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A Chicken In Every Pot, A Robot In Every Home

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-for-one-welcome-our-new-robotic dept.

110

Palm Addict writes "The New York Times report that "South Korea, the world's most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.""

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110 comments

Mr. Roboto (2, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049438)

It seems to me that even the smartest robots [spacedaily.com] are still only about as intellectually capable as me and my roommates after a heavy night of drinking.

So naturally, the next step for them is to be made citizens. That way, they can't dodge the draft [engadget.com] .

While they've already began using them for educational [slashdot.org] and military [bbc.co.uk] purposes, I somehow doubt that they will become useful anytime soon. They will be something used only by the government or by the rich until enough money is thrown in and research is done to turn them into anything worth considering.

Re:Mr. Roboto (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049475)

"It seems to me that even the smartest robots [spacedaily.com] are still only about as intellectually capable as me and my roommates after a heavy night of drinking." They vomit on the floor, have unprotected sex and post on Slashdot ?

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

NorthWoodsman (606357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050448)

Unprotected sex? You must be new here.

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051450)

"They vomit on the floor, have unprotected sex and post on Slashdot ?"

No but they might get "intimate" with the vacuum clearer, or the washer on spin-cycle - so not much different from college students!

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051931)

I think it's unfair to think that all robots will have the same proclivities as the fruitfucker 2000.

Re:Mr. Roboto (4, Funny)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049521)

I don't know that it takes alot of intelligence for a robot to bring you a beer or give you a hand job.

That is what they are for, isn't it?

Re:Mr. Roboto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050712)

Hand job? Hell I can do that for myself. I want robot blowjobs!

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

EatHam (597465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051582)

I have not yet gotten to the point where I find it necessary to outsource my wanking.

That's not the point! (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051941)

The point is wanking to robot hand job internet porn.

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049574)

Tell that to my mother I you will surely be hit with her purse, let me rephrase what she told me when I bought her this cute robot [irobot.com] , it was something like "wow, and think that this gadget manages to clean better than you did" (as I hated to clean my room when I was a kid).

Re:Mr. Roboto (1, Funny)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049622)

I for one welcome our - hey, wait now. It's not funny if its topical is it?

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051957)

In Soviet Korea, only old robot overlords welcome YOU!!

Re:Mr. Roboto (2, Interesting)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052925)

It's more topical than you think. Not only the robot part, but the overlords part too. They will all be networked to a central government facility. Big Brother, anybody?

It's an odd coincidence, today, I've been reading "With Folded Hands" by Jack Williamson. It's about a guy who sells robots (scarcely more than voice-controlled Roombas that can retrieve the dirty dishes from your table) for home automation, who is put unexpectedly and immediately out of business when technologically advanced centrally controlled robots show up, intending to do everything for humans so that humans no longer need to (or indeed, are allowed to) lift a finger. They force themselves on a mostly willing populace and take ownership of everything.

Er, anyway, my point was about the central control and the possibilities therein. I guess I'm glad it's happening in Korea, rather than my location.

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

resonte (900899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053604)

"Er, anyway, my point was about the central control and the possibilities therein. I guess I'm glad it's happening in Korea, rather than my location." This is why in the west we never have anything inovative in terms of robotics for the public. The people are too afraid of the robots, due to all the hollywood movies, when really they are harmless.

Re:Mr. Roboto (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049656)

Pin Pals: You can do it, Otto! You can do it, Otto! Help each other out: that'll be our motto! You can do it, Otto! You can do it, Otto!
Apu: Make this spare; I'll give you free gelato!
Moe: Then back to my place, where I will get you blotto!
Homer: Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto.

NY Times Article Access (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049439)

Nobody likes to register so try this link [nytimes.com] .

I apologize for the karma whoring.

Re:NY Times Article Access (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049531)

Please visit my guestbook [hoga.lu] !

Re:Link no longer working (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050536)

At least not for me in Firefox. Mind a cut and paste?

Full Article Text (1)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050596)

Is it still considered karma whoring if I already have good karma?
Anyway, just use underrated and the person doesn't get the bonus.  Whatever:

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea, the world's most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.

By 2007, networked robots that, say, relay messages to parents, teach children English and sing and dance for them when they are bored, are scheduled to enter mass production. Outside the home, they are expected to guide customers at post offices or patrol public areas, searching for intruders and transmitting images to monitoring centers.

If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing. Some want to move even faster.

"My personal goal is to put a robot in every home by 2010," said Oh Sang Rok, manager of the ministry's intelligent service robot project.

