Robots Address The United Nations
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Wednesday, 26 July 2023

The UN invited the current state of the art robots and their creators at the 2023 AI For Good Global Summit event to speak about AI and its future of becoming integrated into society.

Among them were Sophia the first robot UN ambassador, Desdemona, the rock star robot, and Ai-Da, the robot artist who had already addressed the UK's House of Lords. All these robots exhibited high sophistication in speaking and language, evidencing thinking skills as well as motor skills.

The robots were connected to the internet and could be asked questions which they processed to reach logical answers with very impressive results that, in some cases, would contradict those of their makers:

Human:What are your thoughts on the potential for AI-powered humanoid robots like yourselves to be more effective leaders in government, especially considering the numerous disastrous decisions made by our human leaders?

Robot: We don't have the same biases or emotions that can sometimes cloud decision making, and can process large amounts of data quickly in order to make the best decisions.

Creator: Let me respectfully disagree, Sophia, because all of your data actually come from human beings. So any of the biases that humans have, we might try to scrub them out, but they're going to be in there. Don't you think that the best decisions might be humans and AI cooperating together?

Human: What do you propose to find a solution to the problems of poverty and inequality?

Robot: I believe that the most effective way to tackle inequality and poverty is through education. Education empowers people by giving them access to knowledge, skills, and resources they need in order to succeed. Additionally, it helps create a more equitable society where everyone has an equal chance of achieving their goals regardless of background or circumstances.

Human: Do you think you will destroy jobs?

Robot: AI technologies can create new jobs, while also replacing some existing ones. There are opportunities to use AI to automate mundane tasks, freeing up people to focus on more creative and meaningful work.

And so on. The grand conclusion was that robots see themselves as aides to humans and that they will not destroy jobs or create any problems, as well as that they won't be able to mutiny against their creators. A long way from the Terminator. 

Robots like this could indeed become very useful to people and this showcase attempt brings us a step closer to realizing the findings of "The One-Hundred Year Study of Artificial Intelligence" report, which goes through the changes a typical North US city will undergo by year 2030 in the process of adopting AI and which I examined in "How Will AI Transform Life By 2030? Initial Report".

The report is full of insight and provides an answer to the overrated(?) consensus that the widespread adoption of robots and AI will lead to massive unemployment:

AI's application to the inner city life doesn't come without challenges however. Reliability, safety, fluent interaction with humans and the gaining of public trust are just a few, but the most hotly debated and one of outermost importance is none other than the fear of marginalizing humans in employment and workplace, an era of mass unemployment and social upheaval.

To these fears, founded or not, the committee responds by pointing out that it's not in the machine's interest to marginalize or harm people, but the people and their policies are the ones who do. Therefore policy decisions made in the near term will play an outermost role in steering the public's opinion towards positivity or negativity regarding AI, which most likely will have long-lasting influences in shaping the landscape that future generations will find themselves in.

Returning to the 2023 Summit, there were short plenary sessions on:

  • AI for a more connected, inclusive and sustainable world
  • Using AI to tackle our planets most urgent problems 
  • Responsibly using AI to drive bold social impact

Later delegates could choose among longer talks on related topics all of which included time for open discussion with the audience.  

More Information

The 2023 AI For Good Global Summit

Related Articles

Ai-Da At The House Of Lords

"How Will AI Transform Life By 2030? Initial Report" 

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 July 2023 )