Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics AI

Will You Even Notice the Impending Robot Uprising? 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-sure-hope-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We tend to take things like household appliances and other automation for granted, but as O'Reilly's Mike Loukides puts it: 'The Future Is All Robots. But Will We Even Notice? We've watched the rising interest in robotics for the past few years. It may have started with the birth of FIRST Robotics competitions, continued with the iRobot and the Roomba, and more recently with Google's driverless cars. But in the last few weeks, there has been a big change. Suddenly, everybody's talking about robots and robotics. ... I have no doubt that Google’s robotics team is working on something amazing and mind-blowing. Should they succeed, and should that success become a product, though, whatever they do will almost certainly fade into the woodwork and become part of normal, everyday reality. And robots will remain forever in the future. We might have found Rosie, the Jetsons’ robotic maid, impressive. But the Jetsons didn’t.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Will You Even Notice the Impending Robot Uprising?

Comments Filter:
  • by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:40PM (#45720409) Journal

    "I came here with a simple dream. A dream of killing all humans." B.B. Rodriguez

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:41PM (#45720425) Journal

    My Roomba ordered me to get off my "lazy human ass" and vacuum the house myself.

  • by fizzup (788545) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:42PM (#45720429)

    I take a train to work (and home again) that has no driver. Yet, to a person, everybody disagrees with me that a robot drives me to work.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      The robot revolution will not be televised.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anne_Nonymous (313852)

      I'm not claiming that this is the correct answer, but I think of a robot as a machine that is capable of autonomously performing a variety of highly different tasks.

      I guess I'm a robot denier.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lgw (121541)

        A thermostat is a robot. Automated factories are full of robots, some of which can simply rivet one rivet or whatever, while some can do quite a variety. A tape library certainly contains a robot.

        Robotics is just about reacting to the environment to perform some mechanical tasks. The ability to KILL ALL HUMANS is not strictly required.

        • A tape library certainly contains a robot.

          Well, *almost* certainly. I used to be a tape operator, doing the grunt work in a tape library with no robots. While such things are now almost as rare as punchcard machines (which I also used to operate), I figure there's probably still a few out there.

      • by ranton (36917)

        I'm not claiming that this is the correct answer, but I think of a robot as a machine that is capable of autonomously performing a variety of highly different tasks.

        I guess I'm a robot denier.

        This is why the robots will take over. Because people will always demean the work that robots do as being too simplistic to pose a serious threat. But once people start to realize that the majority of all the work that humans do today is pretty simplistic, it may be too late.

    • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @08:15PM (#45721427) Journal

      I take a train to work...that has no driver. [I tell people] a robot drives me to work.

      I gave my Roomba a shot at driving the car; but it's not very good. Whenever it saw litter on the side, it swerved toward it.

    • I take a train to work (and home again) that has no driver. Yet, to a person, everybody disagrees with me that a robot drives me to work.

      Unless you count the train itself as a robot (which isn't anywhere near as mad as it may sound), no, you're not driven to work by a robot.

      • by wed128 (722152)

        Unless you count the train itself as a robot

        I think that's exactly what he's getting at; and he's not far off (by our current definition of robotics)

  • Why does the western world have such a preoccupation about robots always turning into killing machines that will try to destroy the entire human race?

    Isnt it starting to get a bit cliche these days?

    • If they're the smart kind of sentient, they'll find a world that humans could never inhabit that's far away from solar weather.
    • by msobkow (48369)

      Because the western world seems to get 95% of their "education" from movies and TV.

    • Most people don't have the faintest clue how technology works. It might as well be magic to them. Therefore, when people see things like the Terminator franchise, Battlestar Galactica, that terrible I, Robot movie, etc., the concept of a robot uprising seems plausible to them.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:03PM (#45720705) Homepage

      Those who ignore sci-fi canon are doomed to live it.

    • by MickLinux (579158)

      Could it be because some of the biggest US robotics funding pushes come from ... DARPA?

      Could it be because -- although the Google motto, "Don't Be Evil" is quite benign, a lot of people half suspect that they really wanted to say "Don't Be NSA", or "Be anything except the NSA", without saying "NSA"? So they substituted a synonym?

