Today, I joined the RCA's Design Interactions again, at the invitation of Tony Dunne. The project was on Robot Ethics this time and I gave a lecture that talked about the relations between Prosthesis, Robotics and Artificial Life. Also speaking this morning was Bruce Sterling, whom it was a delight to meet. I have read Bruce's work for some years and had email contact with him some time ago in relation to CTHEORY. After the morning sessions, we chewed the fat on urban regneration, Richard Florida, creativity and the trivialization of everything. 2007.10.08-BruceSterling.JPG Here are some notes on his talk that I made. They might be impenetrable:

Design Interactions, Oct 8 2007

Robots Bruce Sterling

Why no humanoid reobots? From literature and theatre Usually, humanoid, dim witted Can take some limited orders from humans

Contemporary robot is different C3P0 R2D2 – drone – remotely piloted Humanoid vs ME: non-humanoid

Terminologies blur - both referred to as droids

androids supposed to be different – semi-biological - form and shape of human, but semi mechanical

gianoids – women shaped mechanical objects

robot in metropolis - - robo veganza

when robot word invented, made from goo – poured into moulds

mechanical version came later

there is one household robot you can buy – disc shaped vacuum cleaner - animals hate them - can get stuff on things: destroy themselves - no brains - no emotional relationship - not pets

why did robot dog fail? - people played with it then forgot to plug it in. - Sony iBo

These objects lack common sense, so cannot have relationship with

Put a face on our relationship to technology - cannot have moral discussion with it - can have one with dog – but not a robot dog

does not have morality

sony also built humanoid robot, but never launched

Institute of RoboEthics, Italy - afraid to release, for fear of hackers

‘they can dance’

There aren’t any smart machines - none that can ustd commonsense language - not even translating machines

no embodiment

strings of 1s and 0s

nothing remotely behaves like this, nor getting closer to it

serious advances in robots - intelligence NO - solving Turing Test? NO

what we’ve got is ‘arms and legs’ - big Dog – darpa project, bath tub on legs; no head

uncanny - not a perfect version of a robot human - reach a

Marvin Minsky - artificial emotions - AI doesn’t work since human brains don’t work in the way he imagined - Must be an emotional substrate below intelligence

Robots have no sense of preservation. They don’t reproduce

They don’t value their own existence

There’s no way for us to give them anything

Minsky now emotions

Hans Moravec - most advanced schemes ‘bush robot’ – equipped to do nanotechnology - ‘utility fog’ – get rid of everything and keep fingers o a kind of gas – oozing through peoples bodies o Behind a scheme like this is difficulty and tragedy

Melancholy tale of how the word robot was invented - invented by a painter – jozef char

satirical play about industrialism – RUR – Rossums Universal Robots - parody of industrial production - basic researcher and industrial technologist - scientist decides will make a mimic of human - first makes a dog, but doesn’t work very well - his son says it’s not working, so suggests try making an industrial labour - get rid of parts that would make money – no sexuality, no emotional attachment, just really good memory, doesn’t sleep, eats anything, work tirelessly on assembly line - robot = worker