Sample Anthropology Paper on Robots; Transhumanism
So many issues revolve around the development of robots and the intolerance of humans with their imperfect nature. Among them is the concern that robotics, as a component of artificial intelligence (AI), will reduce the number of jobs, which machines can handle better than human beings. This fear comes in the wake of more development of the technology. The majority of the people wonder whether it is time that robots should be used to enhance human beings. On the other hand, some people appreciate the improvement of human capacities through advanced artificial technology that is behind the production of human beings. Robots as a product of artificial intelligence assist humans to overcome prevailing weaknesses. Artificial intelligence is an advanced technology that seeks to produce robots to replace human beings in the future. The study argues that even though robots are machines, they are highly recommended as human aides in the present and future generation.
According to Jiang, transhumanism (H+) is a politically and emotionally charged term to refer to the augmentation of the human condition. The main objective of this technology is to improve the intellectual of human beings, physical and psychological abilities. Transhumanism has been useful in different fields. In the medical field, there is the neurological enhancement of the neural implantation. Even though neural pharmaceuticals and neurological enhancements have been useful, it is likely to result in an extinction of humanity, since human beings are likely to be turned to robots. Radicals base their arguments on diverse academic disciplines including philosophy, bioethics, and medicine.
Artificial technology and robotics are evolving at a high-speed so that human beings are precarious of the technology. This is felt in many professions as unemployment is increasingly becoming pronounced. The computer processors are growing exponentially brawnier with every generation. As these technologies expand singly, they increase the developments of other segments. For instance, AI on 3-D printers is likely to produce robots, which will build better 3-D printers. In the past two decades, analog discs were the significant medium in the music industry. Presently, the MP3 and the streaming audio have taken over the industry. With the development of robots in this manner, they are likely to take over human thinking and live as humans. Such developments are present in the department of agriculture where machines have replaced the muscle power. The information technology sector is, however, the worst hit since machines are presently thinking better than human beings are. In addition, AI has introduced the self-driven vehicles, which operate in a similar manner a human brain does. These machines are advanced equally as the human brain as they can understand and respond to any behavior appropriately. Human brain applies numerous rules whereas the software is able to negotiate accurately a corner in a new path. These vehicles are just robots that are controlled by a series of algorithms coupled with accumulated experience of driving.
AI continues to achieve unthinkable feats. The manufacturing industry is another field where its advancements have brought to insurmountable achievements. At least 25% of the workers continue to lose their jobs annually due to increased adoption of the technology. This shows that human species are becoming irrelevant as the machines take up their positions. One wonders what the human workers will move to next following the increased acquisition of the technology in numerous fields. It is, therefore, evident that automation is taking effect on the labor market. Much increase has been felt in the advent of the creation of high-end jobs. Similarly, many middle-skill jobs have been lost in the process. It is possible to discount fears over technological unemployment in light of corporate profits hitting high records (Dashevsky). However, the labor market continues to slow down due to numerous contributing factors. One aspect is the unequal distribution of productivity among the employed.
Proponents for the Expansion of Robotic Technology
The majority of the public wonder what will happen if robots replace human beings. The fear around robots taking the place of man need to be controlled since artificial intelligence is behind the creation of new jobs. According to Dashevsky, machines are indeed outperforming humans in different sectors. In the 19th century, there was a growing concern of machines replacing human workers in the textile industries. The anxiety of the public is understandable since the majority of the workers became jobless as machines took over. Rather than crippling the economy, the technology improves greatly the living standards of most workers. In addition, new positions that benefited from the rising technology are supplanted in place of the lost employment. Therefore, the public ought to appreciate that the technology replacing them is making new higher-skill jobs in the future.
Neurological enhancements are useful for bioethical equality since it has been useful in achieving comprehensive potential to the normal people to overcome biological limitations and the entire society. This is because biology is varied in relation to organic mutation. For instance, natural selection has been a normal condition that has acted on the human condition since time immemorial. Therefore, the introduction of robotic through AI is an addition to facilitating the evolutionary process. The expected outcome is that humans will be happier and live more fulfilling lives.
A study in Britain proved that there is an increased cognitive function and increased memory call after using nootropic (Jiang). The study proves that application of methylphenidate is significant on the performance of tests in working memory and in planning. Normal people use working memory in a learning process. Consequently, they should enhance their cognitive function and preserve information by using the assistance of the enhancer. This implies that college students can retain information necessary for them to pass the college admission exams by applying the cognitive enhancers. Brain implantations have been found to increase learning process by improving cognitive function. In addition, transhuman technology applied in the production of robots is beneficial to people with cognitive abilities and neurological diseases. It is proven scientifically that the biomedical enhancements are useful in making human beings smarter, stronger, quicker, and able to live much longer by overcoming the frailties of aging. People, in addition, are able to take pleasure in richer emotional lives. The scientist goes on to affirm that cognitive enhancers are able to stave off normal and pathological age that is related to cognitive declines (Buchanan 4). Therefore, when the society will come to embrace these developments, better and safer drugs will be produced to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and life will be more enjoyable.
