Why Robots Simply Cannot Take Over The World…

…Just Yet.

aashi grover
3 min readOct 15, 2019
this is a super cool human-looking robot! ya never know, these things could take over the world one day!

So, what is a robot?

Essentially, a robot is a machine that can be programmed to do certain things. These machines can either be autonomous or semi-autonomous, meaning that they either need no external influence, or very little. Now, robots come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and styles, some of which have the capability to learn, and some of which do not.

But, can we not program robots to have knowledge?

Yup! But, what I mean to say is some robots can actually acquire knowledge from their surroundings, not just the knowledge handed to them through the code that programs them to do stuff. These are the types of robots people are referring to when they talk about Artificial Intelligence Takeover, aka, when robots take over the world. (For more information on Artificial Intelligence, see this article) These types of robots could potentially fall into the category of superintelligent machines in the near future.

Superintelligent machines

A superintelligent machines, as defined by Nick Bostrom, a University of Oxford philosopher (so basically a super legit guy) defines superintelligence as “any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest”. Some machine that posses this superintelligence include:

Theoretically speaking, robots can definitely get here quite soon, as we’ve already developed Narrow AI. Then you take a look at how long humans have inhabited Earth, you will notice that technology and AI is a teeny tiny dot in the grand scheme of things we’ve accomplished :)

Uh, so why can’t they take over the world?

See, currently, humans have only successfully developed a very narrow type of AI, right called Artificial Narrow Intelligence, which is a very basic type of intelligence that does not even come close to human intelligence. In order to reach a level of superintelligence, we would need to continue to develop Artificial General Intelligence, in which robots are expected reason, solve problems, make judgements under uncertainty, plan, learn, integrate prior knowledge in decision-making, and be innovative, imaginative and creative. We would then need to develop Artificial Super Intelligence, where robots can surpass human intelligence. Currently, we’ve been developing new technologies left and right, and you’ll likely see General AI seep into our world real soon!

*Important to note: The development of General and Super AI can and will completely reshape the world and life as we know it, forever, for good or for bad.

So… What would the world look like if they did?

Artificial Intelligence Takeover is a hypothetical scenario in which artificial intelligence becomes the dominant form of intelligence on Earth, with computers or robots effectively taking control of the planet away from the human species. If this actually happens on planet Earth, we can definitely expect for the human race to go extinct, and our world to literally be run by super cool pieces of metal and code.

Key Takeaways

  1. Robots can either be given a bank of knowledge to use (called Narrow AI) or can acquire knowledge from its surroundings (called Super AI).
  2. Superintelligence is key when it comes to robots taking over the world
  3. Artificial Intelligence Takeover is 100% hypothetical, but can definitely become a reality soon.

To sum it all up, robots cannot take over the world just yet, although, it can soon become a reality…