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Saturday, November 05, 2016

China Unveils Robots as Artificial Citizens

Written by: Ikenna Emewu
Location: Beijing

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It was a gathering that would hypnotize you about the depth of human ingenuity and technology advancement in artificial intelligence.
It all started as instrumentation and later the intelligent machines emerged. Today, they have advanced to the humanoids. Call them machine human beings or artificial citizens, and the import of their being would not be overstated.

Or what else would you call a machine that seems to know more than you, just the substitute human being that can call you to order and direct that you are taking the wrong way, or better still ask questions and responds or act accordingly.

It would be apt to call them artificial citizens of the world and creators have got millions of them all over the place. In china, such citizens are increasing in number. And to show case the extent the makers have gone in introducing these beings into the ecosystem, they held the symposium in the outskirts of Beijing between October 21 and 24.
The ensemble was a deluge of inventions and creativity. The exhibitors came from even other countries and held the visitors and enthusiasts spellbound by the wonders they made.

In May, this year in Beijing, the T3 – China, Japan and South Korea – met in their triennial conference and the focus was advancing manufacturing and industrialization to high end index, especially the production of intelligent machines to effectuate production.

Maybe, with these ‘citizens’ spawning, the countries that worry about an ageing population that would run the society might spare the sweat and headache and just proliferate these machines to fill the demographic gaps.

Actually, automation has been long with man from the automobile machines to the auto factory production lines. But it was later in the 1960s that artificial intelligence started taking the form of robotics, exploiting  the properties of the electromagnetic wave that enabled and fastened communication using remote sensors depicted in handheld phones and the internet.

This aspect of technology has today permeated all sectors of the human society from defense to entertainment, industrial use to home appliances, from factory production lines to service points at the  airports and banks and even the hospital wards judging from the exhibition in Beijing, the robots rave just seems to be picking up now. The inventions keep coming in diverse ways, functions and uses.

At the entertainment aspect, many visitors to the fair were really captivated to see a stage peopled by robots that acted as comperes, chaperons, waiters and masters of ceremony. They direct and address the audience and even entertain in songs and dances. A particular podium had a display of a motley clan dancing robots, doing Michael Jackson dance steps and his moonwalk. Some sang and their jumped around in their stiff mechanical gait.
A Child Playing with a Robot
It was quite amazing watching a kid of less than two years play and dance about with robot that was just his height. The child was so excited to be in the company of the little machine that looked like his age that for some many minutes, he didn’t worry to look around for his mother.

At another stop, a contraption stood at the entrance to the pitch. The exhibitor explained that the machine was like an alternative member of a family. As the family goes out, the machine is left at home to watch and run errands. It monitors that nothing goes wrong like a stove left burning, a pot over fire or forgotten running tap, flooding the home.

In such situations or in case of fire outbreak, it helps in switching off a problematic appliance or turn off the stove and at the same time alerts the owner of the home through phone contact about what is going wrong. If it is what could be handled from a distance, through the activation of the machine, an intervention could be made.
Robotic office Attendant
Some other intelligent machines assist you at the banking hall, at the airport check – in terminal, at the hospital, at the hotel lobby and reception and also direct you when you don’t know what next step to take.

The exhibition also had the loose components that are pieced together to work the humanoids and artificial labour hands. They ranged from the tiny and large ball bearings, the little jigsaw interlocking wheels, the driving belts and chains, tiny rollers and the bolt joints. They are assembled to form the machines, even animals like robot birds, fishes and butterflies that rattle you.

Although the adaptation of intelligent machines now looking like human beings has been in the rapid rise, its most use is still in production lines of factories, especially in precision production lines of factories, especially in precision production like the assembling of machines and engine gadgets and printed circuits boards that need very delicate and impeccable precision.

As it handles these duties prone to errors, it runs smoothly without distractions, following the ridged dictation of the installed software that prompts it, only with the disadvantage of the lack of initiative and flexibility or nuanced alterations of adjustments. The intelligent machine is non – normative and never shifts from its programmed track, and to make it perform another function from ridged rules entails the re – encoding, debriefing or writing another protocol.

But notwithstanding the ridged shortfalls, those duties that don’t need to change so fast are their best bet in assembling products, running iterations and sticking to rules with unwavering tenacity and accuracy.
Robotic Surgical Equipment
This uses have been deployed in the medical field where robots or intelligent surgical beds, photomachines, sensors, laser beams and others have proven effective. Such robots also feature prominently at the exhibitions just like the unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV], simply called drones. Camera – bearing drones have been of much use in security surveillance and in the media.

With unmanned automobiles already featuring in avionics, land automobiles, etc., who knows if the artificial citizens would in the future start siring kids and divesting human beings of those exclusive features that make them unique. Probably, man has started populating the earth with his own very alternatives.

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