We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us. Yet, one could say that horses are bigger, faster and tougher than humans, and still no-one outside of "Gulliver’s Travels" fears being replaced by horses. Instead, we note these useful qualities in horses and quite literally harness them for our own advantage.
In fact, our control over the natural abilities of horses is so great that we incorporate it into our language and measurements. When we talk about 'horsepower' in reference to our manmade vehicles, we rarely even consider the metaphor. We do not think of our cars as equivalent to hundreds of galloping horses, but this is what the terminology implies. In the next nature, will we harness 'robotpower' as effectively as we did with horsepower? Or will we allow ourselves to be trampled underfoot?
This article is part of the HUBOT weeks, to contextualize our latest project HUBOT, the job agency for people and robots. Want to learn more about this project? Join NNN and we will keep you in the know!