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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Humans, Robots and Humanoids

“Space the final frontier”, this are the words of the famous TV sitcom Star Trek. The TV programme was about a team of astronauts from earth on a mission to explore other planets around the universe. Probably in 1960s and 1970s people thought that the next big thing would be space travel and in a few decades people would be visiting other planets. 

However space travel is a great challenge. The human body is not fit to survive in space, it has to be encapsulated in a specialized suit that maintains the proper temperature and air pressure. In space there is no oxygen, so astronauts have to carry their own oxygen cylinders to space. It is a great challenge for the human body to survive in zero gravity of space. 

Physiological changes start to happen when humans go to space. In the absence of any gravity, the human body starts losing muscle very fast. Even eating food, urinating and defecating is challenging in the zero gravity environment in space. 

So the best contenders for space exploration are not humans but robots built by humans that can survive in those situations, they will produce their own energy from sunlight. These are going to be no ordinary robots. They will be learning, self improving and self replicating robots. 

In place of humans it will be the robots that would visit the various corners of the universe, make detailed study of the place and then come back to earth give the information to the humans. But humans can go one step further. Instead of robots, humans in the future can evolve themselves into humanoids by becoming half humans/half robots. 

The form of these humanoids will be such that they will be able to survive in any condition as robots. At the same time, being half humans,the humanoids will have the intelligence, intuition and innovation of human beings. It will also have the emotions and spirit of humans. 

Self replicating robots have tremendous potential, one transforms into two, two to four, four to eight. In this way over a period of time the cosmos would be full of robots from the earth, they will send information about other planets and galaxies to humanoids on earth.

Once humans and machines integrate, it will be possible for the newly formed humanoids to exist in space, it will be possible for humanoids to survive for long periods of time while travelling through space. Becoming humans to humanoids would be a great step of self evolution. From being earthly creatures we would become beings of the Universe. 

Many scientists like Sir Stephan Hawkings have warned that artificial intelligence may in the future overtake human beings. If this becomes true, then we would become creators of a species that will be way more powerful than us. Since the robots of the future are going to be self learning machines, they may evolve to other forms in the future. 

However it remains to be seen how intuition and emotions can be incorporated into a machine. Alternatively an intelligent machine may be able to acquire intuition and emotions during its evolution. 

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