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Thread: Robot love

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Robot love

    Technology has already permeated our lives. Here is a look into where we might be headed.
    The next decade will see the world become increasingly reliant on robotic labour, according to researchers, who warn that there could also be some unintended social consequences.

    "Just as we depend on mobile phones and cars in our daily lives today, the next 15 years will see mass hybridisation between humans and robots," says Antonio Lopez Pelaez, a professor of sociology at Spain's National Distance Learning University.

    He is co-author of a study predicting an evolution of the so-called "digital divide" -- the gap between those who have access to advanced technology and communications such as the internet -- and those who do not.

    The paper, published in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change, suggests 40% of the world's armies will become automated by 2020, as well as a possibility of robotic body implants being commonplace.
    full story from M&G here
    This does raise the question of the role of semi-skilled labour in the future. Essentially they are competing against robotic automation - how is this mass of people going to be constructively deployed in the future?

    Shifting to personal relationships, the picture is perhaps even more disturbing.
    A fourfold increase in robots for entertainment and leisure technology is foreseen for 2011, through a convergence of robotics, computers and home entertainment. The Spanish study concurs, even suggesting many people could become reliant on robotic companions over time.

    "A robot might be a more effective partner and a better person than the humans we actually have in our immediate lives," said Pelaez. "Just as you can see dog owners talking to their pets today, soon we will be talking to robots."

    The potential for an emotional connection with a talking machine has been the subject of many studies. A book by the British futurist David Levy, Love and Sex with Robots, predicted that by 2050 humans would routinely enjoy both romance and sex with a robot partner.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Loman's Avatar
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    It would lead to more people being unemployed. Even the hookers.
    The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It's fascinating trying to take a peek into the future with this. I've got this sense that at some point robotic automation will be under social pressure to be used mainly where humans couldn't do the same job.

    Not quite a conflict between species perhaps, but not that far off either.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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