#robots

Kevin Kelly for Wired:

We have preconceptions about how an intelligent robot should look and act, and these can blind us to what is already happening around us. To demand that artificial intelligence be humanlike is the same flawed logic as demanding that artificial flying be birdlike, with flapping wings. Robots will think different. To see how far artificial intelligence has penetrated our lives, we need to shed the idea that they will be humanlike.

Really smart piece from a few weeks back.

Paul Krugman for The New York Times:

Ah, you ask, but what about the people? Very good question. Smart machines may make higher GDP possible, but also reduce the demand for people — including smart people. So we could be looking at a society that grows ever richer, but in which all the gains in wealth accrue to whoever owns the robots.

The more things change…

Well, except:

And then eventually Skynet decides to kill us all, but that’s another story.

John Markoff reports on the rise of robots in manufacturing environments:

In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today. 

And:

In one example, a robotic manufacturing system initially cost $250,000 and replaced two machine operators, each earning $50,000 a year. Over the 15-year life of the system, the machines yielded $3.5 million in labor and productivity savings.

Sort of strange how rarely this is brought up in the overseas/cheap labor debates. There’s no question that robots eventually take over this area. And it’s probably not even that far off. 

Per the way the world works: it will eliminate some issues but undoubtedly raise new ones.