Who will you choose, between a robot and a human?

Isuruni Rathnayaka
5 min readAug 20, 2022

If you are asked to choose your best friend from a human and a robot, who will you go for? Seems like a foolish question, isn’t it? Even so don’t forget, with the technological evolution you will have to answer this question in the near future.

Pre-programmed, Humanoid, Tele-operated, Autonomous, Augmenting, AI-enabled or whatever the type it is, a robot is an excellent human creation that can invade mankind in return. Robots have already been replacing people for years and this will happen increasingly in the next decade. To be exact they are replacing humans in work world, but their capability of ever moving beyond humanity is still questionable.

Imagine you have a robot friend as you already have human friends. Most of times true friends are considerate about you as same as you. So, if you ask for a help they will do gladly. But if you asked your friend to do that same thing without stopping, what do you think will happen? Wait, think from your perspective, will you do that for your friend? Rather than answering with a no, it should be corrected as cannot. Humans get tired easily and need a rest at least after a week of working, but gladly robots are not. Unless he breakdowns or you turn him off, your robot friend will never get tired or bored and won’t need to take a day off and best of all he won’t ever complain or waste time.

You get assignments every day and you are overloaded with work. Your human friend will surely help you in your work but he also won’t know answers for all these questions as he has same capabilities and competencies as you. What if your friend is capable of doing all these frustrating assignments in your place so that you can have the highest marks in the class? I’m pretty sure, as a student, you are already dreaming for it to become a reality. Then celebrate, your dream has come true. Artificial intelligence has given robots more ability to process information and to learn. Also, through this they are given more knowledge on several domains even including arithmetic operations and high capacity of memory. So, your artificially intelligent robot friend will be able to finish your all assignments in a glimpse with best results and will be much more helpful than your human friend.

I agree that your best friend is one of the most trustworthy people in your life but he can make mistakes and can be sometimes unreliable. Besides he can’t be with you every second and there’s always a chance he’ll let you down as he is also a human being with many weaknesses. But always remember, your robot friend will never disappoint you and will make mistakes only because of human errors. He is programmed to work according to set of instructions and therefore he will be consistently good in performance and can be trusted for all your purposes. Also robot friend will also be there for you whenever necessary and stand by your side for 24/7 as your best friend.

“There are an endless number of things to discover about robotics. A lot of it is just too fantastic for people to believe.”

-Daniel H. Wilson.

At this point, you may have already decided to move on with a robot. Don’t hurry, you still have a long way to go before making your decision. You may think that a perfect life of freedom with robot friends, who fulfills all your needs as well as your deepest longings is all you need. But is that really all the life holds?

Friends or people around you are there for sharing your sadness and to embrace you with laughter while enjoying the life. Now, imagine having an emotionless, just moving and working person beside you all the time. A person with no desire to make you laugh, comfort you in sorrow or understand you. Even thinking this situation seems boring and joyless, isn’t it? But wait, a robot friend is not someone more interesting than how it is described in the sentence you just considered boring. Don’t forget, your robot friend won’t have the emotional intelligence to entertain or comfort you.

Unlike in the movies, robots are unable to think and make decisions. Your robot friend will do every work for you but that’s all that can be expected. He can’t tell you what to do like your human friend, when you face a difficult situation or want to make a decision. He cannot form memories or use past experiences to make decisions. He is only capable of making choices based on the data that is available with him, however that it is very different from what is meant by a decision. Your human friend will show you the correct path to walk, by giving best advices to make decisions, but robot friend, even won’t know that you have to make a decision. That’s because he can’t put himself in your figurative shoes and sense what you feel.

Your robot friend will always stand by your side and help you in doing your assignments. Yes, that’s a good thing, but he cannot lead you to do something different or something extra. He will always assist you in the current state but he is not capable of thinking beyond that state or bringing you innovative ideas that can help you for your future success. Nevertheless, your human friend will help you see new opportunities and will work with you for achieving the success through them. Your robot friend will live up to expectations with you, but only human friend will surpass expectations with you.

“We aren’t robots. What makes us exceptional as humans, is that we have the capacity to feel as many emotions all at once.”

— Demi Lovato

Now, you have encountered several facts regarding a robot and a human friend. It’s time to make your decision. So, who will you choose to be your best friend? The choice is yours, but be sure to make it a wise one. One may prefer technology to humanity and another may embrace humanity. Meanwhile, someone will use human intelligence for something more than a choice between a robot and a human.

In the meantime, don’t forget to think for a moment, the great achievements humans will encounter if a team made up of both robots and human beings working together for a common objective. May be both of them coexisting in parallel, without being limited to just a robot or a human or replacing one from the other, can bring the greatest change to the world. If you think wisely, it is not long before humans and robots can coexist together in a more intertwined manner to conquer higher goals for the betterment of mankind.

“It’s not a question of either or, robotics or humans,…. The strategy we try to employ is not an either or but the best of both”

- Sean O’Keeffe

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Isuruni Rathnayaka

Software Engineering Undergraduate - University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka