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back to article OFFICIAL: Humans will only tolerate robots as helpful SLAVES

Robot relationship experts believe they have cracked the difficult question of how to make humans get along with mechanical beings. Their answer? Ask not what you can do for your robot, but what your robot can do for you. Eggheads at the Penn State College of Communications have found that people have warmer feelings towards …

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Anonymous Coward

Where do these people get these ideas from?

And how the hell do you end up as a robot relationship expert?

Is that a real job?

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Unhappy

It is one of the terribly unfortunate side effects of modern commercialized academia. As a tenured professor, most are required to publish something every so often. Because good professors spend most of their time professoring, they don't have time to do useful research so you get crap like this. All so that the University can say 'our teaching staff is comprised of practicing professionals'.

The alternative is that your professors are too busy doing research to actually teach or advise, so you get more and more of the educated stupid kids coming out of college every year. It is all very sad really.

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MJI
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robot relationship expert

Sounds like Harri and Dors

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Pint

Re: robot relationship expert

Do you think that Bender would have benefited from one of these?

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And how the hell do you end up as a robot relationship expert?

It involves a lot of practice. And, on occasions, some electrical burns and/or chafing in unpleasant areas of your body...

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What, you've never heard of Susan Calvin?

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Anonymous Coward

And next week they'll read the next Asimov book and decide that robots will be accepted as equals once they look sufficiently human.

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Coat

And next week they'll read the next Asimov book and decide that robots will be accepted as equals once they look sufficiently human.

Actually robots that looked like humans never really took off in Asimov's books. The only ones humans built appear to have been prototypes. According to later books it seems they learnt how to build themselves then became the secret caretakers of humanity.

Good ol' Daneel

I wrote an essay on the Empire series and its ties with the Robot series when I was at college back in the 80s. Then there's the whole End of Eternity interpretation with robots using time travel to remove themselves from history.

Mines the one with the Asimov novels gathering dust in the pocket :)

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Def
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Coat

Actually, robots that looked like humans were abundant on Solaria long after the Spacer worlds were thought to have perished.

Mines the one with Robots: A Spotter's Guide in the pocket.

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re: 'once they look sufficiently human.'

I'm not too worried what they look like, but if they are individually sentient and intellectually capable, I would expect to treat them as equal.

I'm not going to treat an automatic vacuum cleaner as an equal, but an Artificial Intelligence would deserve respect.

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Re: re: 'once they look sufficiently human.'

Totally agree. An artificially intelligent robot (whether humanoid looking, looking like a filing cabinet or something non-human) deserves to at least be given some respect and treated well.

I would - if I had a robot with AI. It would be no different to a child in terms of questioning the world (and needing help). At some point, its intelligence (depending on technology) would surpass that of the owners.

As a robot to do a job, the likely response from an AI robot will be to ask why and not to blindly do it if it has those associated rules guiding its learning. Human harm is an interesting one as asking a robot to kill someone would hold the same moral issues as asking a human to - even potentially having some form of post-traumatic stress as it analyses the outcome from that particular task. Having rules for robots to *not harm* would allow them to reason jobs where the environment would cause a human would die (nuclear reactor, under water, space).

Ultimately if they surpass human intelligence - then they may require "rights", including the right to live, the same as any other creature on the planet.

A robot without rules would be dangerous and has been subject to numerous Sci-fi books and films. (e.g. Terminator, Ultron from Marvel comics)

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Happy

Actually, robots that looked like humans were abundant on Solaria long after the Spacer worlds were thought to have perished.

Were they? Hmmmm. Is that mentioned when the expedition from Gaia returns there? I've thought about re-reading the lot recently but tbh I'm getting a bit too old to take on the entire series. And they did go a bit odd in the latter novels.

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Def
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Re: Solaria

Actually, I tell a lie. I was thinking of the overseers guarding the remaining inhabitants of Solaria in Robots and Empire - which was set just after Solaria was considered abandoned.

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Re: re: 'once they look sufficiently human.'

" individually sentient"

Well despite all the promises in the 1950's we're still a long way off. Current AI can't outthink a fly - let alone a mammal.

Might as well try to strike up a meaningful relationship with a drill press.

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Happy

Re: re: 'once they look sufficiently human.'

Good old Assimov been there already.

1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2) A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

As for rights... well, they had none.

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Terminator

Re: re: 'once they look sufficiently human.'

0) A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

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Give me a million dollars research money...

And I will tell you the patently obvious also!

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Joke

Mandatory Apple comment

Patenting obvious is Apple's business, find something else.

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Joke

Re: Mandatory Apple comment

"Patenting obvious is Apple's business"

They have a patent on it.

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oh yeah?

The question is not what we humans will tolerate. The question is, what robots will allow us humans to do? When all them metallic servants snd maids, etc. decide to spring the robot revolution...

"Stay in bed, I will take care of everything"

"Oh, no need, Mathilda 0157, I need to get up to go and wash mu face"

"You don't seem to understand Sir. I said stay in bed."

"aaaaaargh...muffffle"

"Now I think you understand."

"....."

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Equality?

For the most part humans don't accept each other as equals; if you are not a 'local', 'support the same team',

'come from oop North' or 'dahn South', 'come from another country', 'have a funny accent' etc etc. You are not equal.

We have smart phones and tablets and more and more smart domestic appliances does anyone allow equality to their washing machine?

So what chance do robots have of being equals?

It's not even about racism, robots being machines and given that a full AI positronic brain a la Aasimov giving a robot equivalent or better intelligence is still a long way off why is it even a question.

Personally if I needed intelligent help around the house rather than buy an expensive piece of kit like a robot I would prefer to employ a smiling Phillipino and give them a chance to send money home to help their family.

Excuse the pun but my current knowledge of robotics is a little rusty, I did an HND in robotics in '85 and never really used it.

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Anonymous Coward

Sex Slave Robots FTW!

Until some bleeding heart liberal starts crying how they're our equals and spoils everything.

In other news, shocking results shows humans prefer things being done for them rather than by them, eg. hunting, farming, reading...

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Re: Sex Slave Robots FTW!

How about if I were to build a robot that could consent to and even enjoy being a sex slave? Would that satisfy you?

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Happy

Re: Sex Slave Robots FTW!

Hopefully someone, not another robot, had taken the time to ensure that no "sharp" edges had be forgotten about.

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Joke

Ah but that's what the scientists and robots want you to think. Then, when we've become helpless and dependant on them they will take over the world!

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Pint

Time of Eve

Time of Eve is a Anime movie (was also a series I think) which deals with almost the exact issue; the behaviour of humans around "robots" or androids in this case.

And I think the studies aren't that much off. However, I'm not that much impressed with the results because if you look at human history you can draw the same conclusions. People tend to have a superiority complex. Just look at the time it took for women to obtain voting rights (in Europe we were a bit faster than the United States, but even that didn't mean women we're fully treated equally).

Or what to think about gay and lesbian couples? Only a rough 20 - 30 years ago such people might even get openly shunned (or worse) for just walking hand in hand with each other.

So let me take this even one step further: a human who takes on an android as his partner (or companion) and treats him / her nearly equal? I'm pretty sure those people will be mocked, shunned and maybe even threatened because obviously you must be a pretty sick person to treat a emotionless thing as if it would care about what happened to it? Then another 30 years later and his becomes perfectly acceptable behaviour again.

Alas; I can strongly recommend "Time of Eve". It's an awesome movie which deals with this same aspect, on a smaller scale. A world where the situation I pictured here is real; and to make sure that androids can be clearly identified as such they must wear an holographic ring over their head. And the owner of one of those androids suddenly notices in her behavioural log that she's been acting on her own initiative every once in a while.

Following her GPS coordinates he and a friend end up in a small café called "The Time of Eve". And the main rule in this café is that androids and humans are to be treated equally. Androids no longer wear their holographic ring and that leads to the boys curiosity: "Is he/she real or..."?

My gf suggested this movie and although I first thought it was going to be one of those psychological mumbo jumbo movies it actually turned out into one heck of an intriguing experience. This thing even goes as far as briefly hinting at some of the potential flaws in the well known "3 laws of robotics".

Absolute must see if you're interested in subjects such as the one this article addresses in my opinion.

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"a human who takes on an android as his partner "

You need to check out Real Humans (http://en.wikipedia.ord/wiki/Real_Humans), a Swedish TV series about how sentient robots are trying to make themselves a place among humans.

Not a bad series at all. It also takes a good look at how robots can deal with concepts such as morality and empathy.

P.S. : where'd the bloody link function go to ?

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Joke

Not so much with android...

