Sunday, November 15, 2009

David Hanson, Father Of Death

In this remarkable TED video, robot builder David Hanson describes how he is making robots more emotional. We already have robots that can destroy our bodies, but Hanson is paving the way for robots that can get us where it really hurts: our hearts. His designs are impressive, if not a little creepy (in that uncanny valley sort of way), and his intentions are good. Robots with empathy are a good idea on the surface, but it opens the floodgates. A robot that can be made to empathize can be made to feel other emotions. Jealousy, fear, and hate are destructive enough in human beings, and we can't crush a car with our bare hands!

I'm not one to condemn a useful technology for its potential negative uses, but this is a development that will need to be watched closely. Personally, I'm a fan of Mr. Hanson. But mostly for his impressive moustache!

Here's a video of the Philip K. Dick robot David Hanson mentioned above. The voice recognition software is far from perfect, but it's cool looking nonetheless:

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