Monday, January 08, 2007

Robots, androids, and my future nursing home experiences

My wife is Korean, so I have a long-standing interest and appreciation for Korean culture, but I'm willing to admit that I'm weirded out by that country's non-chalant usage of labor-delivery robots.[1] What else might this culture be willing use robots for -- perhaps High School sex education? (No thanks.) It seems a small step though.

Apparently, I'm becoming unavoidably conservative in my old age. But that's okay, for there will be another kind of Japanese robot, Repliee (picture above), to spend time with me when I'm crotchety and senile:
She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.[3] She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.[2]

It's a bit eerie for me to watch these developments in robotics coming along so quickly. Perhaps I won't like being around robots. What then? On the other hand, I certainly recognize how, someday, I'll eventually need yet a third robot to carry me to the bathroom. Sigh.


[1] "Robot births help Seoul students" Reuters (Accessed 1/8/2006)

[2]"Japanese develop 'female' android" BBC News (Accessed 1/8/2006)

[3] "Repliee Q2" Google Video (Accessed 1/8/2006) and 2.5 minutes into this: "Presentation of Repliee Q2-" Google Video (Accessed 1/8/2006)


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At 3:11 PM, Anonymous w0plh said...

Ah, think of how turing would feel about humanoid bots.

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A clear indication and example of how Feuerbach was correct, after all. We project God as an outward expression of our inherent value and then we complete the cycle by creating robots who (conceptual) do the same for us.


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