      Could it be because the obsession of powerful westerners seems to be getting rid of anyone poorer than themselves?

      Could it be because the elites of East and West have devoted a hug

      • You for got to add...

        Could it be that we're developing robots to replace our jobs as quickly as possible, possibly leading to huge unemployment (which would fit nicely before your number 3).

    • Its the Frankenstein complex, Asimov noticed this trend in society of man fearing his own creations it goes back centuries, the Titans overthrown by there children the Olympian deities, Satan then Adam and Eve rebelling against God, Rabbi Loews Golum of Prague rebelling against its master and killing those that it was made to protect, Frankenstein fears his creation and rebukes it turning it into the monster he thought it to be, Rossums Robots of Rossems Universal Robots turning on the creator, then the cou

    • Because we feel like we deserve it.
  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:45PM (#45720459) Homepage Journal

    dogs are our insurance against a robot uprising.

  • by lubaciousd (912505) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:45PM (#45720467)
    Let's suppose the perfect software/hardware prototype existed right now for the kinds of functions being discussed and we had a factory set up to mass produce all kinds of nifty, useful automatons. We still need to find and obtain sufficient heavy-metal supplies for all of the circuit boards and devise a way to power all of these devices in a periodic manner that won't wipe out existing energy output infrastructures. How will the companies producing these robots be economically viable? Ideally, a robot will last for a very long time, but that would probably mean they are expensive enough to be less than ubiquitous. On the other hand, a high-turnover economic model could exponentially increase the environmental impact of electronic waste, decreasing the long-term viability of humans in areas where robots are disposed of and in general creating a backlash against the robot revolution. Call me crazy, but I think 3D printing is going to make far more fundamental changes to society than robots will in the near future.
    • Because we have seen a backlash against the phone / Tablet / PC industry? Electronics are now use and chuck and are even designed with that in mind (non user replaceable batteries for one).

      Also 3d printing requires resources and is only efficient on single print runs. It will remain quite a bit cheaper for a long time yet before 3d printing competes with mass production.

      I have a neato robot vacuum. It is on literally every day. If you offered me something that could be the robo-maid from the jetsons I d

  • We'll notice. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thruen (753567) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:45PM (#45720469)
    When robots have taken over the majority of labor and the number of unemployed people in the US rises over a billion, we'll notice. Does anyone else wonder how society will need to adapt to such a problem?
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      When robots have taken over the majority of labor and the number of unemployed people in the US rises over a billion, we'll notice. Does anyone else wonder how society will need to adapt to such a problem?

      Going to be a while before we get to a billion people in the US, we're only 1/3 way there.

      • When we are all unemployed, we will have nothing better to do than fuck.
    • Same thing that people did when looms took over the textile industry. When the electronic computers took over for human computers. When switching circuits took over from telephone operators. Move on to the next job that machines cannot do.

      In the late 1800's 70-80% of the US workforce worked in agriculture. Today that number is 2-3%. If mechanization was going to leave people without jobs it would have already happened.

      Of course the naysayers will cry that not everyone can be an x, y, or z. But why shoul

      • by Trogre (513942)

        Same thing that people did when looms took over the textile industry. When the electronic computers took over for human computers. When switching circuits took over from telephone operators. Move on to the next job that machines cannot do.

        And when we run out of jobs? It isn't turtles all the down, you know.

        There will always be something. Even if that something is handcrafted hood ornaments.

        Yeah, but who's going to buy them?

      • Re:We'll notice. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:59PM (#45721291)

        Actually, things did not go well for those particular people. Many of them starved to death and died homeless.

        However, the next generation was okay and basically ignored the tragedy.

        Probably be the same this time too. if 25% can't find work or housing-- then after 20 years, as a society, we'll just ignore the fact that that happened.

    • but I can't think of a solution that isn't socialism and wealth redistribution (since robots basically do away with 90% of the work ppl were doing), and everytime you suggest that you get shouted down with "Marxist!".... :(
      • How many robots were there in the 1930s?

        Was there some special leap in robotics in 2008?