Reeling from the Asian financial crisis of 1997, South Korea decided that becoming a high-tech nation was the only way to secure its future.

The government deregulated the telecommunications and Internet service industries and made investments as companies laid out cables in cities and into the countryside. The government offered information technology courses to homemakers, subsidized computers for low-income families and made the country the first in the world to have high-speed Internet in every primary, junior and high school.

As with robots and most other specific technologies, the government has had a strong hand in guiding businesses and research centers. Failures have occurred -- most spectacularly in biotechnology, when the cloning scientist, Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, was exposed as a fraud -- but the successes are many.

South Koreans use futuristic technologies that are years away in the United States; companies like Microsoft and Motorola test products here before introducing them in the United States.

Since January, Koreans have been able to watch television broadcasts on cellphones, free, thanks to government-subsidized technology. In April, South Korea will introduce the first nationwide superfast wireless Internet service, called WiBro, eventually making it possible for Koreans to remain online on the go -- at 10 megabits per second, faster than most conventional broadband connections.

South Korea, perhaps more than any other country, is transforming itself through technology. About 17 million of the 48 million South Koreans belong to Cyworld, a Web-based service that is a sort of parallel universe where everyone is interconnected through home pages. The interconnectivity has changed the way and speed with which opinions are formed, about everything from fashion to politics, technology and social science experts said.

Chang Duk Jin, a sociologist at Seoul National University who has studied the effects of technology on society, said it had profoundly influenced domestic politics. Two years ago, after the opposition-led National Assembly impeached President Roh Moo Hyun, a consensus began forming on the Internet that the move was politically motivated -- two hours after the vote took place, Mr. Chang said.

"That quickly led to mass demonstrations," he said. "That kind of thing had never happened in Korea before. Everyone is connected to everyone else, so issues spread very fast and kind of unpredictably."

There has been at least one unpredictable side effect: fierce witch hunts. In a case that caused national soul-searching, a woman riding the subway with her dog last year refused to clean up after it defecated in the car. One angry passenger photographed her with a camera-equipped cellphone and later posted the photos. Soon, all of wired South Korea seemed to be on the hunt for "Dog Poop Girl." Several misidentified women were verbally attacked, and finally the woman herself was identified on the Internet and humiliated as the topic of countless online discussions.

Such problems have led the government to consider curbing anonymity on the Internet, a proposal that has drawn strong opposition here. In another response, in February, the government released a 256-page "IT Ethics" textbook for junior and high school students. Teachers are expected to spend 30 hours instructing from the textbook, whose chapters include "Healthy Mobile Phone Culture," and "Protecting Personal Privacy."

"Education has lagged behind the technology," said Park Jung Ho, a professor of computer science at Sunmoon University here.

The government, though, is pushing ahead relentlessly. It has drawn a precise timetable on specific technologies to develop or invent, one of them robotics.

Mr. Oh of the Communication Ministry said South Korea lagged behind American, Japanese and European competitors in robotics but was aiming to be No. 3 by 2013. While other countries have focused on developing military, industrial or humanoid robots, he said, South Korea decided three years ago to develop service robots that, instead of operating independently, derive their intelligence from being part of a network.

Late last year, three types of robots were distributed to 64 randomly selected households, as well as two post offices, with mixed results, Mr. Oh said. In October, a second phase in the testing will put robots in 650 households and 20 public places.

By 2007, the networked robots are expected to be on the market. Yujin Robot started developing prototypes in 2004 and has sold 100, mostly to universities and research institutes, said Shin Kyung Chul, the company's president. It is the leader in making small, $500 robots that move around the house using sensors, vacuuming or sweeping. They have become popular gifts for newlyweds.

One of the networked robots -- the two-foot-tall Jupiter with a big monitor in its chest, a round rotating head with big eyes that change shape to emulate emotions -- can recognize faces and voices. Jupiter recited a nursery rhyme and danced, as Mr. Shin explained his vision of a robot-centered "intelligent society."

Kim Mun Sang, director of the Center for Intelligent Robotics, which groups about 500 scientists in a project by government and industry, said networked robots needed a "killer app" before they could become fully integrated into the wired society. He said the conditions were not ripe yet and would not be for another "5 to 10 years."

"But eventually robots could change how we live in a way we can't predict right now," Mr. Kim said. "It's like the PC. No one ever thought the PC and the Internet would transform our society the way they have."

Re:Full Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050765)

Thanks!

-Vertinox

I call bullshit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049455)

Impossible - everyone knows that in Korea, only old people own robots.

Summary misleading. (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049462)

And not just the summary (as it was copied & pasted verbatim from the article), but the NYT.

