Getting Along

What do we think about robots at the moment? Are they going to make our lives easier and more balanced by reducing our workload of repetitive tasks? Or are they going to introduce us to a new wave of stressors, unlike any we’ve seen before? More than likely, the reality will fall somewhere between the two.

I guess I’m just wondering about the unforeseen health impacts of adding robots to daily life. This will no doubt change as the technology develops over time – I mean, there’ll surely be some teething issues that need ironing out. For example, I predict we’ll resist delegating tasks to robots, and with good reason – there’ll be a few dramatic screw ups that human society will struggle to forget about for a good long while. Our day-to-day wellbeing will be affected as we contemplate about what we’ve done and how irreversible it is.

Then there’ll be the question of whether robots themselves are vulnerable to anxiety and stress. This will be a relatively fringe topic, easily glossed over on account of the robots not having nervous systems. Even so, stress management training courses for robots will become a thing, and subculture will develop around robot health and wellness.

Overall, there’ll be a rise in numbers of professional stress management consultants. Melbourne will see the rise of specialists who consult for both humans and robots, coaching them in working together to support the human nervous system. In this way, they believe, the robots will be less inclined to learn behaviours that mimic the outward expressions of an excessively stressed human system.  

I realise I’m being quite specific here, but this is such a huge topic – it’s hard to say much about it without honing in on something in particular. I’d like to think that I’m an optimist, overall. I believe that it’s possible for us to live in harmony with our creations.