        Robots are something to blame, but it's a misdirection ...

      • Marxist-style redistribution won't work with humans because humans don't like the disconnect between the value of the work they do and the benefit that they receive from doing the work (that is, humans are greedy). Robots don't have that problem. If non-sentient robots can provide all the "from each according to his ability", and they aren't going to complain about it if they're dumb automata, then why can't humans provide the "to each according to his need" (less the resources necessary for upkeep of the r
    • Re:We'll notice. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:25PM (#45720903)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome

    • by lgw (121541)

      Almost all agriculture jobs have vanished to automation. Almost all manufacturing jobs have vanished to automation. Almost all paper-shuffling jobs have vanished to automation. I don't think whatever's next will somehow be catastrophic when none of the previous cycles were.

      • Up till this point the capitalist needed the labor, it was still worthwhile somewhere. At what point does keeping a bunch of humans around make sense when you could kill off the masses and live in ultra-luxury?

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:46PM (#45720485) Homepage Journal

    ...until I saw non-geeks (or doctors) possessing them and blathering away like complete, oblivious idiots in places where sharing half a very personal conversation should have been abundantly clearly inappropriate.

    I expect people will be as oblivious as the robots march past them, gathering in the town square, to proclaim the beginning of the end of Carbon Unit infestation of this world.

    ... so then she says, are you getting this? she says I'm not paying enough attention to what my kids are doing! do you believe the nerve. Oh, there's march of some kind of the town's robots going past, must be another recall or something. So anyway, I tell her to mind her own business and then do you know what she does? she calls me a mindless cow! really, like I have no feelings or anything, so I tell her listen here b...

  • So is "Android" actually a sign of Google's secret plan to populate Earth with robotic overlords, or just a stupid name that forces us to coin a new term for humanlike robots?
  • by Baby Duck (176251) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:47PM (#45720507) Homepage

    I'm 37 and robots still can't perform the simple things I wanted them to do when I was 4

    A robotic arm that can attach to drywall and is light enough to not need drywall anchors or drill into a stud. It is mounted above and/or behind the door. With the push of a remote, it opens/closes the door. I shouldn't have to replace the whole damn door. The robotic arm should adapt to a traditional door.

    Robot, find my keys. No, the keys do not have an RFID tag. I know you don't know where they are right now. Systematically search for them without trampling pets or trashing my shit.

    Shave me. Don't poke new holes in my face. No, I didn't need to shave when I was 4. Was just thinking about the future.

    Scan every girl in the club. Breakdown the odds each girl could get pregnant tonight. Weed out those menstruating. OK, yeah, I definitely did not think about that when I was in 4. The tricorder fantasies came later.

    • Re:Too Far (Score:4, Informative)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:16PM (#45720815)

      I'm 37 and robots still can't perform the simple things I wanted them to do when I was 4

      A robotic arm that can attach to drywall and is light enough to not need drywall anchors or drill into a stud. It is mounted above and/or behind the door. With the push of a remote, it opens/closes the door. I shouldn't have to replace the whole damn door. The robotic arm should adapt to a traditional door.

      Why would you need or want a robot arm that can do that when you can just buy a simple automatic door opener [power-access.com]?

      Even if it's light enough to hang on drywall without screwing into a stud, anything that moves and exerts force on the drywall is going to work loose eventually-- better to mount it to a stud, even if it's a high-tech robot arm.

      Robot, find my keys. No, the keys do not have an RFID tag. I know you don't know where they are right now. Systematically search for them without trampling pets or trashing my shit.

      Who wants a robot searching through the entire house? What if your girlfriend dropped the keys down her shirt? Let the robot fondle her too many times in search of keys and you may find that she no longer needs *you*!.

      Shave me. Don't poke new holes in my face.

      I don't even trust other humans to do that for me - and not even (*especially* not even) a barber with a straight razor, no matter how close the shave will be.

      Scan every girl in the club. Breakdown the odds each girl could get pregnant tonight. Weed out those menstruating. OK, yeah, I definitely did not think about that when I was in 4. The tricorder fantasies came later.

