Sometimes, it’s helpful to slow down, take a step back, and think about the whole picture. Robots, humans, artificial intelligence – there’s a whole world of technology we sometimes take for granted. We couldn’t ask for – or invent – a more exciting time. Science fiction is getting closer and closer to being fact in many ways.
Robots have super-human strength.
Robots can be programmed to do things humans can’t do — or at least, haven’t yet figured out how to do. Humans can do things that robots haven’t yet been programmed to do — or at least, haven’t yet figured out how to do.
Even when a robot is better at something than a human, it doesn’t mean the human is worse off for trying. And even when a human is better at something than a robot, it doesn’t mean the robot is worse off for trying.
Take learning, for example. Robots are likely to become faster learners than humans because they don’t need sleep, they don’t get hungry and they’re not distracted by social media. But that doesn’t mean humans will stop learning and sit around all day waiting for robots to solve problems and bring them their food and water.
If you want to get good at something and stay good at it, you have to practice it regularly. The best way to practice is through deliberate practice, which means practicing in ways that push your skills beyond their current limits so you can improve them incrementally over time.
And you know what? If a robot was with you as you practiced — watching
Robots are programmed to deliver what the customer wants when they want it. But humans can make decisions based on intuition and understanding.
In this way, humans can go beyond the literal meaning of what someone is requesting and sense their emotional state or intent (for example, determining whether their tone is angry or frustrated). This makes it possible to provide customers with a more personal experience and better service.
Robots follow instructions based on an algorithm. Humans are able to make decisions based on experience and critical thinking, enabling them to provide better solutions in difficult situations. For example, a grocery store clerk might be able to recommend a complementary product for a customer’s purchase even if that product isn’t exactly what the customer asked for. Or a customer service representative might be able to quickly determine which of several products to offer a customer based on her past history with different products.
While robots may be able to improve their ability to mimic human emotions, they’re still not capable of experiencing them themselves — at least not yet! In fact, researchers have found that people respond more positively when interacting with real people rather than robots or voice-automated systems because they feel more understood by.
AI is getting better at solving problems, but still can’t match humans for certain tasks.
Automation and AI are radically changing the world of work. But many of us are still thinking about this new ecosystem in binary terms — machines vs. humans, robots vs. workers. That’s a mistake, because it obscures the nuanced ways that machines and humans can complement each other in the workplace of the future.
Here’s how machines and humans differ in the workplace:
Humans have super-human intelligence. With their unique combination of creativity, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, and ability to learn from experience, people will always have an edge over machines in certain types of jobs. “What’s not going away is that emotional intelligence,” says IRIS CEO Stephanie DiMarco, adding that “the soft skills are really hard to replicate.” Humans excel at dynamic tasks like finding solutions to complex problems, making judgments based on imperfect information, communicating with empathy and compassion, motivating others, and adapting to unexpected circumstances. Machines may one day be able to tackle all these challenges as well as humans do — but not yet.
Machines have superhuman speed and precision. The physical world presents its own challenges for robots. They lack our dexterity and flexibility when it comes to
Humans recognize facial expressions and body language that robots cannot detect. Robots have the ability to calculate the probabilities of an outcome when making decisions. Humans can use these probabilities to make better decisions, while robots learn from human feedback.
Several questions emerged from this conversation:
Will robots become more human, or will humans become more robotic?
Will humans start acting like robots? Will people change their behavior because they’re around robots? Will people start behaving atypically because they think that’s how a robot would behave?
Should robots be transparent, or is it ok for them to keep secrets? Is it ok for them to lie?
Who is responsible when a robot breaks the law? The user who programmed it or the company that created it? Who’s responsible when a robot hurts someone or damages property?”
Ultimately, the greatest lesson that humans can take away from robots is a willingness to change. Inventors and engineers are always looking for ways to improve, but if they keep things the same out of fear or laziness, then they might be stuck in the Stone Age. But let me do the robot’s turn: stop being so darn fragile! Robots can’t get hurt and that’s a good thing, because it means that they’re better able to perform dangerous or cramped tasks—tasks that humans might be loath to even try. If we could all take each other’s best qualities, then I think we would be in good shape.
Robots have super-human strength.
Robots can be programmed to learn.
Robots can perform complex tasks precisely and without error.
Robots are tireless machines, so they don’t need to sleep, rest.
Humans have super-human intelligence.
Humans can think creatively and critically.
Humans have intuition emotions and empathy.
Humans and robots each have skillsets that should be utilized for maximum benefit.