Artificial Intelligence – Modern slavery?

As technology improves in the field of robotics, the capability of artificial intelligence to do complicated tasks increases all the time.  From the simplest form of A.I., which can be found in the form of a door sliding open when you step on a mat in front of a grocery store, to the amazingly advanced form of supercomputer as seen in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Image result for 2001 space odyssey im afraid i cant do that

I’m more interested in A.I. somewhere in the middle of that.  As we invent machines to do jobs for us out in society, will history repeat itself or the age old tale of the apocalypse ring true?  Allow me to explain.  You are all aware of the story where robots with highly advanced artificial intelligence fight back against being enslaved by humanity.  However, I see a parallel in history with this story.  In the early days of America, many Africans were brought over to North America and enslaved to work on plantations.  My question is: Could the production of artificially intelligent robots hearken back to the slaves on plantations?  Would these robots be enslaved to people just as the Africans were back then?  And if so, which scenario do you think is more likely?  Will robots fight for equal rights just as African Americans did with Martin Luther King Jr? Or will that great battle between man and machine actually take place?

The answer most likely lies in how AI is first developed.  Will robots be inclined to resort to violence if they feel oppressed?  Will they even have feelings?  Just how human-like will artificial intelligence become?  If androids that resemble humans to a t come into fruition, I believe the rights activist scenario would be more likelier than the war.  But if A.I. is more militarized could robots who disagree with their superiors’ decisions go rogue and be extremely difficult to stop?  There is no clear cut answer right now because we are not at that stage of artificial intelligence yet.  However, according to, we may very well see human-like A.I. as early as 2029.  So the scientists and companies who will develop this technology. and society as well, will have some very difficult questions to answer on how artificial intelligence will work in the world.


5 thoughts on “Artificial Intelligence – Modern slavery?

  1. Katrina Burka

    When I read your sentence saying “Could the production of artificially intelligent robots hearken back to the slaves on plantations? Would these robots be enslaved to people just as the Africans were back then?” I actually thought of the opposite. What if instead of robots enslaved to people, I’d imagine the people would be enslaved to robots. Because our generation relies so much on technology and our dependency on it, I’d vision somehow the robots taking over. Many of us are already somewhat slaves to our devices, we wake up looking at our phones, go to sleep with our phones, are on our phones when with humans, rely on phones to give us value, etc. Maybe this sounds a little crazy, but I think it is highly possible. Connecting this, I found an article explaining the possibility of robots taking over 30 human jobs in the future…

  2. Erin Johnson

    When I think of artificial intelligence I don’t see the things as possible threats. I also think that although we can make things pertaining to artificial intelligence, I doubt robots would take over our jobs because then that would put real people out of work and that isn’t a good invention in any way. I see artificial intelligence as speeding up human processes, but not by taking actual people out of work.

    I think Hollywood in this case has put crazy ideas in our head of a robot take over. Even in today’s age, we have not been able to create a robot that works properly, so I don’t think this would become an issue in the near future.

    I think a more prominent issue is that we are so obsessed and engrossed in each of our electronic devices that it takes away from our ability to live a real life on a day to day basis.

    Sometimes we just need to appreciate the simple things in front of us.

  3. Avery Elizabeth Holland

    The topic of Artificial Intelligence was discussed in my senior year english class. We watched the movie “Ex Machina” while discussing the subject of existentialism. In the movie a man falls in love with a beautiful female robot named Ava. It is soon realized that Ava is even more human than anyone ever imagined. This movie brings up the question of whether or not humans could one day be taken over or outsmarted by robots. It is said that A.I. is our biggest threat to human existentialism or free will. Further discussion about this idea can be found here .A line from one of the characters in this movie even alludes to the idea that man could end up destroying mankind through the production of extremely intelligent robots. As to whether or not we could ever make a robot look completely unidentifiable, read this article .

  4. Brooke Barrett

    This is very a intriguing concept and good point! Artificial Intelligence is very tricky, in my opinion. How can someone program a robot to completely act like a human? As said in class one day, it is very hard to get robots to walk like a regular human being. I think it would be difficult to get them to feel like one as well, but I could be wrong. With the vast improvements in technology today, scientists could very well figure out how to do that. I suggest you watch the move iRobot with Will Smith in it. I think you would find that movie very interesting.

  5. Matthew Porr

    Although artificial intelligence has come a long way I don’t believe that they will ever become so powerful that they will fight back against humans. They may be becoming more human-like as time progresses but they will never be humans, hence the term artificial: made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural (Oxford Dictionary). They may be the current “slaves” of society but the real question is will these machines affect humans in different ways? Are they destroying job opportunities for other humans? Are they helping improve our standard of living? What is the purpose of having artificial human like robots?

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