Robots changed the world we live in. The internet changed the world we live in. But as important as both have been to our lives thus far, neither one’s finished contributing to history. Will robots or the internet ultimately have the largest impact on the world when it’s all said and done?
For many there’s no contest. Industrial automation is great and all, and robots will continue to improve, but the internet is the internet.
The internet allows us to communicate instantaneously with friends, business associates, or family members 12,000 miles away from us. It’s even made office communications easier and more efficient.
We have access to every single bit of documented knowledge, and all it takes is a few keystrokes and seconds to attain that information.
Yes, robots make our lives easier, safer, and more efficient, but the level of connectivity that the internet provides will have a bigger impact on the world.
Not everyone believes that the internet is more important than robots, however.
The CEO of Boston Dynamics Marc Raibert says,”I happen to believe that robots will be bigger than the Internet”. His reasoning is that while the internet has allowed us to access and touch all of the information in the world, robots will allow us to manipulate all of the things in the world.
There’s no understating the importance of robots or automation. Imagine a world without automation. Robots had a hand in producing practically everything you interact with on a daily basis.
Of course, Raibert isn’t talking about how robots have shaped the world, or even the current impact that robots have on the world. He’s talking about robots in the future. He say, “When we have robots that can do what people and animals do, they will be incredibly useful”.
Chickens and eggs, robots and internet
Raibert makes a good point. Without robots or automation to carry out commands, we can’t manipulate the physical world through the internet. Does that mean that robots are more important, or that they will have a bigger impact on the world?
Not necessarily. If either robots or the internet are missing from the equation, you can’t manipulate physical things in the world. You could argue for either one, but it seems that they are both equally crucial in this situation.
“Which is more important, robots or the internet?” is kind of like the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”. Why prioritize one over the other when both parts are essential?
It’s not a matter of either robots or the internet. Both are essential in our modern world, and both will continue to be crucial to our lives moving forward.
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