The Pope, the professor and our robot future

I, robot: Pope Francis and Hiroshi Ishiguro’s robot child.

Should we worry about robots? Pope Francis thinks so. He says that as robots become more advanced, we must make sure they serve humans rather than control us.

What’s happening

Many scientists think we are on the brink of a robot revolution, and Pope Francis is worried.

Over the last month, he has held meetings at the Vatican with scientists, philosophers and other experts. They are talking about what role robots should have in our future.

Find out more

In March, Pope Francis warned that we should not to create intelligent robots without thinking about the consequences.

Many scientists think that, one day, robots will have artificial intelligence (AI). This means they would be able to think and maybe even have feelings like humans.

Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro builds life-like robots. He says that in 100 years time, we will not be able to tell the difference between humans and robots.

He even hopes that humans will, one day, become part-robot so we can live forever.

Should we be worried about robots?

Some say…

Yes. We are rushing to create AI when we have no idea what will happen. If we make robots that learn like humans and have the minds of computers, will they become more powerful than us?

Others think…

No! The robot revolution will make our lives easier. Robots could be companions for the elderly and lonely, or perform boring jobs that humans don’t want. It’s an exciting time for science!

You Decide

  1. Would you like to become part-robot?

Activities

  1. Design and draw your own robot. What is its job? Does it have a name?

Some People Say...

“We are fascinated by robots because they are reflections of ourselves.”

Ken Goldberg

What do you think?

Word Watch

Vatican
Where the Pope lives in Italy.
Philosophers
People who ask big questions about the meaning of life and how we should live.
Consequences
The result of an action.

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