Robot News – 12/11/2008

Danger Room reports that iRobot is “laying off ten percent of its flesh-and-blood workforce”.I am too cheap to buy a Roomba unless they can cut another $100 off the price.

The Robot Wife story has appeared at Slash Dot and Hot Air. More appropriate would perhaps be to call this a Fembot or a (shudder) ComfortBot.

Here is what SlashDot wrote:

Le’s wife, Aiko, starts the day by reading him the newspaper headlines and they go for a drives in the countryside. Le says his relationship with Aiko hasn’t strayed into the bedroom, but a few tweaks could turn her into a sexual partner, even redesigning her to have a simulated orgasm.

It is a bit creepy. There are of course, plenty of human subject matter experts who can help with the orgasm expert system (though I am not sure why he would bother). It might be more interesting though is had some iRobot functionality such as cleaning and lawn cutting.Throw in a remote control with a mute button and there is an entrepreneurship opportunity!

There is mention of an anti-ICBM KillBot at Fox News and HotAir. Normally , I think the idea of using anti-personnel KillBots is a stupid/bad idea that the US should avoid. It should be okay for going after non-manned things like Missiles though.

Robot News: “Ethical Killing Machines”

From Slash Dot:

“The New York Times reports on research to develop autonomous battlefield robots that would ‘behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans.’ The researchers claim that these real-life terminators ‘can be designed without an instinct for self-preservation and, as a result, no tendency to lash out in fear.

BTW: I think American Killbots would be a 4GW disaster:

Unless killbots give the US such an advantage that victory at the
tactical and physical levels occurs rapidly or allows the US to partake
in conflict at a dramatically reduced cost (resources and/or manpower),
the enemy will be able to make many gains on the moral. Undecided fence
sitters will drift away from the US. Supporters will support us less.
The enemy will gather strength and rally itself as the scappy underdog
standing up to the souless/satanic killbots.

Which is more important for victory, the moral or the
tactical/physical? WWBS (aka What Would Boyd Say – and yes I just made
that up – bumper stickers and cofee mugs will be available for sale
soon on )? I think we know the answer to that.

The US can already win the tactical and physical levels. Killbots weaken us on the moral level though.

Now I am picturing Daleks with US flags on them. How about – Uncle
Sambots? USAbots? I can just visualize the anti-US propaganda videos

Enough with the KillBots, already. We don’t need them. Unless they are AntiHippyBots.

Is he thinking:
“Where are the hippies? I have an ethical obligation to terminate them.”