Common Misconceptions About Robots and Artificial Intelligence

What do they know?
What do they know? / sdecoret/Shutterstock

If you’ve been harboring a secret worry that your robot vacuum will one day become sentient and start targeting your dog—or taking over the world—fear not. Yes, the machine is a robot. But it’s only been programmed to accomplish a very specific task: Keep your floors clean, and maybe avoid tumbling down the stairs while doing so. What it hasn’t been given is artificial intelligence.

So what exactly is the difference between robotics and artificial intelligence? On this episode of Misconceptions, Mental Floss host Justin Dodd is not only explaining how to tell them apart, but also how they overlap—looking at you, C-3PO and Sophia.

He’s also setting the record straight on other common robot-related myths you may have bought into and questions you might have. Why do humanoid robots make us so uncomfortable? How long have robots been around? And could AI creations really take over the world (or, at least, all of our jobs)?

Those answers and more below.

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