Christian Long

Rodney Brooks: Robots Will Invade Our Lives

In TED Talks on April 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Reflection by MARY M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Rodney Brooks:  Robots Will Invade Our Lives

In this video, Rodney Brooks shows off some robots that he had helped make, told how they were used, and explained others. He explained that, right now, we already have robots, though there are few, integrating into our society.

Robots that clean carpets and mow lawns are just two examples of that. But, the thing that really interested me was when Brooks started on the robots that could tell what it was looking at, and could even take clues from somebody that is talking to it, even if the robot can’t understand what is being said. He said that the robots he had helped with were able to look around their environment and tell the difference between different colored objects, such as toys, and even how, if they look at an object for too long, they will get bored. Then he goes on to talk about programing the robots to do what he wants.

For this he brings a non-robotic volunteer onto the stage and opens a bottle of water, watching his volunteer the whole time. Brooks explains, as these things are occuring, how the volunteer’s eyes flip back and forth between him and what he is foing, making sure that ‘it’ is watching the right thing.

Next, Brooks talks about developing a robot for the army. One that is able to go places that humans cannot, to check for hostilites or survivors, and such. But, he said the one thing people ask the most is if robots will eventually rise above the humans to take over. I have to agree with Brooks on this, as he says that the people who are makingt the robots are not going to go farther than they are comfortable with. And before a ‘bad’ robot could be made, a partially bad robot would be made, and before that, a not so bad at all robot would have been made.

So, in other words, no, a robot take over will, most likely, never happen.

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