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Differences between Artificial Intelligence and Robots

Understand the different between Artificial Intelligence and Robots, and how both technologies are part of everyone's routines.

Both terms are widely used today, but do people know the concept and what differentiates each one?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, also called AI, is the part of technology that develops systems to execute tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. It is related to robotics, Machine Learning, speech recognition and many other technologies.

Artificial intelligence is based on algorithms that can perceive, learn to understand logical reasoning and problem solving.

Did it seem too theoretical? The truth is that algorithms are in our daily lives customizing our experiences, such as:

  • Referring friends on Facebook;
  • Showing advertising that interests us on Instagram;
  • Through Google searches;
  • Music recommendations on Spotify;
  • Among so many other examples.

So what’s the difference when compared to robots?

What differentiates artificial intelligence from robots is the word “intelligence”. Robots are able to simply execute defined instruction sequences. While AI can “mimic” a certain level of human intelligence. 

With that, we have three main characteristics that make up a robot:

  1. Possibility of interaction with the physical world through sensors; 
  2. They are programmable; 
  3. They are usually autonomous or semi-autonomous. 

A robot can be as simple as an automation in excel that repeats actions that were created by a human. 

On the other hand, it can include more complex structures, like a machine on an industrial line, which has a sequence of actions to be performed. In addition to sensors that execute stop command if there is a sign of a problem.

But the line of action is to execute, while Artificial Intelligence can develop new parameters as it was built and put to use.

How are robots represented in science fiction?

When talking about science fiction in cinemas and literature, the first things that come to mind are:

  • Spaceships;
  • Time travel;
  • Robots which have a similar appearance to humans.

And so many other things that seem far from our reality. However, there is a high value in science fiction when you go through it more closely.

Science fiction talks a lot about human reality, as it proposes parallel realities and visions of the future. It raises interesting questions such as:

  • Who are we?
  • Where are we going?
  • How much will the moment now represent in human history?

Despite some topics more distant from reality, science fiction has always been very close to philosophy. For this reason, reading these classics are valid for entertainment as well as for provocative reflections.

Not only to learn about automation, robots and their impact on society, but also to understand the nature of intelligence. For example:

  • What does it mean to “hurt a human being?”
  • What is “to hurt”?
  • What is “human”?

The technology revolution brings us new features every day, features and facilities that we previously thought were impossible. Science fiction has the huge importance of extrapolating the imagination, going further and subtly discussing the impact of these changes.

Science fiction is much more about:

  • Logic;
  • Ethics;
  • Character;
  • Philosophy;
  • Theology;
  • Than “simply” technology.

How can one learn more about science fiction?

Are you curious to know more about robots, artificial intelligence and how does this relate to humans?

A good start is reading the books recommended below! 

I, Robot

This book is still one of the greatest classics in science fiction literature, and it was published in 1950.

You can also recognize the name from the movie in which Will Smith is the protagonist, Detective Del Spooner. However, despite being inspired by the book, the story is somewhat different.

It is a collection of nine stories that talk about the evolution of technology through time. One of its most famous mentions is the Three Laws of Robotics, which talk about the principles that govern the behavior of artificial intelligences.

The relevance was so great, that this passage significantly changed the perception that people have about the principles in science itself.

The book begins with an interview by a roboticist psychologist at U.S Robots & Mechanical. She shares and reports her work and also the evolution of the robots, leading the entire narrative.

Some stories appeal to the emotion of the story. While others lead the reader to reflect on religion and even on their human condition. However, regardless of the context, the author makes it clear in his writing, it’s a love story with technology.

The Time Machine

In a novel published in 1895, The Time Machine tells the story of a scientist who travels from the 19th century to the year 802701.

In such a distant reality, he discovers that humanity’s suffering has been transformed into beauty, happiness and peace.

Year 802701 represents a different moment on Earth, where it is inhabited by the friendly Eloi. They are a species that descends from human beings, that no longer exist.

However, this different species seems to be afraid of the dark, and they have all the reasons for this: in underground tunnels live the Morlocks, their greatest enemies.

This science fiction demonstrates an imagination unlike anything that had been seen so far. The author was considered a pioneer of literature, calling the attention of other people to his worldview.

Within science fiction, time travel is a resource widely used in narratives. This tool generates discussions and paradoxes that result in articles even in the academic field. Where scientists formulate hypotheses to be proven in the indeterminate future, if it is possible to test one day.

The end of eternity

The book The End of Eternity was released in 1955, and is considered a reference in science fiction and one of the most important novels about time travel.

In a light and funny way, the author raises questions that are still quite contemporary. Among them, the comfort of the human being, its evolution in relation to other species and the incessant search for control over the lives of others.

The work also proposes reflections on our behavior in face of personal needs and situations that involve a greater good. In the novel, the reader is introduced to a character, who is a member of an organization that monitors and controls Time.

A technician who deals with the fate of billions of people worldwide on a daily basis. His function is to initiate Reality Changes, that is, to change the course of History.

Conditioned by rigorous training and rigid self-discipline, the character learned to let go of emotions when doing his job.

Things are going according to plan, until the day he meets a woman who makes him start rethinking his concepts in the name of something as old as time itself: love.

Science fiction is about right now, how significant changes happen because of technology and how it relates to our society. It’s also just about learning all of this in a light and fun way!


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