The point of living in a world where robots and technology take over everything is that they’re supposed to make life easier. But imperfect humans are responsible for creating these technologies, allowing flaws and oversights to sneak in. Some of these are simply annoying while others can put us in harm’s way.
Take, for example, a tragic incident that occurred last month at a Volkswagen plant in Germany, where a robot was actually responsible for the death of a worker. This robot was designed to piece together cars by moving and manipulating auto parts. According to Times Magazine, the error occurred while the robot was being set up by a team of technicians. Due in part to a human error (supposedly), the robot grabbed the worker instead of an auto part and caused critical injury.
A second example of why we should be suspicious of robots comes from the road. Led by the efforts of Google, several major technology companies are developing and testing self-driving cars. As great as it sounds to sit back and play magnetic travel chess while a robot chauffeurs you around town, the high number of reported fender benders from the testing phase gives us good reason to be a little nervous. Think about it: how do you feel about being on the same road as fast-moving, metal-death traps that are vulnerable to hacking attacks?
Buried deep in the human psyche (connected perhaps with our survival instincts), is a mistrust to give up too much control to something or someone that we don’t fully understand. When it comes to machines and computers, just how much do you understand about how they work? Unless you’re a computer programmer or an IT technician, it’s likely that you don’t know enough about these machines to totally erase the fear that robots will one day rise up and enslave us all. This is why science fiction movie franchises like The Terminator and The Matrix are exploring this narrative in fantastic detail and have connected so deeply with people’s imaginations (and wallets).
Just how safe are you from the technology that you’re dependent upon? While it’s unlikely that you work with battlebots equipped with saw blades and flamethrowers or that you play traffic roulette with a driverless car, you’ve got a lot riding on your company’s data. In fact, it would take just one major disaster for your system to crash, causing major data loss. This kind of a data loss disaster can potentially ruin a business and, by extension, your livelihood.
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