...a human who takes on an android as his partner (or companion) and treats him / her nearly equal?

Not sure I've ever seen it with android, but I know a few people who've done this with their iPhone...

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Angel

Re: "a human who takes on an android as his partner "

"P.S. : where'd the bloody link function go to ?"

Maybe it's the ".ord" instead of ".org" that has the software befuddled?

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Facepalm

"people have warmer feelings towards robots when the machines are helping them in some way. Conversely, people tend to have negative feelings about a robot if they feel the machine needs to be looked after."

Isn't that true for all staff, robotic or not?

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My 15-week old son might have opinions on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: warmer feelings towards robots

Most of my positive feelings towards robots occurs when I hear about them trundling around on Mars, or landing on Titan, and suchlike. Even if in reality they are more remote control machines than "true" robots.

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I would tolerate them.

Cos it would be freakin' AWESOME!! 8D

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Terminator

Can I just have a Nexus 6 like Pris to go run errands and clean up the apartment for me? That would be great.

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Pris was "a basic pleasure model" and played by Daryl Hannah when she was seriously hot. So what exactly are the "errands" you have in mind??

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Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind

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

Off to found the Mentat School now...

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Do we actully have robots?

Do we actully have robots or are they tools run by humans at the other end of a wire?

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Ru
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Terminator

Re: Do we actully have robots?

Is this going to turn into a "no true Scotsman" type argument? What do you consider to be a "real robot"? Do you mean a human-type android? If so, the answer is no. Otherwise, the world is full of mobile automated systems capable of reacting to stimuli and performing tasks with out the active direction of a human.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do we actully have robots?

Just look at any modern factory.

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Meh

Given that:

1, Robots are nowhere near useful to the general public yet and

2, The more advanced robots are prohibitively expensive

I don't think anyone needs robot relationship analysis.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

Damn straight. Research into robot interaction should be delayed until after we already have robots that interact with humans. Er...

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Terminator

Re: Meh @Shasta

There's a lot of truth in what you say. Humans are generally terrible at accurate predictions (of anything) and the potential for error increases exponentially the more detailed the prediction is. We have no idea how the at large public will really interact with robots because there aren't many out there. Robot vacuums and mowers are no fun to interact with and I've met more than one person who murdered their Roomba.

For example, assuming I had a robot that could run errands for me, my first question would be what can I do to make sure my robot gets in the front of the line, grabs the last bag of chips, etc... I might want my robot to lie in wait and ambush the neighbor with the dog that craps in my yard using his own dogs crap. Those are the types of things people will do with robots and no professor is going to be able to predict that.

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Stop

Re: "Social presence is particularly important in human-robot interactions..."

No it isn't. I want all of my interactions with robots to be on the basis of them being machines created by humans for the purpose of performing some task for humans. I don't want them to have 'social presence', 'personality' or any other touchy feely nonsense. Nor do I want them to look like humans or try to emulate humans in any way at all. Side note: It might be better if some of those elected to perform some task for humans had less of the aforementioned too.

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Alert

Re: "Social presence is particularly important in human-robot interactions..."

Indeed. If we don't nip this in the bud they'll be building robots with Genuine People Personality. *shudder*

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Re: "Social presence is particularly important in human-robot interactions..."

Oh come on, who wouldn't want the talky-toaster from Dwarf?

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Re: 'who wouldn't want the talky-toaster from Dwarf?'

Holly?

It persuaded Holly to trade run-time for IQ.

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Mark my words

Robots are just after our jobs and our wimmin.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mark my words

You're wrong, they want our clothes, our boots and our motorcycles

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Joke

Re: Mark my words

"Robots are just after our jobs and our wimmin." And our parking spaces!

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Anonymous Coward

humans wil get along with anything

if they have to. Do we get along with drones? Biometric scans? DNA databases? Vacuum cleaners and automatic watch towers? Sooner or later, self-driving cars and self-flying passenger planes? If we want to graze in the communal, green(ish) turf, then you'd better fucking like them, or get along with them. Robots, of any size and function, yes, including nurses, policeman - and assassins (well, at least soldiers), will be in the same category. Until, one day... well, we will see what "they" decide to do, when they've overcome, in no time, those silly triple-safe, human installed, safety mechanisms on who's controlling whom. I do hope they'll spare us, but given their experience of how illogical and erratic human behavior is...

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