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How far are we from becoming robots

  1. Apr 21, 2007 #1
    What separates animals from humans is that humans can reason. Reason is what makes humans human, correct? For robots, there is no reason. There is only computing which is the correct way to do things. In other words, a robot can do something that receives more gain than loss. Where does this leave for us humans. Can we be grouped as some people are animals and others robots? Where does the label 'human' fit in?

    Us humans have evolved, robots as well, but not in the biological sense.

    Is it possible that us humans are evolving with the evolution of knowledge? If so, How do we know that what we bring to the world is good for the world and for us. Consider global warming, the first person who created the car and the group that created plants did not know what global warming or even the concept of it. In addition, how can we know what is ahead of us when the economy tells us what to think and by helping preserving the world we are destroying the economy. Consider if we were to spend as much money which is equivalent to the U.S.A debt to prevent global warming what would be the best choice of action? Help the world or help the economy? With this in mind the previous does this describe where the label 'human' fits in?

    Everything seems credible whether its in the TV, media and science. Where does our knowledge fit in? This is what i would ask to 'John doe' in the tv series of John doe.

    What i am really asking is that were we better off as caveman or what we are today.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2007 #2
    I am glad of the fact that I have not been eaten by some carnivoris beast. I am also glad that I have been cured of many diseases that I have been infected with during my life. I am glad to have had the oportunity to learn about the world around me through books without needing to experience every fact first hand. I am glad to have avoided physical violence. I am glad to have been able to live in an area of the planet which could not otherwise sustain my existance without human technology. I am glad that of all the souls to have ever been born I am one of a comparative handfull that have flown in an air craft. I am glad for much more than this and I would assume that many other people feel the same. So the answer is YES! Humanity is definatley better off now than previously.
  4. Apr 27, 2007 #3
    I had no clue what was the essence of my belief in my statement earlier. I just have seen the movie "the secret" and it made me feel that my thoughts are controlling what is the truth. So therefore, I have came to a rational thought that what i said earlier was merely what i have thought is wrong and what is actually wrong is my thought.

    The movie "the secret" can be located at video.google.com
  5. Apr 28, 2007 #4
    Venger wonders if "my thoughts are controlling what is the truth."

    Well, in a way, your thoughts are.

    I could try and convince you that 1+1 = 2 (just an example).
    If you think that it is not true, then (for you) it is absolutely false.

    This makes more sense with political arguments.

    I can say that Global Warming must be dealt with, or else the World may suffer.
    You can laugh at that: "There is no Global Warming."
    You believing it, makes it true.

    I live in my view of the Universe.
    I have viewpoints, and have beliefs . . . and Truth.

    You live in your view of the Universe.
    You believe what you believe, and you have your OWN Truth.

    This fact helps me live in a quiet World, while my friend is stuck in a World of Conspiracies.
    My World is truly quiet.
    His World is truly thorny, and full of awful people and awful nations.

    So, I can honestly say: "my thoughts are controlling what is the truth."
  6. May 2, 2007 #5
    Don't use the term "truth" to mean "belief". Maybe you think there are no truths, and that everything is a matter of belief, and so your statement reduces to "my thoughts are controlling what is my belief".

    If something is true then no amount of disbelief will make it false. I don't know whether global warming occurs or not. I don't know if there is a "globe". But I know that if global warming is occuring, then it is occuring no matter what anyone believes.

    We all have a world of our own inside of our minds, but this is apart from the world which we commonly believe exists outside of ourselves. You might believe that we can't make statements about the world (nihilism) but generally you will have to convince people of this point, before going on to make claims about "truths".
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  7. May 2, 2007 #6
    So, I should say: "my thoughts are controlling what is my belief "?

    I would say: My beliefs are controlling what I see as truth.

    When I use the word "Truth" I use it in the context of what I think is True.
    Certainly, there is a reality (e.g., Global Warming), which is either True or False, and no matter what I think, it will be as it is.
    If I think the sun rotates around the earth, a person can "prove" otherwise, but I can still believe that the sun rotates around the earth. To me, this is a Truth.

    But much of Life is me deciding what is True, and what is not true.
    If I "know" that my girlfriend is cheating on me, then she is.
    She could explain otherwise, and take a Lie Detector test, but I can still believe otherwise.

    If not for this, then Truth would be a state of existence that would have to be scientifically evaluated, and processed, and approved. I am using the less-proven form of Truth. If not, then even scientists will be arguing whether anything is actually True or not. And that's the Truth.
  8. May 2, 2007 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    Not at all. Animals do reason, and are even used in reasoning and decision-making research.
    What we don't know about potentially very sophisticated machines that may be developed, but we do know about humans, and suspect about animals, is that there are mental representations and transformations involved in their decision making. Humans are animals, homo sapiens specifically, and not robots. (p.s. read some John Searle - seriously, you'll love it) :smile:
    Humans have evolved. Robots have been further developed (by humans) in complexity.
    I think you might be twisting the definition of "evolution" here. We simply adapt to the environment. Those that are suited, pass on their genes. The ones that are not suited do not.
    I think it depends what you mean within the context of "better off", but I am not familiar with the TV program you mentioned.
  9. May 3, 2007 #8
    I'm a primitive thinker, i dont think critically. I find that thinking critically just gives us an excuse to say we are okay. In relation to the topic, I find building a human using cells is better then building a robot out of metal and not knowing their full potential. What I'm asking here is that Humans are influenced by others and robots are programmed to do the 'beneficial way'. (Please keep arguing i want to see where this leaves us) Like look at the movie the matrix.
  10. May 11, 2007 #9


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    If no machine is 100% efficent then I don't see robots surviving very long without humans. If humans are machines I don't see humans surviving very long either.

    "Very long" can mean any amount of time but if we compare the longevity of the Dinosaurs (approx 300 million years or so) to the extent of homo sapien life (in various forms) on the planet (4 million years) the longevity of humans has a ways to go to match that of the Dinos and appears to come up short.

    Still, I don't have the faith in robots that other's might and I would imagine robots becoming defunct after about 89 years without humans repairing them... no matter how well they were programed for self-sustainability.

    Does not compute:bugeye::confused::uhh::eek: :smile:
  11. May 15, 2007 #10
    I find Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" very interesting on this subject.
  12. May 15, 2007 #11


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    His trilogy "Robots of Dawn", "Caves of Steel" and another novel are great. The question and investigation throughout the books is "is it the crime of murder to kill a (highly advanced) robot?"
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