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Saturday, July 30, 2005

New Japanese Android - You'll Forget She's Not Human

So I stumbled on this article today about Japanese scientists who have created the most life-like human-looking robot yet. Several times throughout the article, it says something like, "one day, we'll have androids that will fool us into thinking they're human." And all I could think of to respond was, "Why in the world would we want that!?" Robots don't have to fool us into thinking they are alive in order to perform the typical mundane or dangerous tasks or to rove across the surface of Mars.

Might there be some beneficial uses for a life-like android? Sure. Spies might use them to infiltrate cells of bad guys. They'd make swell decoys for the military. I'm sure perverts could come up with something. And the late night talk show host prospects are enormous!

But do you really want to live in a world where you can't easily be certain if the person you are speaking to, working under or flirting with isn't a machine?!

Long ago, some people thought they were pretty smart and determined to demonstrate their genius by building a tower to the heavens. "Let us make a name for ourselves," they said. The pagan Greeks called this kind of pride hubris. It always leads to tragedy. In Genesis 11, God confused the language of the people in the land of Shinar to derail their grandiose schemes. It seems to me that - at times - modern science doesn't know when to stop. Life-like androids may not quite raise the ethical questions of cloning or genetic engineering, but like all the best sci-fi movies prove: The wise man is cautious in the realm of science. Not everything that can be done, should be done. You can never predict all the outcomes of your inventions.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Here is a link to Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro's web site, showing more of his robot creations.

http://ed-02.ams.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/lab/development/Humanoid/Humanoid_eng.htm

Following the links to the other robots and seeing the "skin" of the young girl robot off of its "body", reminds me of Men in Black. It is also a little disconcerting.

John

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a movie I saw yesterday, "The Island". It's "over the top" with CGI and rather unbelievable as far as what
the main characters go through and
still "survive", but they are
clones! As I took the story in, I couldn't help but think that maybe
this could really happen. Now, I'm
sure it can after viewing Ishiguro's website. The "future" is now and it's scary!

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

I'm all for science. But making androids with the intent to deceive people into thinking the androids are human is creeping me out.

I mean I can understand it to some degree. Let's make life-like robotic arms and legs for amputees. But this story from Japan is out there.

Duke said...

Ahh the religeous blind that try to lead. Science will always be your enemy because it speaks the truth that you try so hard to repress.

Of course there are purposes to androids that look human. There is always a purpose for things that scientists come up with. Just think of the knowledge that is gained from merely doing it.

Are we afraid that we would be too God-like if we created androids in the image of a man?

Open your eyes.

The Japanese are investing mega $$$ into robotics as a possible future means to take care of the surging masses of elderly that are coming their way.

Personally, I would rather have a robot that looks human and is programmed to be warm, caring and know exactly how to take care of my elderly mother than some low paid individual who lacks common sense and could care less about her.

Why do religous people always have fear everything and preach gloom and doom everytime science makes an advance?

I'm sure this won't even make it to the post, or will be heavily edited.

Anonymous said...

Just want to comment out on Duke's responses:

"Personally, I would rather have a robot that looks human and is programmed to be warm, caring and know exactly how to take care of my elderly mother than some low paid individual who lacks common sense and could care less about her."

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Then you have to wait maybe hundreds of years or more because robots have no emotion unlike the real human...robots STILL cannot replace human..

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