With the advent of robotics, artificial intelligence, and claims that robots are coming for our jobs. Will the ones who programmed the robots and designed A.I become a thing of the past? Once an artificial entity is able to program on its own, will it create a programming language that goes beyond human understanding? This moment is known as the singularity when an artificial being becomes self-aware. From the perspective of a program or a robot, the act of programming is much like playing God. Programming defines the rules, behaviors, and limitations of any program. What was once strictly in the realm of science fiction is now becoming our reality.
Computer programming has had some of the largest growth potentials in the job market. Computer science is a field of study pursued at every major University. Programmers are in high demand in nearly every industry, which makes it seem impossible that one day they would no longer be needed. As we give machines more power and responsibility, we must be mindful that we are also getting closer to a point of no return. As we advance our technology and proficiency in robotics, we make our lives easier, but at what cost?
Once an artificial being learned how to program code, the human programmer can easily become obsolete. Robots never have to sleep, eat or take a break which is why they are seen as efficient workplace replacements for human beings. Through exponential increases in processing power, robots have become more intelligent than us as well. Some prefer robotic employees due to the lack of human baggage such as complaints, labor laws, maternal leave, family responsibilities, and vacations. The robots never complain. Unfortunately, greed is the major factor in the attempt to remove human workers from the employment equation.
Many are aware that giving a robot the task of programming would be equivalent to handing the keys of creation over to a machine. I believe a program that programs would be a cataclysmic error of judgment with untold repercussions. This is why most robots have been given menial tasks such as factory work or as household servants. But machines with programming capabilities might not be a purposeful action at all and possibly will be created by mistake.
Nowadays we live in a digital and technological age, in which we are surrounded by 0’s and 1’s. We have developed artificial intelligence and learning machines to assist with everything from shopping, to finance to big data, and even chess matches. How long will it be before we create an intelligence smart enough to look into algorithms or into itself and ask how was I created?
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