Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thinking Robots

October 11, 2011
Japanese scientist unveils 'thinking' robot

"We might ask a robot to bring soy sauce to the dinner table. It might browse the Internet to learn what soy sauce is and identify it in the kitchen," said Hasegawa.

But, cautions the professor, there are reasons to be careful about robots that can learn.

What kinds of tasks should we allow computers to perform? And is it possible that they might turn against us, like in the apocalyptic vision of Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey".

"A kitchen knife is a useful thing. But it can also become a weapon," he said.

1. "Robot, safety off."
2. "Robot, go get me some cash."
3. Robot browses the Internet to learn how to get cash.
4. Robot reads its creator's thoughts on kitchen knives.
5. Robot uses kitchen knife to get some cash.

It all seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I assume my robot opened up a new restaurant, right? Why so shocked? What did my robot do? It wielded a knife? Seriously?

May 9, 2010
Researcher offers arm to knife-wielding robot

Without the collision avoidance system, the kitchen knife naturally went right into the slab of pork. But with the system activated, it only penetrated the pig by about 1 millimeter. Haddadin's arm was unscathed. Thankfully, it wasn't subjected to testing with the "safety" off.

Oops. I suddenly feel like the CEO of a bank too large to fail. I only said "safety off" so that the robot would be willing to take on more investment risk. It was using the knife like a gorilla would? How could I have possibly foreseen the unintended consequences of my actions?

I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the enormous profits my robot generated. Perhaps the government can come in and clean up my mess. At the very least, it would seem that I need a
TARP to contain the lifeblood. Can I assume that I can keep the profits that I've already distributed to the robot's one owner though?

Gallows humor!


Audrey said...

I was sort of reassured to read that the drones in Afghanistan have been infected with a virus.

Maybe robots won't take over after all.

When humans are infected with a virus, they can sometimes reject it. But it just becomes part of the robot unless a person can remove it. And if not, we take the robot out in a field and destroy it with a baseball bat.

I'm not going to stop worrying about this altogether, though.

Troy said...

heh, I too have thought that a robot bank robbery is coming sooner or later.

The hard part is the getaway, but robots:


can fly, LOL.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

“It’s getting a lot of attention,” the source says. “But no one’s panicking. Yet.”

I'm confused. Are these some sort of S&P 500 drones? ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...


Not all robots can fly though. That's especially true of human powered robots, lol.

Man with Robot ‘Suit’ Attempts Bank Robbery

...At that point, tellers say, they realized that the “robot” had only a fake cannon attached to one arm, and one teller’s wry chuckle soon mushroomed into raucous laughter.

During the ruckus, staff activated the silent alarm, and Martin Ruiz, 21, was taken into custody shortly after, mainly because his outfit, crafted in part from scrap metal plates and spare engine parts, weighed nearly 300 pounds, making a quick getaway next to impossible.