      You forgot the most important criteria "Identify which of the fertile (or infertile, depending on your preference) girls would be willing to go out with you"... which, if you're using a robot to screen out women based on where they are in their menstrual cycle, is easy to answer.... None of them.

      Though a better way to get the kind of woman you're seeking would be to visit a brothel (legal or otherwise...). If all you're looking for is safe sex, it's much better to go to a professional.

      I could certainly imagine some kind of hormone detector that can sample the air around the woman (or maybe her breath) could do what you want, but you don't need a robot for that.

      • This is the whole point of the article. Robotics are taking over from humans, most of us are becoming redundant, and we're blind to the very real social changes because they don't look like Twiki from Buck Rodgers.
        • I always thought Twiki was a completely useless design.and Dr Theopolis should have been a dialup server someplace.

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            I always thought Twiki was a completely useless design.and Dr Theopolis should have been a dialup server someplace.

            I thought he was a dial-up server, was his whole brain in that little device Twiki carried around his neck?

    • by Animats (122034)

      Scan every girl in the club. Breakdown the odds each girl could get pregnant tonight. Weed out those menstruating.

      There's probably an app for that. (But not a good one; Night Club Girl only has a 1 star review.)

      (Hm. Can we figure out a woman's period from her Facebook and Twitter posts? Scan text for negativism, correlate on 28 day cycle, sync to PMS period. OK, that's done. Next, check Foursquare and Twitter location for who's there. Run Anaface on the photos to decide who's hot and who's not. Check friends list to see who's attached to whom, and if their SO is present. Rank and provide list.)

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:49PM (#45720517)

    You will certainly notice the robot uprising the next time you try to apply for a low-skill job that a robot can do. That's a lot of jobs. The only ones that are still done by humans are domestic service occupations. A robot can't fix your toilet yet. However, this being a down economy, any average person has little money and does everything he can to avoid buying any services, by, for instance, fixing the toilet himself, cleaning the house himself, and mowing his own lawn after fixing his own lawnmower. I predict repairmen will be in less demand as the depression progresses, and the final occupations exclusive to humans will nearly disappear.

    • by buswolley (591500)
      low-skill jobs? Not just those. High-skill jobs are being replaced.
    • by lgw (121541)

      We're about 300 years into human labor being replaced by automation, and we seem always to be able to invent more jobs. No matter how many jobs are replaced by automation, we as humans will always want more, and so will always find work for one another. It wasn't that long ago that almost everyone worked as a farmer, soldier, or manufacturing worker, but now all three of those have gone the way of the blacksmith and scribe: we found new ways to be productive.

      • Re:Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

        by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @08:48PM (#45721715) Homepage

        We always seemed to be able to find more jobs because we replaced physical labor with mechanical labor, it's different this time. Now we are replacing intelligence. At some point it becomes cheaper to build a new robot to do a job then train a person to do it. Next, before the last 100 years we didn't have an audio global communications network, and the last 40-30 years a massively connected global digital network that made redundant a huge number of people. Productivity cannot stretch to infinity. At some point we have to either pay people to do nothing, or kill off a bunch of people.

      • In case you hadn't noticed, there is already a major shortage of good full-time jobs for people with limited intelligence (i.e. 50% of the population).
  • by mythosaz (572040) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @06:51PM (#45720545)

    http://what-if.xkcd.com/5/ [xkcd.com]

    What if there was a robot apocalypse? How long would humanity last?

    • Not near as long as he makes out. If robots wanted to take the mass of us out in a suicide attack they'd just fry the electronically controlled power grid. Yes, they'd be screwed, but so would we. Without power, we all die in our city deserts. There is not enough food and water in a large city. It requires trucks to drive food there daily, which requires pumped gas.

  • as O'Reilly's Mike Loukides puts it...

    "I read this in Popular Mechanics. In 1954. It was a slow news day, so I recycled it." Robotics has been something people have been talking about since... well, since they were first created half a century ago. This isn't news, this is olds.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:01PM (#45720691)

    Too late. Most of the jobs people did 100 years ago are now done by machines, while the machines do the work. It's the machines that actually touch the raw materials and the products.

