Robotics is becoming very sophisticated. That’s not to say that they are becoming humanistic. We have made great leaps in the mechanical progress of machines but it is not really a great leap in evolutionary progress of man. It is only a scientific advancement that can be socially useful. A robot is a machine that can perform a or some defined (or designed) task. The brains are all the human ones that write the program however difficult the task, The bots are “computerized” machines not any more human than the Roomba. Robots have no will, no desire, and no need.Could the Roomba decide for itself that today at 2pm when no one is usually home, that it will not perform it’s scheduled task because it’s master is asleep at home unexpectedly because he is ill and doesn’t want to awakened. Or could the Roomba just not vacuum today because it just “didn’t feel like it”? Could it not “feel like it” because it is overworked and needs a vacation? Do you have to give a set amount of time off for a robot? Is that because of the state laws or Federal laws or just due to P.E.T.oR. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Robots)?We have heard of an instance where a computer designed a cell phone based on parameters programmers gave it. Could it invent a light bulb? Could three or four of them herd sheep as well as a trained Australian sheep Dog?
There is science fiction in which robots try to take over the world. That would be a lot of coordination. Where would they meet secretly to plan the takeover? Would there be enough powered electrical outlets so that they would all be able to secretly get back to the places they were supposed to be before they were discovered missing? Would any of them be subject to recall like all the Chevy Volts due to potential fire issues when charging. Would this be what made them upset enough to want to take over? Would these type of travel restrictions cause them to have to do everything over the internet? How would they keep it a secret so that the NSA and Homeland Security wouldn’t have them under surveillance at the drop of a hat? Could they set up there own e-mail account in Outlook? Would just one of them feel remorseful and that the takeover thing was a bad idea and then spill the beans on the whole crew?
We have a lot to look forward to but let’s don’t get too carried away thinking these machines are more than what they really are.
See you in class…