开源日报 每天推荐一个 GitHub 优质开源项目和一篇精选英文科技或编程文章原文,坚持阅读《开源日报》,保持每日学习的好习惯。
今日推荐开源项目:《Just do it! awesome-minecraft》
今日推荐英文原文:《What if Your Colleague is a Robot》

今日推荐开源项目:《Just do it! awesome-minecraft》传送门:GitHub链接
推荐理由:Minecraft,这游戏具有几乎无穷的可能性,你能在里面种菜打怪,能弹琴能放视频能上网,甚至能观察现实里的自己。这个项目就是关于 MC 这个游戏各种各样的资源合集,当然了,这些只是个开始,与这个游戏相关联的资源数数不胜数,重点是想到自己该做什么,然后再决定拿什么来做,这一点和写代码倒是有异曲同工之妙。
今日推荐英文原文:《What if Your Colleague is a Robot》作者:Emilio H. Kalifa

What if Your Colleague is a Robot

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and the Bizzare Future of Collaboration


Throughout history, we have seen how organisations across entire industries have embraced robotic technology, and how today, it is almost impossible for some of these organisations to operate without it. Every day, we are witnesses of how technology is integrating into nearly every aspect of our life at work, and in many cases, we depend on it to perform most of our daily tasks.

Over many decades, organisations have been using robots to automate daily processes. In fact, every day we are surrounded by them, whether at home, in the street or at the office — from ATMs and vending machines to more sophisticated surgical robots and self-driving cars. These robots come in different forms and shapes, and perhaps they don’t look like humans, but the enterprise loves them, and they surely are a key driver for massive productivity.

Now, imagine a regular day — wake up in the morning, go to your workplace, grab a coffee, and start a conversation with your colleague… Everything seems normal, you engage in the conversation, exchange thoughts and new ideas, then finish and move on to your desk to start working. An hour later, your manager asks you to analyse and compare five long reports. You don’t have time for that, it would take too many hours of work and tons of energy; plus there are other things that you have to do. So, you ask your colleague for help and amazingly get the results back within an hour.

This sounds very unrealistic, right? No normal colleague would do this work for you or even finish it so fast. But what if I tell you that your colleague is a ROBOT? A robot that looks and acts exactly the same as any other human being. It can talk like you, think like you, and almost reason like you do. But it is still a robot. How would you feel?

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Robotics:


Many robots are not artificially intelligent, they are programmed to perform repetitive tasks or movements to manipulate objects in the real world. However, some experts suggest that what constitutes a robot is its ability to think and make decisions, but doesn’t it imply some level of AI?

On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence (AI) aims to replicate human intelligence behaviour by addressing skills like problem-solving, learning, perception, and reasoning. It can involve some level of Machine learning (ML), which is based on the idea of granting machines access to data that will allow them to learn by themselves.

AI together with ML and robotics intend to create a man-made machine/robot with human intellectual capacities that can be able to formulate original ideas by itself. We have not achieved this yet, but we have made a lot of progress.

You have probably already heard about Sophia, the social robot that looks like a human. If you know what I’m talking about, think about a more sophisticated version of Sophia working and collaborating with humans.

Other big developments include the so-called “Robotic Process Automation” (RPA). These are software robots that help businesses and employees do simple jobs by replicating human interaction. It is only a software and not a physical AI Robot, but this is definitely a significant breakthrough.

The real challenge is to make AI understand how natural intelligence works because we know how our brain functions, and we can teach AI how to think and learn, but we still don’t know exactly how all these connections can lead AI to the use of abstract reasoning or “common sense”.

My Colleague is a Robot:


Going back to where we started — robots designed to share a workspace with humans by carrying out physical and intellectual tasks, building up ideas with humans, learning from our environment, questioning decisions, and finding solutions together, will close many gaps for errors, reduce risks, and exponentially increase productivity.

Robots can already do many things much better than humans, but it still takes humans to interpret their work and apply the results in strategic and creative ways. For this reason, we need to make sure that robots are seen as complementary rather than competitive, and assign them the work that no one wants to do, the one that is intense and repetitive; leaving the part of the work that involves judgement and expertise, to humans.

Imagine one more time, the same scenario where you engage in a conversation with your colleague, but now you know for sure and from the beginning that it is a robot. Would it feel weird?

Probably, and I know it sounds scary as well, but if we give this deeper thought and think about the benefits and not the drawbacks of having an artificially intelligent coworker, it might just change our perspective. Some of these benefits include:
  • Safety: Tasks that involve the use of heavy machinery, sharp objects, very high temperatures, chemicals, and others, will be performed by robots. This will protect workers in dangerous and unhealthy working conditions.
  • Speed and Consistency: AI robots work fast and without any distractions, they have no need for vacations and are available 24/7.
  • No Errors: Robots have almost no room for mistakes, they are precise and deliver quality.
  • Happiness & Productivity: Most importantly, all these perks are intended to increase both, employee happiness and productivity. As mentioned before, these robots will take over those tasks that we don’t enjoy. From dangerous, tedious, and repetitive basic tasks to more complicated ones that require highly analytical skills.

Examples of Work That Can Be Complemented By AI Robots:


Data Journalists: This type of journalists are those who are focused on analysing data. AI robots could perfectly cover these work much faster and efficiently.

Secretaries: Administrative tasks like answering phone calls, sending emails, scheduling meetings, and others (including physical, manual tasks) can be done by AI robots.

Document-Review (Attorneys): Many attorneys have to search through thousands of documents looking for specific information. AI robots can filter information in a flash, they can also analyse it and generate reports. This work applies to other related fields as well.

Pharmacists: When you go to a pharmacy, an AI robot could scan your prescription and get your medicine. For over-the-counter medicine, you could indicate your symptoms and the robot will suggest a recommendation. Also, these robots could potentially have access to data from hospitals and your health records to make suggestions more accurate.

AI Police and Intelligence Assitant: AI Robots could potentially assist the police and agencies like the CIA by collecting, storing, sorting through, and highlighting key data that is necessary for investigations. They could also perform some physical duties like patrolling, arresting, and even directing traffic.

Botenders: Robots can be taught how to mix and serve drinks. Anything from beers to signature cocktails. They can make hundreds of them within minutes.

There are many concerns about robots replacing people and eliminating jobs, but these robots could potentially work alongside humans, collaborate and complement our work rather than taking over jobs. In fact, technology will create more jobs than it eliminates. Many jobs will change, and the new ones will require a new set of skills that we must acquire through advanced education and training systems boosted by AI.

If we are going to share a workspace with robots and see them as partners rather than adversaries, they must first experience the world as a human, meaning that they would need to be able to learn about us. This will make the interaction between humans and robots much easier and can also allow them to keep learning much faster.

Morality and AI Coworkers

What do we expect from artificially intelligent coworkers in terms of morality?


AI and robotics will have a huge impact on society, values, and human rights.

If we want machines to operate autonomously, at one point, they will require to collect a lot of data. But how much of these data do we want to share with robots? If a robot causes an accident, who would be responsible? Are we willing to give up our privacy to interact with robots? Can we even trust a robot?

More questions will continue to arise as technology develops, and it is up to us to answer those questions by working together to implement a structure that regulates and protects the contour of these innovations.

There are always two sides to every story, times of uncertainty will come and technology if gone wrong, can become dangerous. Therefore, we have to manage robots carefully, in the end, it is humans who will take charge of controlling, checking, and running the bots.

AI and robotics should no longer be feared, but rather be seen as a tool for collaboration.