Robotics adoption matters: combining artificial and natural intelligence

There seems to be a growing fear that artificial intelligence (AI) poses an existential threat to humanity – namely that AI might soon develop an agenda to take over the world, perceiving humans as competition for dominance in the process. This pessimistic view of the future conflates several issues, not the least of which is that ‘AI’ is often used as a blanket term to refer to both physical robots and the software implementations of various machine learning algorithms. The phrase ‘intelligent robots’ invokes a mixed feeling of awe, fear and a vague sense of guilt – surely we don’t really want machines that work for us around the clock to be intelligent. Or do we?