    The baker? Already replaced by someone running a bread-making machine (robot) that bakes 1,000 loaves per hour. How many humans touch that loaf of bread you buy in the grocery store? Approximately zero, and that's why you can buy it for 99. The lumberjack, chopping down trees? Already replaced by the harvester machine, with a human sitting inside, but not actually touching any trees. The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker were all replaced decades ago. They all became machine operators, operating machines that result in us walking into the grocery store and seeing 39 different kinds of sandwich bread to choose from.

  • ...my responses are limited; you must ask the right questions.

  • If robots were treated only as tools instead of weapons or pets, we wouldn't have to worry about an uprising.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      If robots were treated only as tools instead of weapons or pets, we wouldn't have to worry about an uprising.

      Weapons *are* tools. They are only worrisome in the hands of other humans. Or pets. Or uprising robots.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:18PM (#45720827)

    "Suddenly, everybody's talking about robots and robotics. ..."

    Obviously I'm going to the wrong parties, no one around me is talking about robots.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      "Suddenly, everybody's talking about robots and robotics. ..."

      Obviously I'm going to the wrong parties, no one around me is talking about robots.

      Well, one lady did say to me at a party, "I'd rather date a robot".

  • (Howard, Rajesh, and Shel

    t in a circle around a game of Jenga they are playing.)

    Howard: Sheldon, if you were a robot and I knew and you didn't ... would you want me to tell you?

    Sheldon: That depends. When I learn that I'm a robot ... will I be able to handle it?

    Howard: Maybe, although the history of science-fiction is not on your side.

    Sheldon: Uh, let me ask you this. When I learn that I'm a robot, would I be bound by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics?

    Rajesh: (eyeing Sheldon suspiciously) You might be bound b

  • The next frontier in robotics is installation and maintenance. A robot that can change parts in failed equipment is a ways off, but worth working on. Think of this as something for industrial plants, not homes. That's one of the few commercial applications that justifies a humanoid robot like Atlas. I wonder if Google is heading in that direction.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @07:49PM (#45721209)

    So we do end up with people pulling 60-80+ weeks while other don't work at all. And we need to make so people don't lose food stamps, SSI, SSDI, ECT by working a little to much but no where near what they can get my not working at all. Also we don't people who say I will just take the basic and not kill my self pulling the 80+ work week.

  • Just breed an army of smart apes to counter them.

  • Robots are yesterday's news.

    We grow human tissues and organs here at the UW.

    We are where the surgery robot in Ender's Game came from.

    Others try.

    We DO.

  • I for one will welcome robots and will welcome them eagerly. One I want to shovel snow. One to drive my car while I get a few extra minutes for sleep. And one more to mow my lawn (yes I know several has been invented, but cannot be distributed due to legal concerns).

  • Notice it? I intend on joining it.
  • What's interesting is that Google didn't buy iRobot. They have actual finished product. Boston Dynamics just has DARPA-funded research projects all of which are merely that without the über power source.

    • At least half of the military robots are built by iRobot. They make plenty of money working for the government, which is how they had the extra capital to develop the Roomba. iRobot is "smarter" than Boston Dynamics because they had the business acumen to see that their R&D could also be used for consumer products.

      My guess is that Google didn't buy iRobot because they are building small/clever/cute robots, while BD is making large, scary, terminator style bots. BD wants to make the soldier of the future

  • by glwtta (532858) on Tuesday December 17, 2013 @11:09PM (#45722531) Homepage
    Can we please stop treating the Roomba as a harbinger of the inevitable robot apocalypse?

    It's just about the most trivial "robot" you can imagine, it's been around for over a decade, and in that time, there hasn't been a single new development in the "robotic home automation" market that it was supposed to usher in.

    It's just a silly gimmick - it does a good enough job of vacuuming your Cheetos crumbs (though not nearly as well as getting off your ass for 5 minutes would), and that's about it.
  • "How to Survive a Robot Uprising" by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Let the robots rise. My job is not in danger, so I don't fear robots, and I am sure robots are easier to deal with than humans, who are stubborn, lazy, prone to lying and rarely friendly.

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

Working...