Robots are here, and a report estimates that 38% of US jobs will be taken over by robots in 15 years.
As robots are increasingly used to solve human problems, their interaction with humans becomes more important. Think about robot surgeries and driverless taxi cabs.
This relationship can lead to some issues, as Dr Julie Carpenter, a leading expert on human-robot social interaction, explains in this Forbes interview. While she believes that transient human-robot interactions can be healthy, such as in caregiving situations, she also points out the dangers of developing emotional attachments. It is easy to ascribe organic characteristics, such as to a robot pet, and make them substitutes for human companions.
A Fortune article predicts that humans will be marrying robots by 2050.
Whether you think this is scary or exciting depends on your point of view. My personal belief is that robots are tools. Like any tool or technology it is neutral — neither good nor bad. It is how people use and control them that determines ethics and morality.
“Sexy Robot” is a sculpture by Hajime Sorayama on exhibit at the Art and Science Museum in Singapore. You can also buy one for yourself.
In a previous post I described the Future World exhibit at the Art and Science Museum.
Its centerpiece is the “Universe of Water Particles” – a seven-meter virtual waterfall. It is serenely beautiful, hundreds of thousands of water particles cascading gracefully down a virtual rock, following the laws of physics. And with a backpacker’s silhouette, it’s picture-perfect.
But I miss the mist, the unpredictable gust of wetness on my face as the wind blows the water away from its normal free fall. I miss the rustling of the leaves and the way my feet slide on the slippery banks. I miss the smell of decaying trees along the river, and the greenness of young shoots rushing to rise above the rocks and catch the sun.
I like my waterfall to be raw, with the water falling down in complete abandon, daring to defy the laws of physics.
I want nature’s embrace to be sensual. I want to feel its wetness.