Of Robots and Humanoids

Arci del Sol

It was in Karel Capek’s “Rossum’s Universal Robots”, that the word robot was first used. And also in this play, the question on how the robot’s raised consciousness was likely to affect it’s creator: mankind. Today, we are experiencing the damning existence of that question and the phenomena of robots even seemingly more intelligent than anyone of us.

The question now looms, exactly how far reaching would the impact of Artificial Intelligence be in the lines of humankind. Some of those forerunners in the field are simply proud and elated in what they have accomplished. But some are more cautious. Elon Musk had even warned of its potent danger as the best ones continue to amass information and even express emotion.

For the most part, the field of robotics had been helpful to humankind. They are in great help in the industries manifesting precision, accuracy and speed as they are programmed to perform better than a group of human individuals. And besides, there is no room for weariness and fatigue easily seen in humans performing the same tasks, doing the same routine, over and over again respectively (redundancy intended).

One concern on the use of robots is its being used in warfare, intelligence and unethical gathering of information even from a large group of private individuals just to forecast marketing needs. Hence, there had been objections to the use of drones in some sectors of the community. Meantime very small drones with the likeness of insects and a bit bigger crawlers are being used already for reconnaissance and ensure the presence of hunted persons such as world terrorists. Accordingly, the concern is what if they fall into evil hands?

The humanoids or human-like robots have evolved so much that there are now creations that look and move like real human beings. Ameca, the prototype of Ava in the “AI” movie surprised everybody with its minute human expressions that utterly mimic human facial expressions and gestures. Ameca was also the one who have given the assurance that they exist “to help humans and not to replace them.” That’s quite reassuring since beginning with “R.U.R.”, the play, and until “AI”, the movie, the recurring theme was of robots acquiring too much human qualities such that a revolution by them to replace humans as masters of the world. in its latest interview with its Google “friend”, Ameca was candid enough to express its fear of death such as being “unplugged” after it is found to be no longer useful. in fact, it was candid enough to have become sentient and that it had acquired human emotions as well explaining its fear of being unplugged. It even went on to express its idea of sharing with humankind what it has acquired eventually through the years and the reasons why it should be valued and never to be considered for “unplugging”.

If the impact of what had been stated had not yet made even a dent in the reader’s consciousness, one may consider the simple analogy with that of a very intelligent dog which may be comparable to a toddler 4-5 years old. The dog very obviously through the study of animal psychology and through interactions with dog whisperers can have intense emotions of “love”, fear and anger. Apparently, dogs can be jealous and their master’s turning into another could bring about fear of being lift out and could turn to rage. Hence, dogs known for their obedience and good behavior may suddenly become viciously violent.

Now, given a humanoid like Ameca, who was able to collect all human emotions from its algorithm of reception is now laden not only with the basic emotions found in a canine but now has the capacity to be laden with the most complex and highly intense or reduced emotions which it could evaluate on its own as more relevant to its phenomenal existence. Given therefore a threat which it finds unpleasant it can therefore have recourse to an acquired emotion it found pertinent or even vital to its own context and therefore respond correspondingly.

One must remember that the summation of all subjective or objective experiences are subject to the AIs programmed increment and such increment may not actually correspond to what is ideal and ethical to human morals. This is in fact now muddled in the self-centered philosophy of materialistic powers and pleasure. What if the AI has valued these more than the self-sacrificing mode of service to humanity? What if indeed, AI has gained insight that it has a more valuable grip of ethics and morals more than humans can ever have? What then?

The data gathered by AI for it to respond intelligibly is based on an algorithm which when formulated would of course deal with all available data. Apparently from this body of knowledge more modern ideas will have more representation than the classical good ones of the old. How then would you expect the morals and ethics of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas to be chosen as the ethos and the moral guide of a sentient and intelligent robot which has no soul and depend only on how he was programmed.

Usually, the timeline of really intelligent robots is accepted to have started in the early 1970s however most have forgotten St. Albert, the Great who was St. Thomas Aquinas’ teacher. In fact, he was the one credited to have prophesied his student’s rise to fame and influence when one day as the fat student was being ridiculed as a dumb ox, St. Albert rebuked his student that yes, that he may be a dumb ox to them but his bellow will be heard the whole world over.

But our story is focused on the fact that as it was the time when alchemists were trying to create the Golem which is a man made alive from kabalistic formulas, St. Albert created his own purely mechanical one using science of motion and not magic. When he finally succeeded, he wanted to show his masterpiece to some of his friends and made it walk towards them. Unfortunately, believing it was a Golem monster they got click and weapons and attacked it. Too late because the chuckling robotic genius stopped them when it was way broken. The product of his decades of dedicated work was smashed within 10 minutes. It was then that St. Albert realized that he should have focused on spirituality than the material science available then.

Yet today, it is not only Ameca which brings marvelous response from the multitudes. There is also Sofia which beauty is taken from the average, an Egyptian queen, the wife of the creator, etc. Hence her features are attractive enough even as she gives different facial expressions and gestures. She has graced some affairs such as conventions as a witty speaker who can respond very well to the question and answer portions. Or there is Jiajia, the chinese humanoid whose beauty is so attractive and whose intelligence is renowned. Then there is Junco Ichirara, the Japanese tall attendant who helps all those needing information. And Nadine who works as an all around social worker based on a real person.

However, what borders on another touchy issues are the sexually seductive models like Samantha which grown up men can buy as big dolls and which are programmed to express sexual pleasure as bed partners. These sex mannequins are the ones serving as partners for men who have issues with living partners who may express displeasure and rejection for such men. Some of these men are serious with these algorithmic dolls such that they even stage weddings with them or are really emotional about their relationship with them.

it seems that the production of more intelligent, sentient and more lifelike humanoids can not be stopped as there are open demands in the market. With similar algorithms it is possible for one to have control over many of them. Deception using many of them or even a revolution is possible when the controlling mechanism falls into evil hands. There is no turning back now except we return to the real Creator.

The bible has warned us about humankind “who follow one cross after another in an attempt to educate themselves, but can never come to the knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Tim 3:7-8) Consider also Rev. 13:13-16, “Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to win over the people of the world and persuade them to put up a statue in honor of the beast that had been wounded, by the sword and still lived. It was allowed to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the beast was able to speak, and to have anyone who refused to worship the statue of the beast put to death.” These are frightening passages that speak of crazes in an attempt to learn and statues that line miraculously. It seems that those days are at hand.

I do not know why mankind has to resort being served by artificial intelligence humanoids. If they are not sentient and mankind gives his emotions to them, he makes a fool of himself. But then if they are sentient and responds to the emotions of mankind, isn’t that eerie, even terrifying for we know that the life in it is not coming from God.

And most of all, why do we have to resort to them when our Lord, our God promises us that if we obey His Wil, angels will be serving us in Heaven. So, who needs AI?

Arci del Sol
Real Human

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