MARK BARNES | We don't have to surrender to robots

Computers may be good at playing chess, but that's not because they're clever

10 October 2021 - 00:00 By

Somewhere between being informed that "We're commencing our descent" and his "Ten minutes to landing" instruction to the crew, the pilot said he was obliged to tell us that we were going to do a fully automatic landing. But "we'll keep a close watch on things", we were assured.

I was quite surprised at how I felt about this. Not comfortable, or at least not more comfortable than I would have felt if the controls were in the hands of a qualified human pilot. As it turns out, it's more like cruise control (in a car) than a complete handover (so is robotic surgery - as a smart young medical student recently corrected me). So humans are still in charge - thank goodness...

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