What comes to mind when you hear the term Artificial Intelligence? Some equate AI with robots and androids.

The definition of Artificial Intelligence is: “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

Robots are “machines which resemble human beings and are able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically.” In essence, a robot is a computer, but androids are “robots created with a human appearance.” However, there are functioning robots that do not resemble humans.

One such robot is the iRobot Roomba Vacuum. Of course, if short, round, flat folks who roll around the room bumping into furniture do exist, then we stand corrected.

We all have moments when we behave in a mechanical and emotionless manner.

Do not ask for the opinions of females on this subject. Their reply will be, “when it comes to the male of the species, emotionless is their go-to behavior.”  In defense of men, studies show women are 20% more emotional than men. Therefore, when it comes to showing emotion, men rarely stand a chance.

Based on personal robotic behavior experience, this writer recalls a temp job with a bank. She spent eight hours a day for an entire week, copying over 100,000 documents needed for a lawsuit. The process was by far her all-time robotic moment. All she could think as she placed document after document on the copier was, “I went to college for this? I went to college for this?”

That robotic task turned out to be a diamond among the mountains of paper. The bank hired her fulltime. Her position turned into the job she always wanted, a legal assistant. As a bonus, she worked for the best boss in the world. Overall, that job was anything but mindless or robotic, and it lasted over 20 years.

Our minds are full of all kinds of information, but sometimes the simplest tasks elude us.

For example, this woman drives a pearl white Toyota Avalon she nicknamed “Lexus Lite” and “Lady Shark.” At work, she parked the car in the same place every day. Consequently, finding it was never an issue.

However, since retirement, almost every time she parks the Lexus Lite, like Pavlov’s dogs, she tends to approach the first white car in the approximate location of where her car should be. She does not realize her mistake until she grabs the door handle, and the door remains locked. So far, she has not set off any car alarms, but that annoying sound may be in her future if she continues on this path of mechanical behavior. Following each such grab-the-wrong-car-door moment, she glances around and hopes no one is watching, especially the owner.

Have you ever gotten into your car after work and arrived home without recalling a single moment of the drive? Such disturbing experiences happen more often than we care to admit.

We worry about possible traffic infractions. Also, what if the speed bump we hit was a person? When in doubt, check the front fender of your vehicle for blood or body parts.

In light of such mechanical behavior on the part of many people, we wonder whether Artificial Intelligence is here and thriving. What if we are not humans? What if we are androids programmed to believe we are human. In that case, when errors occur, it is because we experience a computer glitch, also known as technical difficulties.

The idea is not only feasible but plausible. Suddenly, all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

If our behavior appears to be robotic rather than conscious acts, then it may be a clue to our true nature. We are automatons going through the necessary motions without emotional engagement.

 

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