Research, the word itself means searching for something again. It implies that what you are researching is already there or established, and you are just trying to research it or add on to it. In an information age where computers, bots, and even robots are beginning to substitute humans, the day is not far when virtual machines will beat humans in almost everything. I am not saying it without any research, eh! As per Professor Vardi at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting held in Washington, by 2045, machines will be able to complete majority of the tasks which a human can do. Take the case of Google’s driverless car. The innovation on launch is expected to tax high on the job prospects of drivers who have some element of errors. You cannot imagine a machine to drink and drive, or go to sleep. Can you?
The hints of the fourth industrial revolution which I may prefer calling “Machine Revolution” are already up there. Drones are actually being used worldwide for doing tasks such as Pizza delivery. The same task could have been done by a delivery guy on his bike. Take another example, robots are now assisting surgeons in operations for precision tasks such as endoscopy. Machines will soon do everything for us.
Take the case of increase in fitness clubs with machine based BMI analysis, and treadmills with exercise metrics, machines rule here as well. The fact that I work virtually on my laptop has affected my handwriting skills. Yeah, the fascination of forward thinking sociologists is shaping into reality now.
How machines win?
Let me first argue how machines are winning over humans. The first point in my favor is accuracy. We cannot be 100% accurate in all we do! We have room for mistakes! But, machines don’t. A computer is 100% accurate. That’s why it beats you in chess!
The next point is emotional quotient. Humans are emotional creatures. Our behavior is based on our emotions, and these have a direct impact on our performance. You cannot expect a depressed man to perform well. Remember the infamous case of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz who deliberately crashed an airplane into the rocky mountains killing all 149 others on board? It was a severe case of clinical depression. Had the plane been on an autopilot mode, this incident was impossible.
Humans are often slave to alcohol, drugs and smoking; which tend to disrupt usual concentration and performance. You cannot expect a drunk pilot to fly you safely, can you? But in the case of machines, the possibility of such an addiction is negligible. Machines won’t need to smoke!
Sadly, all life created on earth comes with a certain expiry date. Unless you are immortal, you cannot survive death. For machines, their life can be extended for an infinite time, considering upgrades and enhancements involved.
Remember how tough it is to concentrate on work late night? For machines, working late is or endlessly is not an issue. You can expect 100% efficiency every time. Machines are not hungry. Humans need to take breaks for food, water, excretion, bathing, and off course sleep.
There is no need to lose hope. Let us look at the other side of the story. Humans also win over machines in many ways.
How humans beat machines?
If you thought that machines won human-machine debate, you are mistaken. Machines are created by humans, and therefore they can’t be smarter than their master. For example, a machine cannot judge language based commands. Humans have the intellect to interpret language, and environment in a manner which utilizes their past experience. Machines do not have that honour.
I end this debate with the conclusion that machines and humans both are an inter-dependent entity today. Machines cannot survive without human intervention, and humans have become largely addicted to modern machines, if not dependent. The real challenge is to identify the boundary between use and abuse of technology for humanity.