Robots in Japan and the West

Posted 22 Apr 2007 at 23:52 UTC by steve Share This

Mary King has posted an essay that explores the differences between Japanese and Western roboticists and presents an explanation of how these differences came about. The article also explore differences in how people in the East and West approach the ideas of roboethics and robot rights. King starts at the begining by explaining how Western audiences perceived RUR when it premiered in 1921, compared to how Tokyo audiences perceived in when it premiered in Japan in 1924. Along the way, she mentions a variety of robots, some of which you may not have heard of before, such as the Robo-Priest who has been on duty since 1993 in the Yokohama cemetary and can perform Buddist, Protestant, and Catholic rites. Definitely an interesting read.

Excellent essay, posted 23 Apr 2007 at 18:46 UTC by Daniel Casner » (Journeyer)

In addition to mentioning some interesting robots and comparing Japanese and Western ideas about robotics, I fount this article to be an excellent overview/introduction to both Japanese and Western thoughts on robotics. Absolutely worth a reading fully.

Having lived in Japan, Mary King's impressions echoed what I discovered there. Personally, I feel that the down to earth craftsman's view of robotics prevalent in Japan is more useful than apocalyptic philosophizing or pie in the sky research on strong AI. We also need to consider the long term implications of our actions as in all things but some balance between the Japanese and Western views might be the best solution.

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