Building Emotional Machines

Posted 23 Apr 2002 at 18:48 UTC by steve Share This

Mindjack has posted a new essay by Ana Viseu entitled Building Emotional Machines . It contrasts the cultural ideas about robotics found in the West with those of Japan. She essentially characterizes Westerners as wanting mechanical slaves and the Japanese as wanting friendly companions. While most robot buidlers (and readers of western science fiction) may disagree with her view of the West, it's still an interesting article.

Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With, posted 23 Apr 2002 at 19:28 UTC by steve » (Master)

While I was reading her essay, that jingle of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation kept coming to mind. Hmmm... Wasn't Douglas Adams a Westerner? How about Clifford Simak? His idea was that dogs had provided man with emotional companionship for thousands of years and, as man moved out into the Universe beyond the Earth, robots would take the place of dogs as man's companion and possibly his equal.

I suppose one could twist the ideas behind Asimov's four laws enough to make them seem to support the idea of robot slaves. But one couldn't maintain that argument after reading Asimov's entire body of Robot stories.

And granted, there may have been some villains in serials of the 1930's that wanted to build robot slaves but I've never met a real person working on that goal...

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