Patty Durongwong. Week 3. Lazier?..or Just Smarter?

Pretty much my entire life I’ve been told “to work smarter, not harder.” I found this piece of advice rather intriguing when related to the world of robotics. (A “world” of robotics? It’s more of an aspect being further integrated into our world). Robots, at least for now, are not made to replace humans – they’re made to make humans more efficient. In this sense, they are made to help us “work smarter, not harder.” However, there is a fine line between replacing humans and making the job more efficient. For example, my sister works in a food manufacturing factory as an operations managar overseeing the workers on the factory floor. She also, surprisingly, oversees the machines on the factory floor. These machines, some of which have the simple task of screwing on the cap to a jar of jelly, has technically replaced a human. Afterall, before these machines existed, it was a human whom screwed on the caps. However, when I asked my sister about this rather fine line she told me that there is still someone whom must oversee and operate the machine – if a bolt gets loose, a human must fix it. In this sense, robots are not really replacing humans, they are merely assisting us as we are assisting them. Humanity is progressing as robots are advancing.

Watching the Matrix in class was a perfect introduction into this weeks topic and the class as a whole. The futuristic portrayal of the robotics and technology in the movie revealed the power and advacement that robots hold. (On a side note, it is not until i really watched the Matrix that I realized how amazing the art and graphics are in the movie and how the artists of the movie worked so hard to portray the technological advacements as part of our world) Another movie also directly relates robotics as a humanoid – Alex Proyas’ I Robot. In this movie, robots are used as assistents in almost every way possible. Is this movie made to warn humanity of our rather fast developing technological world? Are we paving the way to self destruction? The movie outlines the effects of humanoids becoming too powerful and smart as they lack the power to reason and more importantly – love. The robots will sacrifice anything – including the human race – in order to protect the peace. Thus, perhaps this more and more technological world that we live in is not dictated by how advance we can possibly get in the world of robotics and technology, but when we will stop. However, to stop – it seems we must be working towards a goal and I have yet to find out what this technological goal is. So when will we stop? When will we decide that what we have is too much…or will we ever? It appears that we will always strive for something more.
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The art pieces that Proffessor Vesna showed in class as works of art with no immediate purpose is fascinating art. The pieces did not necessarily have utility but they did convey the advacements of robotics. Something I found similar to those pieces in our near proximity is the moving piece in UCLA’s sculpture garden – no real purpose but aesthetic beauty and speechless awe but absolutely fascinating; and perhaps we need more of these things in our world for it seems that only things that make our lives easier are important. These art pieces draw us away from the superficiality of technology as we look and appreciate the beauty of humanity and its progress through these pieces.

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