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Would You Befriend A RoboCop?

04/06/2018, 8:00am EDT
By Karen Heraldo


A couple of months back I had the opportunity to talk with a group of first responders here in Mississauga. From that time forward I have paid attention to the topic discussed that day. There is a general theme when people ponder over A.I.

I listened as the police in particular mentioned "RoboCop" and to the concern in their voices.  Not only are people of all occupations being told machines might replace them, but the idea of a robot enforcing any type of restraint on others was not where these officers wanted to go. And for that I thank them.  It gives us insight into a local officers' mindset and that it really is one of keeping the peace first.  Since it will always be a frontline worker who can detail the needs and requirements and ask the best questions - we listened.

Does the A.I. concentrate or distribute power?  Decentralization maintains quality and integrity and balances out total power.  Centralizing without the properly, enforced oversight creates dictatorships. And so if we stick to tied and true practices of decentralization or begin holding leaders accountable for answers, then the A.I. doesn't seem so scary.

Does the A.I. liberate us?  The machines reach highest potential when working in conjunction with a human mind. They can never be trusted to just run off without being monitored somehow, someway at some time. Unlike a good human.  Much of our current day technologies have not even yet been perfected.  Getting what we have now to work at optimal levels and moving on from there to reiterations is a smarter long-term visionary goal.

So this begs to ask the question why make A.I. so life like?  If it is the physical labour capacity of the magnificent human that is trying to be re-created, a foreman or Project Manager is still required for proper unfoldment of any project. If you are attempting to get the A.I. to do the job of the foreman/Project Manager there is no need for the machine to actually resemble a human. We have many examples of this already with Alexa, Cortana, Siri and the likes. A doctor will still need to interpret diagnostics generated from A.I.  Scientists will still need to consult other scientists for greater insights.  A.I. with physical attributes would still need to be monitored and machines without would still need to be followed through on. It only works in tandem and in some cases, might even cause stagnation. 

The general consensus among the public is that A.I will be of benefit to man kind if placed in the hands of those who wish to free up humanity from the mundane and repetitive to unleash it's creativity, not to replace human workers. 

An example here in Mississauga comes on garbage days.  Due to the newly integrated trucks. leaders have decided that only one operator per truck is needed now.  Although it is fun to watch the machine arms grab the bins and toss the garbage or recycling into the trucks, it's not perfect.  The amount of debris and garbage that does not make it is very noticeable after the trucks are gone. All of us neighbors have to go outside and pick up the bits and remains left behind.  This never happened when there were two men per truck!!

And nobody felt RoboCop really was a good idea except for in a fantasy film.  You have to wonder about the emotional state of those who desire to build  metal police officers anyway.

Shout out and congratulations to the students at St. Paul's Catholic Secondary School for winning the 2017 Government of Canada History Award.  We are proud of our young Mississaugians.


Tag(s): Karen Heraldo