Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Robots Are Taking Over!

Movies where robots and artificial intelligence take over the world, such as “I, Robot” and “The Matrix Trilogy”, are becoming more prevalent in today’s culture. This is probably because robots ARE taking over the world. With new self-checkout systems, electronic nurses, and commercial production machinery, humans are being displaced from possible jobs. As a result, the human connection created at the checkout counter or with a nurse is being replaced by technology.

Montefiore Medical Center’s Home Health Agency now uses a new electronic nurse of sorts in the homes of patients who have heart problems. This “nurse” monitors vital signs, questions the patient concerning their health, and takes care of the patient without the need for a human nurse. So far, this technology seems to work, but is it more effective at provided medical care than an actual nurse? The nurse is able to see the patient and evaluate their health status better, especially if the patient answers the electronic nurse’s questions incorrectly. Also, the nurse can physically save the patient if they need CPR or any other sort of emergency medical care, while the machine cannot. However, the electronic nurse is less expense in the long run and can provide medical care for the patient 24/7. This new electronic nurse might be able to put up a fight for nursing positions and beat humans out.

Self-checkout systems are also becoming more common in grocery and retail stores. These machines are quick and easy to operate once you learn how to, but they may prove difficult to learn for the older generations. As a consumer, you are able to check out more quickly and avoid the long lines and the normal checkout counters. Conversely, fewer jobs are available in stores who convert to this technology. Checkout clerks will be less common, and fewer jobs will be available.

With any technologies like the aforementioned ones, there is a loss of human connection. When we stop interacting with each other, our ability to interact in society is hindered. Society needs these human connections to remain a society. As quick and efficient as these new technologies may be, we lose both jobs and human connection as a result. Robots will effectively take over the world at this rate.

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