Are Robots Harmful Or Helpful To Humanity?

Robots are coming and are changing the world. Many are being created to do and act as a human, but questions have emerged on if it would be successful. Robots are shown to be helpful to society, but can actually cause harm to humanity. Robots are more harmful than helpful for the society because they can lack morality, not know when to bend the rules when necessary, and become hackable leading into danger towards humans, which can cause disagreement and chaos. Robots are harmful to society when lacking morality. According to the UC Berkeley article, “The Good, The Bad, and the Robot: Experts are Trying to Make Machines be “Moral,”” by Coby Mcdonald, he states, “ Such machines could defy human control, the argument goes, and lacking morality, could use their superior intellects to extinguish humanity”(3).

With that being said, robots could threaten human existence if morality isn’t given to them the way it should be. Furthermore, Coby Mcdonald states, “ There is no agreed upon universal set of human morals. If robots are to live by an ethical code, where will it come from”(4). This shows how roboticist can’t decide on what morals a robot will have because everybody’s opinions are different. Therefore, if robots lack morality, they can destroy human race and harm humanity. Also, robots can harm humanity by not knowing when to be more flexible with rules. For instance in McDonalds article, Colin Allen, a professor at Indiana University, states, “ Imagine we programmed an automated car to never break the speed limit. That might seem like a good idea until you’re in the backseat bleeding to death”(3).

This shows how the programming of robots can harm a person, even if it wasn’t intended to. As a matter of fact, it all comes down to morality because a robot needs to know when to bend the rules, especially when in danger. To add on to how robots are harmful to society, “The Future of Life Institute,” by Ariel Conn, states, “ If a superintelligent system is tasked with a ambitious geoengineering project, it might wreak havoc with our ecosystem as a side effect, and view human attempts to stop it as a threat to be met” (3). This shows how a robot is capable of damaging society by doing too little or too much. This also shows how robots will fight back after trying to be stopped because they think that what they’re doing is right. Therefore, if robots cannot determine how to react properly in a bad situation, they can harm humanity. Additionally, robots can be hacked into, leading to destruction and harm to humanity. For instance, in the article, “Popular Robots have Security Flaws That Could Make Them Dangerous” by Bloomberg, it states, “ These vulnerabilities could allow the robots to be turned into surveillance devices, surreptitiously spying on their owners, or let them to be hijacked and used to physically harm people or damage property” (1).

This shows how people put their trust into these robots, not knowing if it is what they had in the beginning. This can lead to people getting hurt or harassed by the robot that is being controlled by something else. Also, the article states, “ But IOActive was able to remotely hack the software that controls the robot and disable key safety features.” (1). This could result in them being programmed to injure the humans around them. This also shows how easily hackable robots can be. Therefore, robots can be hacked into, causing harm to humanity. It is often thought that robots can help and provide guidance to the society. This makes sense because in the article, “Artificial Intelligence: Is it Good or Bad for Society,” by Nair Praseeda, it states, “Artificial Intelligence is already able, as many of us have seen for ourselves, to drive vehicles and negotiate obstacles. This is being used in modern civilian life, and has applications for military operations and space exploration” (2).

This shows how robots are helpful in areas that the world is strong in, such as the military. However, what this argument fails to consider is that robots can get out of hand when trying to help. In the same article, it states, “The technology could also be used by governing forces to detect and suppress any kind of dissent, helping to create very autocratic societies” (2). This is saying that robots can take over and have similarities to somebody who is ruling in absolute power. Therefore, robots are not as helpful as what they might come off as. Overall, robots are more harmful than helpful to humanity. The lack of morality can lead robots into doing the wrong thing, when they feel as if it is right. Not being able to bend the rules when necessary can have a negative effect on people when in an emergency. Lastly, trusting a robot that can “secretly” be going against you or is being programmed to be doing other than what you say, can cause harm to somebody and their surroundings. All in all, robots can harm humanity and create violence to the society.  

Works Cited

Bloomberg. “Popular Robots have Security Flaws That Could Make Them Dangerous.” 22 Aug 2017. Web. 25 Feb 2018Conn, Ariel.
“Future of Life Institute.” Web. 25 Jan 2018Nair, Praseeda.
“Artificial Intelligence: Is it Good or Bad for Society.” 2 Aug 2017. Web. 25 Feb 2018

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