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Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

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20 comments

Fun with flashbulbs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41212531)

You really will make someone jump out of their skin!

Re:Fun with flashbulbs! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41212559)

Are you trying to say that this is some kind of fleshlight?

Cruelty to Animals? (1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41212725)

We will probably make these robots work harder than we work natural animals.We will probably work some until they break, until the animal tissue dies, because we can "just replace it".

How much of the robot has to be animal before working it that hard is cruelty to the animal? How much robot until it's not an animal with a prosthetic, but flips to a robot with tissue?

Or are all hybrids subject to the compassion we have for animals?

What about when it's human tissue?

Re:Cruelty to Animals? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41212863)

How much of the robot has to be animal before working it that hard is cruelty to the animal?

This has a very little to do with the tissue and more to do with the rewarding system. Cutting in flesh is not considered to be wrong unless the flesh is connected to a functional brain. If you want to read something that explores this in more depth the you can probably find something from Asimov. The first season of the anime Gunslinger Girl also deals with this a bit.

TL;DR; It is not cruel to let a robot work until it wears out or breaks, biological or not. It is however cruel to program said robot to feel pain when it wears out/breaks and then force it to do so.

Re:Cruelty to Animals? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41213081)

"Is not considered to be wrong"? Perhaps by you Anonymous Coward. The issue of live, even autonomous, animal tissue without animal nerves is pretty new, and far from settled. Asimov's half-century old work, from before anyone had any actual experience with any of these innovations, and a cartoon, aren't the final words on the matter.

The point is that the boundaries of "robot" are now fuzzy, and categorical statements like "biological or not" are invalid.

BTW, your post was 111 words while mine was only 86. "TL;DR" is a copout; you just don't want to think about it.

Like it or not, we have to actually think and feel this issue through. We are going to be making these cyborgs, in all degrees from 100% natural to 100% artificial. We will be responsible for the ethical consequences, and the practical effects. Including what we do to our perception of 100% natural humans, either thinking them/us too special compared to the rest, or not special enough.

Re:Cruelty to Animals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41216357)

Like it or not, we have to actually think and feel this issue through. We are going to be making these cyborgs, in all degrees from 100% natural to 100% artificial. We will be responsible for the ethical consequences, and the practical effects. Including what we do to our perception of 100% natural humans, either thinking them/us too special compared to the rest, or not special enough.

But why bring ethics up now? Why not half a century ago (or a century and a half depending on what you consider a computer.) when computers were built? The boundaries were just as fuzzy back then. This invention doesn't muddy the field the slightest compared to all other things that you haven't bothered to react on, why did you choose this particular thing? The ethics behind creating artificial lifeforms have been explored for more than 500 years with the story of Golem and such.
Reacting on a few engineered cells is tabloid level of sensationalism.

Re:Cruelty to Animals? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41213177)

TL;DR; It is not cruel to let a robot work until it wears out or breaks, biological or not. It is however cruel to program said robot to feel pain when it wears out/breaks and then force it to do so.

I suppose it depends on how you define 'cruel'. In a strict sense, engineering humans or other sentient beings to delight in sacrificing themselves for your pleasure* would not be 'cruel', because you are not causing physical pain or suffering. But I believe most would consider such a thing to be deplorable and the product of a cruel and sociopathic mind.

* as Douglas Adams so aptly depicted

scorch the sky (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41212747)

May be the only way to try to take away their power source as they become too strong and try to take us over. I say do it. At least they would find no value in turning us into their power source.

Weaknesses (2)

symes (835608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41212821)

My issue with bio-inspired designs like this is that are are surely susceptible to the same vulnerabilities as humans. One of the benefits of robots is that they can be sent to places humans would not otherwise go, such as deep space, extremes in temperature, and so on. What is the point? Why do we need a copy of a human, other than the obvious cool insights such research provides of course.

Re:Weaknesses (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41213575)

We haven't nanomachines yet that can do for robots what organic tissue can do for humans: Heal. A robot with a damaged servo needs a replacement. We either build the robot with lots of redundancy (have a colony of robots) and get them to fix themselves from scraps, manufacture themselves, or make them more independent -- just allow their injury to heal. Nature shows this is more advantageous when spare parts can not easily be acquired.

How would you indicate to the robot that it shouldn't use the damaged tissue in question? Why, pain receptors of course... In a robotic system we could disable such sensory impulses after patching the firmware with instructions not to use the injured tissue, or after installing a mechanical splint (locking joints); Cyborgs don't have to suffer as humans do. Also, a human with some hybrid organic & robotic parts may be more natural than purely robotic prosthetics (see also: 6 Million Dollar Man).

What one can accomplish through amazing technical feats, nature has already done. Life has many forms each acclimated to their environments, such is true in robotics as well. To answer your question: It's the Unix Way. Why reinvent the wheel if we don't have to? Sometimes iteration is just as innovative as invention.

Don't fear the Cyborgs. Natural selection teaches us there are higher rungs on the evolutionary ladder than ours, we have but to reach.

Re:Weaknesses (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | about a year and a half ago | (#41215509)

Don't fear the Cyborgs. Natural selection teaches us there are higher rungs on the evolutionary ladder than ours, we have but to reach.

Natural selection teaches us no such thing. There are no higher or lower rungs in evolution, there's just adaptability.

Re:Weaknesses (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41214037)

What is the point? Why do we need a copy of a human

They aren't trying to duplicate humans. They are trying to distill and reproduce essential aspects of biomotion e.g. skeletal muscle contraction. TFA is about a way to control the twitching of skeletal muscles without requiring a biological nervous system.

Moooooo. (2)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about a year and a half ago | (#41212873)

It's amazing how hard scientists work to recreate apocalypse scenarios from fiction. In this case, Metal Gear Solid 4.

Strobe Lights (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about a year and a half ago | (#41212917)

Forget about strobe lights disrupting a brain; these muscles have epilepsy built right into the tissue.

Panic! at the Disco (1)

spage (73271) | about a year and a half ago | (#41216891)

I made the mistake of going to the disco in my light-activated exoskeleton... Freak Out!

(Disco Stu meets Lise from William Gibson's great short story "The Winter Market [antonraubenweiss.com]".)

Mad scientists are real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41214803)

So does this strike me as some sort of comic book mad genius plot line? Not happy with only humans having epilespy, Dr. Truffle Shuffle is worming on a way to give it to earthworms and other animals!

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