Robots Not the Decision Makers
Robots have always been cutting edge of technology and are perhaps the foremost example of consumer-focused mechanical inventions. Throughout the 20 century robots were developed to do stationery repetitive tasks with great accuracy and reliability. Initially functioning in stationary industrial setting, their use has expanded to novel environments extreme environments such as outer space or the bottom of the sea, programed collectively to swarm, assist in medical operations, patient assistance and as drones flying. Robots have replaced humans in performing repetitive and dangerous tasks which humans prefer not to do, or are unable to do because of size limitations, or which take place in extreme environments. Now highly programed by computers using data science many robots can do very complex actions with great skill.
Robotics has also always used analytics for their environment so that it is aware of what's happening around it, but it also requires self-conscience of the robot's current placement. Making sense of sensory data and linking what is seen with actions through planning involves advanced processing and analysis of data at all stages of the sense-plan-act loop is harder. Complex Artificial Intelligence programming have been developed to permit recognizing and manipulating objects, reliably navigating spaces, and planning actions have worked in some narrow, constrained contexts, but they have failed in more general circumstances. Researchers continue to pursue technologies that enable robots to perceive their surroundings, navigate them and track their own movements. Yet after 100 years of development robots’ capacity understand their environment, make choices based on goals and preference remain distant in the future. There are some predictions that during the middle of the 21 century robots will be able may exist with humanlike mental power able to abstract and generalize. While it is not an impossible result, human quality decision making is not currently on robots menu.
Just because robots use big data and reams of AI, the information from them still must be validated in the current environment to evaluate their utility and functionality. This is true as true in social media algorithms as it is in concrete, real world robots.