The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle just disappeared from the blog. Sorry!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Danger, Will Robinson, danger!



Aside from the absence of those flying cars we early Baby Boomers were promised back in the Fifties, I also note the glaring absence of personal robots. And, in the spirit of "almost anyone can explain this better than me", I give you this New Yorker article:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/why-making-robots-is-so-darn-hard.html
Wherein Gary Marcus does a good job of explaining why creating "Data"-like androids has not yet happened... and is not likely to happen in the near future. Assuming it will happen eventually, it will be because of rich people seeking a way to reduce the cost of servants.

A bit of irony there, wouldn't you say? Outsourcing of labor due to cost leads to manufacturing most, if not all, electronics outside the U.S. and that dynamic is also driving the robotics innovations. Eventually, instead of exploiting illegal immigrants we'll eventually be exploiting cheap overseas labor to make robots that replace illegal immigrants who will then stay in their respective countries producing robots to exploit instead.




So why do I say the rich will be the reason robots will come to be? Simple. The rich can pay for the research, can invest in the technology, and can afford to purchase the first models... just as they helped bring about cell phones, flat screen TVs, and just about every other innovation that has ever existed.

It's a strange world.

I dream of having a robotic chauffeur piloting my flying car.


2 comments:

Torggil said...

Well, I watched a show about the Jeapordy computer. A bunch of researchers put together a computer to challenge that game show. The computer had certain advatages and disadvantages. While it had a 4 terrabit internal hard drive including the full wikipedia library, it didn't recognize certain nuances of the English language. Watson was devloped by IBM.

It possesses a dynamic prgram structure that allows it to learn from its mistakes.

In the $1M dollar championship challenge, it won.

AI is one step nearer.

Douglas said...

Specialized robots and computers have been around for a long time. Giving a computer an "intuition" feature still escapes us. And general purpose robots? Way off in the future without a major breakthrough in AI. I am still hopeful. Just as I am about anti-gravity sleds and something above 40% efficiency in power generation.