare! Isn’t it? The robots are here right now, for the best and may be for the worst.
Displacement of those 10 workers also means more unemployment leading to more poverty. In a country like India which has the second-highest world population with 74% literacy rate and over 7% unemployment rate this could be disastrous unless we implement controlled robotism.
What computers and smartphones did to earlier generations, robotism and AI will do to the current. You, as the future bearers of this new world, have to make sure that technology continues to be the slave of humans and not the other way around. That the transition to this new world is smooth; that people do not find it a challenge to upgrade; that human touch is not completely lost.