Robotics can just languish in the realm of automated machines that can operate in a factory building cars 24/7 without the need for a tea break. When they are attached to a computer coupled with some clever coding they suddenly have a life of their own. They can think, they can learn and they can adapt.
It is the harnessing of these two that has caught the imagination of the world. It has generated a large amount of debate, especially from an ethical or moral viewpoint. The fear generated is the unknown. What the future holds especially when they can drive our cars and operate weapons.
Are we one step away from a computer powerful enough (quantum computing comes to mind) to think for itself and become sentient.
With the interconnectedness of everything it would take long for a rogue computer to harness all the databases, websites and the information stored on them and start to plan. If you look at blockchain there you have a network of machines that are many times more powerful than all the top supercomputers put together.
Should we be afraid or be excited about the possibilities for a better society?