Can “Smart” Machines Replace Humans?

Smart machines will replace human


The era of industrial revolution has come up with new technologies, which are able to replace the manual job by the human beings. This may appear applicable because the jobs are likely to demand new skills beyond the ability of the human beings. On the other side, there is a claim that these machines cannot replace human beings since their applications may only be to a given limited extent. For this reason, there have been several debates on the issue, which has been a global concern to come up with a clear stand smart machines are increasingly becoming very intelligent. Companies such as Google and Boston dynamics are still doing their research. In other countries such as China, factories are already using smart machines in the assembly plants. Despite the concern that the smart machines will create structural unemployment, this paper argues that smart machines can replace line workers in the long run (Marshall, 2011).

Reason why smart machines will replace humans:

The strongest driver for the adoption of the smart machine in factories is their productivity. Smart machines such as robots can work round the clock while the human frailty does not allow them to work beyond some working hours without demanding for more pay in terms of overtime. Smart machines can work with minimal supervision round the clock without requiring a timeout. Therefore, when the criterion for cosign between machines and human beings is used, then the smart machines would win in term of productivity (Malone, & Davidow, 2014).

The return on investment in the smart machines is also very high. For example, a part from the high acquisition and installation fees, most companies believe that the smart machines are capital investment that would be useful in the production process. Most of the companies that use smart machines such as companies in Japan have benefit greatly. Most of the companies claim that they breakeven within one year. This means that they realize their initial investment within two years. Therefore, despite the high cost of acquisition, the

Unlike human beings smart machines never get tired or bored. Machines can work round the clock machines can operate for long before repair or major recalibrations. This means that the operating costs is very low as compared to the salaries human beings are paid on a monthly basis. Therefore, most companies will chose the machines over human beings because their goals is to maximize their wealth and not to help humans

Machines are also intelligent to execute some commands that human beings cannot execute. The fact that the machines can execute a number of commands at a time makes them more attractive to the human beings and corporations. For example, they can operate at high speeds and with mathematical precision. This makes them more valuable to humans who cannot multitask over a very long time. Machines are also extremely powerful and can deliver with high mathematical precision which human beings cannot do. The development in the technology has advanced to come up with powerful machines, which operates subsequently powerfully. These have the ability of delivering very high mathematical procession beyond the reach of human beings due to the special programs fed in them (Marshall, 2011).

Smart machines can perform routine task better than humans. This means they can help organization to maximize productivity and thus their profits. For example, in routine jobs, machines can maintain their production patterns making it easy to allocate and predict or forecast production. Many companies focus on how long the human beings can maintain their production levels. However, smart machines are more accurate (Malone, & Davidow, 2014)..

Currently cars are self-driving (Google cars), and phones have answering machines which are intelligent system doing human work. Therefore, machines are increasingly replacing human being in the vital and popular jobs. The development of the Google cars and the smart phones are among the serious progress, which are more efficient to use. These are more intelligence than the human beings for which reason they are replacing human beings for their efficiency. With the current trends in smart machines development, it will not take long before all human jobs, even the most basic job are automated or transferred to the machines. Malone, & Davidow, (2014) argue that this will not only mean demise of the low paying jobs, but even the executive functions. This can be seen in the disappearing role of the secretaries due to advanced software and intelligent machines, the office managers do not have to be in offices anymore as they can work from home or remote location as the machines takes care of various office functions. The managers will be reduced to computer managers and not human managers as their role will only be to make decision and issue commands to the machines(Marshall, 2011).

Smart machines can perform routine task better than humans. This means they can help organization to maximize productivity and thus their profits Smart machines can perform their roles as required as long as there programming is in place. Human beings however may fail to turn up at times due to one reason or another. This may make us embrace machines due to the possibility of maximizing our profits due to the expected maximum utilization of the available resources. Smart machines are cheaper for the large manufacturing companies that work. The expensive smart machines may appear cheap in the end compared to manual human labor. This is because they are more efficient and are able to do a large-scale work within a short time to enable a manufacturing company realize good returns for that given short period.

Why Smart machines cannot replace human being

While human beings have ethical considerations, the smart machines are not programmed to have human feeling, or emotions. Therefore cannot work with children or people with lower intelligence. Human beings believe on the prescribed code of conduct that they apply even if they work. The ethics enable them to make themselves clear to anybody irrespective of age and the level of intelligence. This utilizes the human behavior and social system (Marshall, 2011).

Some human have high precision as they can learn and understand when to make decision without external commands, On the other hand, machines must be automated or programmed commanded to execute specific functions. Human beings program the machine to gain the high precision they have. These human beings are quite intelligent because of their ability to make appropriate decisions at the right time while on the other side, machine have to go through a proper programming since they cannot decide on their own (Boudreau, 2014).

Phone companies and gas and electric utilities are using technology to reduce their payrolls. Since 2007, for instance, Verizon has increased its annual revenue 19 percent while employing 17 percent fewer workers.

For one,Levin. (2015) argue that they cannot discriminate when working with humans. While human beings have ethical considerations, the smart machines are not programmed to have human feeling, or emotions. Therefore cannot work with children have low intelligence? It should be the duty of the machines to make decisions irrespective of the working environment. This means that machines may be a risk to health or human life. Additionally, some human have high precision as they can learn and understand when to make decision without external commands, On the other hand, machines must be automated or programmed commanded to execute specific functions.

McAfee told McKinsey Quarterly. “I’ve still never seen a piece of technology that could negotiate effectively or motivate and lead a team.” He suggested that an increasingly important skill for senior managers will be to figure out, “Where do I actually add value and where should I get out of the way and go where the data take me?”

Finally, the smart machines cannot work in complex environments where arbitrary decisions are required. Machines can only do routine jobs. Human beings unlike machines are flexible even if the work condition changes abruptly. Many machines like the virtual machine [VM] are only able to work in specific computing system of computer architecture whose function reflects that of a hypothetical computer. Any attempt to change this condition to a complex environment may render the machines worthless.

The Potential for moral superiority amongst the human beings is very high as compared to the smart machines. Machines are less morally superior to human beings. Human beings understand the existing and desirable moral values. For a machine to be able to gain all these, human must program them. However, as time goes by, machines will have to be reprogrammed to perform better and if possible work within the human beings


From the arguments, we realize that both machines and human beings can perform their roles properly. We further realize that the introduction of machines would be more beneficial since their advantages outweigh those of the humans. However, considering the general corporate greed, human beings will be replaced smart machines as times goes by because machines are increasingly being developed to take centre stage in prediction. Therefore, from reproduction to industrial production, machines are being developed not to assist the human beings in the production process but to replace human beings. This paper seeks to argue that while the machines can to replace human beings completely today, their programming and modification will lead to the development of superior machines


Marshall, P, (2011). Artificial Intelligence: Can “smart” Machines Replace Humans?

Volume 21, Issue 16 of CQ Researcher. CQ Press

Boudreau J, (2014). Smart Machines: The New ‘Human’ Capital? As algorithms and robots get smarter, workforce planning systems need to strike the optimum balance between people and machines. CFO

Pat Levin. (2015). Can smart machines take your job? Middle class jobs increasingly being replaced by technology. The Associated Press

Malone, M., & Davidow, W. (2014). What Happens to Society When Smart machines Replace Workers?.Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 24 April 2015, from


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