4 Q 4 František Duchoň, professor, the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, National Centre of Robotics


Which types of robotics and artificial intelligence are you using in daily life?

Since I am in daily contact with robots because of my profession, they are mainly industrial and mobile robots. However, suppose you are asking about my personal life. In that case, I currently use technologies related to Internet connection (smart search, shopping, etc.), mobile phone (various applications), and in-vehicle control support systems.

What are the key roles for robotics and artificial intelligence in human lives now? And what will it be in the next 5 – 10 years?

Above all, it must be in mind that robotics and artificial intelligence are single-purpose technologies. If we have a robot that welds well, it will not be as good to deliver packages. If we have software that helps us make good decisions when shopping online, that software will not play chess well. This should always be kept in mind that there is an “intelligent” behind it, but still only a single-purpose program. I think we will understand the meaning of this in the future and not be afraid of it. Because it will help us significantly streamline our lives. It remains a great mystery to me whether we can move towards universal intelligence – one that can drive a car as well as clean a house. And do we want this at all? To have someone think for us? Instead, I can support the idea that there are so much information and questions today that only key technologies will help us in evolution. Simply, the human brain is starting to fall behind technology. While one hundred years ago, one top engineer was enough to solve the problem, today you need a large team full of specialists. The capacity of the human brain cannot handle issues nowadays. Therefore, technologies such as robotics or AI will be necessary for humanity not only in terms of efficiency but also in terms of survival.

What are the most critical missing elements in understanding and using artificial intelligence and robotics?

As I mentioned, these are single-purpose technologies. So far, they do not surpass us in universality and ingenuity, but in other respects, they do. We need to learn to live with them. The robot moves higher payloads, produces better quality, works constantly, etc. Machine learning can process huge amounts of data and find close by optimal models. It would just take a very long time for a human.

Nevertheless, we have many advantages because we created those systems. We created them to help us to improve our disadvantages. There is no need to be afraid of them; they must be respected and used effectively.

Do AI and Robotics regulations present a risk to stop or kill innovation in this area? What would be an optimal level of regulation?

I don’t think AI or robotics regulation will stop the development. It is always the case that first come to the technology, then the human and finally the lawyers :)) This procedure is correct. While we examine all possible aspects of technology initially, in the second step, we introduce them to a human’s life. In the third, we have to think about solving critical situations. Society has to deal with this and find those responsible. I think it is okay this way. This will certainly not stop the development of technology. After all, look at telecommunication services. They have been regulated for decades, and do you think this is slowing down developments in this area? Definitely not.