Fantasy around robots has reached to a new height. Usually, Hollywood movie makers and Science fiction writes are known to be fantasizing the possibility of robotics. But this time, one of the most conservative countries of the world has joined fiction story tellers--by offering citizenship to humanoid robot. Even at United Nations, this humanoid robot, known as Sophia, participated in a meeting at UN Headquarters on “The Future of Everything – Sustainable Development in the Age of Rapid Technological Change".
A machine may look like human beings, and may also sense, perceive and behave like humans. But, many attributes of human beings are still beyond the study of existing body of scientific knowledge, let alone building machines with those capabilities.
But, building machines having human like capability in performing meaningful tasks is within our reach. We are progressing in building machines with sensing, perceiving and decision making capability to get jobs done better at less cost--by delegating more roles from human to machines. Such continued progression of developing smarter machines and increasing role delegation to these machines is a vital requirement for creating more wealth from depleting resources--to sustain our development progression.
Human like machines like Sophia may not compete with us to get citizenship. But their roles in wealth creation by taking productive roles from human are likely to accelerate.
Such progression is also associated with concerns--serious concerns. Monopolization of market power and job loss are issues--resulting in growing inequality in wealth distribution. Such smart machines are also going to power destructive forces to build merciless killer machines. Developments of smarter machines, having human like capabilities, should be carefully interpreted from multiple dimensions; awareness should be created; balanced opinions should be formed at different levels; and optimal strategy along with polices should be taken to maximize benefit from smart machines.