What if robots took over the world?

The brilliant minds over at The Onion have answered this question. I just ran across this video and it gave me a good chuckle. I hope you like it also.


In The Know: Are We Giving The Robots That Run Our Society Too Much Power?

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New advances in Nanotechnology, should we be excited or scared?New advances in Nanotechnology, should we be excited or scared?

I have been interested nanotechnology, or nanoscience as this video refers to it, for a very long time. If you have heard about nanotech, but haven’t seen any visuals, I highly recommend this video. It touches on properties at the nano scale both in nature and how we are developing our own new materials. They also touch on the development of nano machines. What worries me is for nanotech to become useful, they will probably have to develop self-replicating machines.

In one of my reviews a few years ago for The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, he writes about Matter Compilers, usually referred to as an M.C. for short. That’s great right? We can just make whatever we want, any time we want! There are also little battles between autonomous nanobots called mites that break out. If I remember correctly, these massive battles on the nano scale result in a type of dust that pollutes the air and causes respiratory problems. That’s no good! There is a little excerpt on Google books that doesn’t really have any spoilers. It begins on the end of page 59 through page 61. Click through this link for the full text.

I can certainly see something like what Stephenson describes happening within our lifetimes. What do you think?

The Lunch LadyThe Lunch Lady

In a completely off topic transition from Sci-Fi, I felt compelled to share this following telephone answering machine message. My wife sent me a quick IM telling me I needed to call this # (I don’t list it here) and “just listen to it.” Apparently this lady is quite eccentric, which I can’t do any justice by trying to describe her. She starts off by reading off a menu with food on it then digresses into song, then wishes everyone safe travels. That sounds normal enough, right?

Here’s The Lunch Lady telephone message. If you like the Lunch Lady, you can visit her official site, The Lunch Lady Fan Club.

Willow Garage to make domestic robot development open sourceWillow Garage to make domestic robot development open source

I found this C|Net news article via Slashdot talking about a company named Willow Garage that hopes to develop domestic robots, autonomous boats, and autonomous cars. I’m especially interested in this development since I’m such a fan of Asimov, who is attributed to first using the term ‘robotics’. I’m not sure that there will be any sentient robots any time soon, but I’m glad to see that the development information will be open source. I think that keeping the design specifications open will be a good thing, rather then keep them secret which could lead to a monopoly like US Robotics and Mechanical Men in Asimov’s writing.

How far do you think robotics will have progressed 10, 20, or even 50 years from now? I’m interested in reading your comments about this.