On DVICE and other tech blogs, we're all always speculating which robot will emerge as the first real automated servant. According to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, maybe we've got that backwards — maybe it's the robots who will have human pets.
Speaking before a tech-minded crowd late last week, Wozniak painted a picture of the future that's, well, not very inspiring, let's say: "We're already creating the superior beings, I think we lost the battle to the machines long ago. We're going to become the pets, the dogs of the house."
Wozniak wasn't just flying off the handle when he said this. The co-founder of Apple and hacker hero tempered the claim by pointing out that we gladly hand over the work we do to machines. In his own lifetime, Wozniak doesn't think it's outrageous that he'll see an artificial intelligence as complex and smart as a human's.
"Every time we create new technology we're creating stuff to do the work we used to do and we're making ourselves less meaningful, less relevant. Why are we going to need ourselves so much in the future? We're just going to have the easy life… Once we have machines doing our high-level thinking, there's so little need for ourselves and you can't ever undo it — you can never turn them off."
It's interesting to think about: just how smart will robots and artificial intelligence get? Will an AI one day be entirely responsible for a medical breakthrough, from discovery to implementation? For the next big killer feature in a smartphone? For creating a beloved work of art? Will robots be advanced enough to fight for their own equal rights? Advanced technology is already an integral part of all those things.
We'd all love for a robot to be able to wash and fold our clothes or fetch us a beer. It will be one cruel joke indeed if it's our progeny still doing that, but for a robot. Then again, maybe that's just my horrible 21st century bias speaking.