Artificial Intelligence has become a hotly debated topic in modern sociological discourse. People from all sectors have grown fearful that Artificial Intelligence will take over their jobs, rendering them useless. This view is endorsed by a lot of influential personalities as well and therefore warrants careful examination.
The best way to evaluate whether these claims are grounded in reality or not is to simply look at the scientists. The dexterity and imagination required to be a researcher are well beyond the scope of AI for now; however, this doesn’t mean it will never get there. How will the scientific community react to AI encroaching on their jobs slowly and steadily? This question is for the future sociologists to answer.
The ability to carry out experiments is the central idea of the scientific method without which, there can be no science, and neither can there be any technology. Can an artificial entity take over this process? The answer to this question, as the researchers at the University of Liverpool have found, is yes.
The researchers recently unveiled a robotic ‘colleague’ that has been working non-stop in the labs of the University of Liverpool ever since the lockdown began. The piece of machinery, which costs about £100,000, is a programmable artificial researcher that has more than one redeeming quality.
The robot can learn from the results of its previous experiments to refine its forthcoming experiments. The artificial researcher can work autonomously, so the scientists who are overseeing it can do so from the safety of their homes. The excitement around this robot is palpable as some researchers have claimed that this single piece of machinery can expedite the pace of scientific discovery by a thousand times.
This news was followed by some expected remarks from people expressing concern that this may be the start of science being done by robots rather than people. However, on this topic, the researchers say that this is not true, and science will always need people.
The obvious advantages of such an artificial researcher are visible to anyone who looks into it. The robot can carry out the repetitive and ‘boring’ bits of science without committing any mistakes. It can go through thousands of samples very easily. This particular robot is working on finding a catalyst that could speed up the reactions happening inside a solar cell. The robot can also be used in the fight against COVID-19.
This is a serious boost to the capabilities of the particular lab if the artificial researcher can be used in all kinds of experiments and is only limited to the imagination of the researchers who are in charge of putting it to use.
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