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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

Chris of Rights and Charles Martin <-- Lists of debunked Sarah Palin rumors

"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Saturday, January 27, 2007

I think, therefore I am

While it may be some time before we have to consider such testimony from a robot, some may be surprised at the advancement that robots have achieved in recent years. Primarily, the ability to walk in a manner that is more human than previous attempts. What the future holds should quite interesting.

Asimo, by Honda, seems to be gaining the most recent headlines, with the latest version appearing at CES. The ability to maneuver and even run, while not tethered to a larger computer is quite a move forward and one that I wasn't aware had been achieved yet.

An interesting video interview via CNET here.

A rather good article about Asimo is available here, that also covers other robots being developed.

As alluded to in the CNET interview, making such devices visually non-threatening is important. I'm sure some will have dire predictions, we've seen such before in science fiction. As with any tool or technology, what is contained within man will find opportunity for expression. Along with the darkness however, there also exists great beauty.

The devices are interesting demonstrations for technology. Yet, even with only limited application now, within a decade or two we may see much more integration of such devices in our daily lives. Will a future design become a break out hit like the Ipod? It would seem that Sony is hoping for that with the audio from their flash presentations for QRIO. The vocal inflections, in my view, being rather over the top in stressing, friendliness, relationship and just down right enthusiasm!

Technology has a tendency to rush ahead of our ethics. Unfortunately, some think that simply because we can, means that we should. How long, before we actually create the moral dilemmas, that were only a part of science fiction not long ago?

Many promises are made by those pushing the envelope of technology. As something of a geek, I find the future of robotics quite interesting and even hopeful. However, my enthusiasm is slightly blunted knowing of the ridiculous extremes some will go to in relating to such devices or the depths of depravity others may choose to explore. Such things preceding the dilemma of creating a device that is sentient or self-aware, on a level near that of humanity, if such is even possible.

It should be clear to us by now, that technology is not our savior, but only a means of further expression of the human condition, for bad or for good.

I offer no predictions other than:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way." Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities


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