6 Skills You’ll Need in a Robot-Run World
It’s not that farfetched to say that one day in the not too distant future robots will be as commonplace as cell phones are today. Do you remember when phones didn’t work without a cord? It was a big deal when cordless phones could be operated as far as fifty feet from their bases. Then cell phones spread the astounding capability of taking your phone with you—wherever you went—connected to the telephone network via satellite!
It’s not that long ago that phones were only expected to be used for, well, making phone calls. Now, we access the entire world on the internet via cell data and get frustrated when there’s lag time. Our phones are computers, cameras, TVs, art stations, banking depots, shopping centers, security devices, gaming consoles, and more.
Robots will probably become a natural part of our lives, too, if the tech progression continues.
What can you do to be prepared?
Here are six skills you’ll want to have in a Robot-Run world. The first three are appropriate and expected. The second three are more… um, creative.
- Logic. Take a class in formal logic. The way electronic thinking happens is very logical and, in fact, mathematical. If you ever pick up the book “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, he does a great job of showing how robots follow their basic programming in a very logical way even when their behavior seems erratic. The movie, though it’s fun, doesn’t quite capture this.
- Learn some coding. Don’t panic. This just means learning how to give instructions so the robot will understand and respond as you want. I’m sure there will be very user-friendly lexicons. Have you ever said, “Hey Siri” to your iPhone? Same kind of thing.
- Practice problem-solving. Robots, no matter how sophisticated they get, are following instructions. They won’t be doing the problem-solving. You will. Puzzle games are a good way to develop this ability. You never know when you may need to outsmart a rogue robot with clever reasoning skills like Captain Kirk in “The Changeling.”
Are you the kind of person that thinks of “The Terminator” or “Robocopalypse” when you hear of robots running the world? Then these second three skills are for you!
- Water. If you’ve ever spilled any liquids on a computer, then you know it’s a weak point for electronics. So even though they may be manufactured to resist water in the future, there’s always a chance a good dousing will render a rampaging robot into a fritzing light bulb. Picture Dorothy melting the Wicked Witch of the West.
- React. Most of the robots will have specific functions they’re designed for and will stay on track with their active program. Their ability to respond to the unexpected depends on how people have trained them/instructed them to respond, which means they’re limited. In any situation where you’re threatened, jump out of the way, whether physically or metaphorically. Don’t just freeze up and think “Uh oh…” Jump, roll, run, dive, hide, whack it with a big stick, whatever comes to mind that interrupts the robot’s program. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish by just choosing to act.
- EMP. I suspect that in the future, small, handheld EMP devices will be standard tools for humans. The mildest strength would zap them into a temporary stupor. Then varying levels of intensity could range from minor damage all the way up to frying all the circuits and memory. Keep this handy as a last resort.
The Bottom Line
Remember: People designed the robots and coded them according to the way humans think. People wrote all the stories that paint a terrifying future of robot takeovers. People manufacture, sell, manage, and trade robots for their purposes.
If there is ever a robot catastrophe, there will be humans behind it.
And people like you will overcome it.
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