Phani Raj Kuchibhotla

Curious Curator

Does AI need to replace humans?

2017 is the year when AI & ML almost became integral part of every product/service built by major tech companies (AFGAM). At the same time there is another trend, where people predict that AI will eventually start replacing humans and we should start to learn to live alongside AI (robots) at work and home.

“Does AI really need to replace humans?”

Historically every tech that was predicted to replace humans, did never replace them, but only enhanced their efficiency and help them be more productive. Be it Printing Press/ Automobiles/ Engines/ Computers, each of them did more good than harm to humans.

Self Driving Cars & Robotic assistants

Once such industry, where people fear a lot when it comes to replacing humans is the self-driving cars. There has been a lot of progress when it comes to cars being able to drive themselves, but given the scale of the problem and the reach required for it to be able to replace humans, I believe it is not something that my current generation will see to fruition.

So going back to the topic, for us (humans) to learn to live alongside robots , I think , self-driving technology is the best place to start . The best approach is let AI become the driving assistant, a little bit more advanced than the current Tesla and not completely autonomous. Though all of us (if not all, most of us) hate the passenger seat drivers who constantly keep giving suggestions on the ways to drive, this will help humans get used to working together with (robotic) assistants in a day to day life.

Ever since we started using own vehicles as mode of transport (animal based or automobiles) the human was always in control. So even with AI, I believe it should not completely replace the driver, the driver(human) should always have a feeling that he is still in control of the overall vehicle. (Robotic) AI assistant can empower (human) drivers to make the final decision while driving. They can provide all the info which is not obvious to drivers like

  • Predicting the behavior of the car infront and inform the driver about possible slowdown or un indicated turn
  • Indicate about a car racing uncontrollably into your car
  • Alert the driver about vehicles/other humans in his blindspot

Over the period, this way humans get used to taking help from their (robotic) assistants and become more efficient in whatever they do.

Medical Field

Though we talk about robots being replacing surgeons that threat there is not as much as in the case of self-driving cars. The approach taken there I believe is the best approach for human - robot co-existence.

AI, I believe should empower humans to make better decisions and not replace them.