Radicals against robotic technology argue that neurological enhancements are unnatural and contrary to human nature. They feel threatened that the robots can replace the natural environment human beings have been accustomed to.
This argument is flawed since it overlooks the fundamental human want and self-development. The argument implies that the move to enhance oneself is flawed logically. Humans strive to improve themselves even since their inception. This has been mainly through technology and language. The drive to improve oneself is a component of the very nature. It is evident that through literacy, numeracy, and scientific revolution, human beings have sought to enhance themselves (Jiang). This is further evident with the advent of the internet. The fact that people utilize medicine for healing does not imply that the healthy people are transformed to gods; rather it implies that people desire to live better lives (Buchanan 4).
Another argument against the development of robots and utilization of the robotic technology is that production of robots requires economic stability. This implies that countries, which are economically stable, are likely to produce and utilize the robots more than the unstable countries. The fact further implies that there will be more social class tensions due to an inconsistent proportion of the economy. The developed nations and more stable people will augment themselves with the enhancements and robots resulting to more competition making the non-enhanced people fruitless in the society. Radicals go on to argue that the use of robots might aggravate social inequality by disproportionately favoring the elites.
This argument is erroneous since it is based on the contest of education as the main revelry. In reality, acquisition of knowledge is the main basis of the social class differentiation. This is part of the illegitimate and flawed reasoning; as previously, there has been an introduction of technologies such as the use of mobile phones and literacy. These technologies have rapidly spread to all the social structures after initial monopolization by the elites. The probability of a robot as part of the technology following the previous suit is still unknown. Moreover, education was introduced to enlighten the public, even though it has been tainted by the competitive nature of admissions to institutions. Similarly, AI behind the production of robots is meant to enlighten humans and improve life. It is, however, inconsiderate to disregard the probability of the technology dividing masses. However, it is likely that similar to previous technologies, the use of robots will spread rapidly across the economic divide and reduce social tensions within the economic groups. In addition, there are numerous human enhancements, which have resulted in diverse socioeconomic lines, for instance, the internet. However, the overabundance of knowledge is necessary to enlighten the masses. This is especially real since we have the internet and education have spread to third world countries where lack of sufficient teachers is still a problem.
Critics are reluctant to embrace the technology since some adverse effects are related to it. The same critics fail to realize that anything that stimulates the brain operates as a neurological stimulus since they alter the neural functioning of the brain. Opposition against the technology is baseless since isolation of the physiological changes mainly on the drugs is insufficient. The most prevalent form of negative physiology effects, including education and other conventional interventions, are components of physiological effects on the brain. Moreover, conventional neurological modifications result in more permanent neurological modifications than drugs. For instance, learning as neurological modifications has affected the processing of language in the brain. Therefore, it is improper to assume that robotics will harm the human functions whereas some common stimuli result in such dramatic alterations.
It is, in addition, baseless to argue that the robotic technology is inhuman and unnatural whereas cognitive enhancements, which operate in a similar manner, have been utilized in different areas and used to assist people with neurological deficiency. Furthermore, the technology bound robots are more advanced and therefore, more useful in enhancing normal functions of human beings. Thus, appreciating transhuman technology is an advanced logical progression into the future of the medical discipline, as human constraints will ever prevail until humanity decides to do away with it (Jiang).
Transhumanism technology enhances human condition by balancing ethics and science. Irrespective of the associated challenges and weaknesses, potential benefits to the society exceedingly outweigh the potential costs and weaknesses. For this reason, neurological enhancements and the use of robotics should be endorsed in the society even though the procedure involves circumvention of morals.
AI and robotics are indeed taking over every disciple and competing with humans. Rather than fighting robotics technology, humans need to prepare adequately for this digital revolution. One way is to advance the education sector by introducing a parallel revolution in the system. Instead of preparing students for the jobs in the past century, the system should incorporate adaptability as a skill to every discipline. Students should be ready to learn by acquiring the soft skills on which humans can have an advantage over a competitive advantage over machines. Specific skills such as analysis, planning, creating, problem-solving, and empathy are highly essential in most fields. It is essential for the public to realize that jobs will not disappear but will change due to the application of machines. In addition, human beings must understand that computers and the AI are to complement human skills. Therefore, there is a need to arise and take advantage of the technologies.
Buchanan, Allen. Better Than Human: The Promise and Perils of Enhancing Ourselves. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2011.
Dashevsky, Evan. Will Robots Make Humans Unnecessary? PC, 3 February 2016,
www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2498688,00.asp. Accessed on 21 March 2017.
Jiang, Alan. Ethical Implications of Transhumanism: The Nest Step in Human Evolution. Emory Libraries & Information Technology, 7 August 2015,
scholarblogs.emory.edu/psych323mcgee/2015/08/07/ethical-implications-of- transhumanism-the-next-step-in-human-evolutio/. Accessed on 21 March 2017.