Human Characteristics That a Robot Could Never Have
There are several relevant opinions in the world of science and technology, including from Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, that have warned of artificial intelligence catching up with and even surpassing that of people in the not-so-distant future. They envision a time when computers will simply be smarter in all areas where humans used to prevail. Fortunately, this scenario, frightening for many, will not be exactly like this. There are several differences between artificial intelligence, no matter how advanced, and human intelligence. We are going to focus on three of these differences, three human qualities that artificial intelligence will not be able to replicate (at least not in the near future): experience, values, and judgment.
Computers are certainly able to make choices based on the data that is available to them, however that it is very different from what is meant by “judgment.” Judgment is based on values, and values are learned from life experience.
An artificial intelligence (in summary, a very advanced computer) still doesn’t experience life as we know it, and so does not develop what we would call “values,” and therefore we cannot call the decisions they make judgements.
In addition, they have no significant basis on which to set targets or objectives (they react to instructions given to them). Presently, that places a fundamental limit on the role that they can occupy in our lives and society. What tasks would we be willing to delegate to a machine? Are we sure that it would make the best call? Is the data that we give it enough to ensure that it can make a decision, according to values that are universally accepted by humans?
There is no need to fear a future where artificial intelligence can take on various roles that are nowadays done by humans. As we have always done, since the first tools were devised at the dawn of humanity, people will work hand in hand with technology, no matter how advanced it is, to improve the outcome of that job and make the best decisions, based not only on data, but also our life experience and the values gained from it. The work of the future will not be exclusively reserved for artificial intelligence, capable of processing trillions of bits of data in a second, but for a team made up of both “robots” and human beings, who—expressing the strengths of both—will manage to act in the best possible way for the common good.