The Human Robot is Here

“The Age of What’s It All Coming Down To?” is neck deep upon us.

If you watch the tape that’s connected to the following link, you will soon enough see that Japanese woman in the above photo is not really a woman a all, but a highly sophisticated, creepy-life-like robot who is completely able to hear and respond to voice messages in Japanese. We must presume that these machines are available in English-speaking models as well.

At any rate, here’s the link:

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/creepy-realistic-robot/1jrv9yxnz?q=Robot&rel=msn&from=en-us_msnhp&form=MSNHED&gt1=42007

The ethical and cultural change questions raised by this burgeoning fulfillment of a long-described technical development are almost too obvious to consider in specific form as they pertain to issues of love and labor. – Will machines become our new partners? – Will mobile computers simply take over 90% of the work we humans now do?

And if all that happens, and the machines continue to grow in intelligence by their own design and programmed goal for seeking self-improvement, where does that leave us humans? The super machines aren’t going to have much use for flesh and blood creatures who can do little more than text in the dark of a movie theatre – or else, stay home and watch baseball or football on TV.

Yeah, I know, it’s an ancient sci-fi plot, and machines have been taking over intelligent functions for a long time anyway, but this robot is the animated face and stare of that new reality – and she/he/it is coming closer to us by the day – machines that look like us and think for themselves.

Whatever happened to Louis Armstrong and all those happy thoughts he sang about in that beautiful song, “It’s A Wonderful World”? Oh, that’s right. I almost forgot. Louie’s song was fantasy. These new humanoid machines are the fast-coming reality we just witnessed in the video and this is really only the start. They are getting more lifelike and mobile by the day. As their intellectual potentials develop true capacity for referential, inferential, and logical thinking as independent entities, these robots will be able to raise, test, and answer measurable questions that we humans could only begin to see or tackle on our own. As for those questions of the soul and spirit, it’s doubtful that the new machines are going to be of much help to any of our own. And as for humanoid caring, any demonstrative affection by these logically intelligent robots for their human partners/owners/whatevers would have to be programmed into them as a conditioned response to certain discernible displays of human trust and caring.

Gee whiz! Will we ever have the need to carry our relationship with machines that far into the emotional realm? Maybe so. Otherwise, why else should we start making them over in the attractive image of what we hope to see in ourselves and other human beings?

I guess the Japanese robot lady isn’t all that new. We’ve been growing in our driven love for the home computer ever since Bill Gates and Steve Job first put them into our compulsive little hands back in the early 1980s. Now “the makers” are just getting around to producing machines that are more human-like in their external appearances and more intelligent and mobile about the things they are capable of doing.

What’s the world going to look like in 2050? God or Bill Gates only knows.

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