Iwould allow industrial robots to take care of elderly relatives butnot entirely. One thing everyone must understand is that the humanconnection and the love bond between people will never be replaced.Therefore, while I would use these robots to take care of theelderly, this does not mean that I would cease to care for, love andsupport these people in their last phase of life. The robots wouldhowever, play an integral role in improving the quality of life indifferent ways. For instance, intelligent robots can be used to pushalong the elderly on wheelchairs. I believe that such simple taskscan be easily delegated to robots without any issues arising. Anotherarea that I would happily apply robots in taking care of the elderlywould be performing simple tasks such as bathing them and evenchanging diapers in severe cases. I think that this would be helpfulin preserving the dignity of these people. Personally, I would preferto have a machine bathe me than to have my grandchild bathe me.Seeing me nude would be very uncomfortable and thus when a robot isassigned such tasks, there would be no cause for embarrassment. Assuch, for robots being employed in the care of elderly, it is notabout cutting the human link but it is about increasing efficiencyand in some way preserving human dignity.
However,the same thing cannot be said when employing robots to take care ofyoung children. Robots can be best employed in caring for youngchildren as play partners or learning trainers in their lives. Thisis possible because there are already intelligent robots in themarket that can handle language and speech training. These robots caneffectively work along human handlers in caring for young children.However, I am aware of the fact that children need and require humancare and love at this tender age. Such human care is important as ithelps develop the children’s sense of love and even create a bondwith parents or their handlers. It would be so sad to have a childthat is more comfortable interacting with robots than human beings.As social animals, human beings must learn social interactions andthe rules that go along with it from fellow humans and not read aboutit from books or hear it from robots.
Thebest way to employ robots in taking care of children is by using themfor specific tasks. Intelligent robots would come in handle intraining children to develop their cognitive skills. There arealready robots in the market that make very good play partners forchildren by performing certain tasks. For some, they help children inpuzzles and playing other games that aid in developing children’sthinking skills. Today, some parents have taken up the idea of usinglarge pets such as dogs and cats as play partners for children. Whilethese pets and robots cannot be fully entrusted to take care ofchildren for long, they can be play partners while the main carers orparents are engaged in other tasks around the house. Therefore, to merobots fit to take care of young children in certain circumstancesbut cannot replace human care needed by developing children.Nonetheless, where efficiency is all that is needed, then they can befully employed in other areas.
Forinstance, in the military robot soldiers would be very effective incertain situations. One of them should be acting as porters forsoldiers. In war, one of the most difficult and demanding activitiesis transporting supplies to soldiers at the battlefront. For somereason, human soldiers are better at making decisions, usinginstincts and intuition in performing some duties which cannot beachieved or is yet to be achieved in robots. Therefore, humansoldiers are still required in leading war efforts. Robot soldiersacting as carriers would reduce the number of human soldiers at warand increase the output of human soldiers available by carrying outsupporting roles such as carrying heavy luggage over difficultterrain. Another way that robot soldiers can be employed is testingdangerous weapons. This allows soldiers and military weapondevelopers the chance to test and assess the efficiency of someweapons without necessarily risking human lives. At war and in whathas already been demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan is thedeployment of robots in detonating bombs and other explosive devices.Previously, human solders have been employed in detonating bombsusing special protective clothing. However, such protective clothingmaybe useless against stronger bombs and explosive that canpotentially lead to loss of life.
Robotssolders also cut down the cost of training and maintaining solders atwar. I believe that at one time during the American invasion of Iraqand Afghanistan, it cost Americans more than a thousand dollars a dayto maintain a single solder at war as reported. Additionally, a largenumber of these soldiers engaged in the Iraq war experienced variousforms of disabilities for which they have to be compensated.Government was also forced to compensate families over loved ones whodied at war. These costs can be greatly reduced with increased use ofrobot soldiers.
Sharkely,N. The ethical frontiers of robotics. Science.322.5909.