Can Machines Supersede Human Beings?

08/24/2016 09:59 am ET


The futurist films about robots trying to overturn the humankind and ruling the world might not be as unrealistic, especially nowadays when the technology is developing at an accelerated speed. Things that are common nowadays, like a smartphone, Wi-Fi, cosmos exploration seemed quite unreal less than a century ago. And nowadays the most burning topic is further development of artificial intelligence as this is something that will potentially influence our future. There are a lot of proponents of artificial intelligence claiming that it will make our human lives and work much easier -- on the other side are those arguing that robots and machines could eventually take control of people and, thus, the whole planet. So, are we creating a new "Frankenstein" and are not entirely aware of the consequences of further developing artificial intelligence or is it all just paranoia that stands in the way of natural scientific and technological development, and artificial intelligence is evolved to help us cope with some mechanical tasks? And how will it impact human beings?

Quite a lot of people express fear that "smart machines" can potentially supersede human beings, and so there will be fewer jobs for people. Besides, it might cause the rise of unemployment, and human resources might not be so valued. But are those fears justified?

If we look at every company or organization, be it a plant for producing car details or a government agency, employees are the primary assets for any organization. Of course, a different type of work requires various skills, experience, preparation, etc., and one might argue that robots can be perfectly suitable for certain kinds of work, e.g. automated work at factories and plants. True, robots can be programmed to do a mechanical routine work, but they still lack creativity. And creativity is the main source of further development and work optimization. At some point, when people are tired of doing the same work over and over again, they naturally try to think about other ways of performing the task. Some great discoveries happened after doing tons of routine and boring work. We, human being, always try to look at the situation from different perspectives and are naturally prone to try out new things, and failures can only stimulate further development. The problems might occur when an employee has no real interest in the work he or she does and is concerned only about earning money. Such an employee can become a living 'robot' and, as a rule, is rather apathetic and non-initiative. That's why human resources department is so important nowadays. Human resources managers can help each organization find a right candidate, create motivational programs for employees, encourage them to grow professionally, resolve conflicts and what's more. Specialized employment services, like medical staffing agencies, can be particularly useful in finding the candidate who would be a perfect fit for a particular medical establishment as there are so many factors that need to be taken into account. Sometimes it's not enough to hire a person with good educational background and substantial experience -- other factors, like personality traits, ability to work with others, etc. should be taken into account as well. Hiring a wrong person might cause a lot of stress to others, and when we talk about medical staff, being constantly stressed might be a reason for making a wrong decision. That's why it's better to let professional do that part of work; besides, it can save a lot of time as well.

Although robots might be used as assistants in doing tough routine work, perform tasks under hard-for-human conditions, used as assistants in space exploration, I don't think they will supersede human beings. They lack creativity and can hardly perform tasks that would require immediate decision-making combined with knowledge, experience and constant professional development.