Robotic technology has the potential to enhance human life in numerous ways. However, as Professor Prabhu Guptara argues, this technology also has the potential to become the greatest threat to humanity if it falls into the wrong hands. In the second installment of this two-part series, he offers his recommendations for how to deal with the potential threats robots may pose to humanity.
Some people accuse me of being over-optimistic about Japan's ability to launch sophisticated entertainment and personal-service robots by 2015.
Well, I would simply invite them to consider how many cases they can recollect, in the last 50 years, where Japan has missed a nationally-set industrial target.
So I have no doubt that the Japanese will unleash the next generation of sophisticated robots starting in about 2012. That will mean that the question occupying most people's minds then (sadly, too late!) will no longer be ecological sustainability.
In my view, the real question for the future of the globe is not sustainability.
Regretfully, as far as I can see, the world will not take either my recommendations or my warnings seriously. So what will be the result? Japanese robots, launched from 2010 at the latest, will rapidly displace most human jobs in both the developed and developing worlds.
They will also replace the kinds of robotic machinery that is being installed in the "latest" factories, for example in China.
Even without the cultural reformation that is otherwise necessary, Japan will therefore finally break through its stagnation, and move from being the world's second-largest economy — a position it has held for over 30 years — to becoming the world's leading economic power by 2020 at the latest.
That’s the benefit of being the master inventor of all these robots.
What can I say?
Just another guy's opinion on the implications of the coming rise of the robots.
Also see Robotic Nation.