22 February 2019
South Korean professional Lee Sedol lost in a series of Go matches against a supercomputer in March. Photo: YouTube
South Korean professional Lee Sedol lost in a series of Go matches against a supercomputer in March. Photo: YouTube

Should we fear or embrace robots?

When Google Inc.’s AlphaGo beat South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol in a five-game match in March this year, a lot of people began to worry that robots will take over most human jobs one day.

Robots are becoming increasingly reliable, even more accurate than humans, according to Hannes Streeck, chief executive for Asia Pacific of European logistics operator Fiege Logistik.

Robots can make calculations and analyses more accurately while optimizing efficiency using all kinds of resources, Streeck said.

By contrast, humans remain unchallenged in decision making and creativity.

So even as robots are taking over a growing number of human tasks, they are not about to replace human beings in more important endeavors.

Human innovation, critical thinking and creativity will continue to outperform artificial intelligence at least for the next few decades.

There is no doubt that countries with a high capability in design and creativity will continue to beat rivals that rely heavily on automation and machinery.

Products with human touch resonate with consumers.

Twenty years ago, people worried that computers will take our jobs but the reality is that workers enjoy more job opportunities because computers help them boost productivity.

Darwin’s theory tells us that humans adapt to the changing environment and keep evolving.

With the rise of robots, human beings are able to explore their potential.

Tesla founder Elon Musk, the inspiration for the Tony Stark character in the Iron Man movies, once said human beings should equip their brains with digital technology or they will be downgraded to the status of pets for clever robots.

Scientists have been testing “neural lace”, a wireless brain-computer interface, on mice.

They hope the interface will help animals monitor their bodies against disease.

If these experiments succeed, human brain power will grow by leaps and bounds.

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Senior Manager, APAC Merchandising and Strategic Marketing, eBay

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