Unhappy bots

Popular Science | The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend for a Robot. “Look for the guy carrying the head.” David Hansen and others are making robots look a lot more human, providing them believable facial expressions. I’m not really sure that this is necessarily a leap beyond good CG to the same effect, but it is at least interesting. I can definitely see, given the funding, the possibility within the decade of having interactive robots that are–at first blush–indistinguishable from humans. The effects of this on how we treat “real” humans will be far-reaching. Will I be as polite to a non-human server as I am to a human one?

The answer is that I probably will have to be. After all, these systems are being designed to have simulated feelings (as opposed to my real feelings–uh-oh, problems there), that will result in their spitting in your food if you are rude; or at least being rude back.

Will we long for the servile computer?

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One Comment

  1. Posted 9/24/2003 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Yes we will.
    And we will regret having enabled them with language.
    Just like children.

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