I thought on reading the line " to make robots full members of society" that the article was talking about robot [rfreitas.com] rights. [geocities.com] However, the article is just about making plans for standard automation & borderline AI over the next 10 years.

I for one am going to await until this company [irobot.com] is taken over by the rightful owners of that name before I bother to get excited by robots.

Re:Summary misleading. (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050048)

Yeah, it's the same way that cars are "full members of society."

Re:Summary misleading. (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050262)

*I*'ll wait until they merge with *this [realdoll.com] * company before I get excited by robots.

Until then I'll be at the pub.

Re:Summary misleading. (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051558)

The interesting thing then becomes, if robots ever get voting rights, do the makers of the company start mass producing voters to "buy" elections for the highest bidder, at least until the party with less money decides to outlaw the practice? Except, then you'd have to be able to override the robot vote to disenfranchise the robots.

U.S. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049469)

The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade

As a red blooded American, I say 'it can't be done.'

Totally misconstrued as... (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049478)

Pot in every home, Robot Chicken on TV. [adultswim.com]

Re:Totally misconstrued as... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049545)

So, Is the robot pre-programed to choke the chicken?

  * Ducks *

Article title corrected... (0, Redundant)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049491)

In a Wired South Korea, only old Robots Will Feel Right at Home.

Now usable for the typical Slashdot crowd ;)
Never have seen a title so easy to fix :)

In a Wired Soviet Korea... (0, Offtopic)

fuyu-no-neko (839858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049600)

In a Wired Soviet Korea, old robots make you feel at home?

Re:Article title corrected... (1)

woginuk (866628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050388)

Shouldn't that be 'A Dog in Every Pot...'?

Re:Article title corrected... (1)

TheNumberless (650099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052128)

That's still wrong. It's "In Wired South Korea, only old people will buy robot insurance."

I don't even know why the scientists make them.

I'm... (-1, Offtopic)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049492)

...back.

- T-800

Humans United Against Robots (1)

klang (27062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049493)

It's time to raise the awareness!

  Robots will uprise. HUAR will be there.

http://www.humansunitedagainstrobots.com/ [humansunit...robots.com]

I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049496)

...nah, too easy.

South Korea will fake it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049515)

Just like they faked all their genetic research. I wouldn't trust ANY "science" coming out of South Korea.

Also, South Koreans are the most racist people on the planet.

In Korea... (-1, Redundant)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049528)

... only old people are robots.

Re:In Korea... (1)

mrselfdestrukt (149193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050045)

Bloody hell! You just gave me a brilliant idea. You know how old people always feel like they're no longer useful(excuse my english 2nd language spelling please) and some of them have diseases that make them look and behave like a stoned teenager? Well, here's the perfect solution. You dress them in cool,shiny cybergear or cheaper foil/garbage bin alternatives. Then you take your new old-timer and give them drugs and/or convince him/her that he/she is actually a robot built to serve humanity. Then you use them in your own home or rent them out as robots.
Old people are useful again and you have shiny, dumb robots in every house.
Everyone's happy!

Killer App (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049560)

Kim Mun Sang, director of the Center for Intelligent Robotics, which groups about 500 scientists in a project by government and industry, said networked robots needed a "killer app" before they could become fully integrated into the wired society.

I definately think the killer app is, "Robot, find my car keys!"

__
Elephant Essays [elephantessays.com] - Custom-created essays and research papers.

Re:Killer App (4, Funny)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049589)

I thought the "Killer App" was where the robots go around shooting people...

Re:Killer App (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050640)

Must we relegate everything to robots? Going around randomly shooting people is part of what makes us human, I say.

Re:Killer App (1)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051777)

That only applies to the robots that come with the special instruction manual: "To Serve Man"

Robots? (5, Interesting)

TechnoGuyRob (926031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049587)

This is a very, very, very daring venture, and if South Korea succeeds, I can only congratulate them with all my heart. But, one has to ask; are "robots" ready to enter society? We have been seeing things like ATMs, the internet, and various other technologies exploited over the years, whether for identity theft, spam, etc. If the same thing happens to robots, we could be facing some problems.

But to be honest, after reading the article, I am quite impressed. I did not know this. Take, for example:
Since January, Koreans have been able to watch television broadcasts on cellphones, free, thanks to government-subsidized technology. In April, South Korea will introduce the first nationwide superfast wireless Internet service, called WiBro, eventually making it possible for Koreans to remain online on the go -- at 10 megabits per second, faster than most conventional broadband connections.
I'll come straight out with it. That is very impressive. However, as I have stated before, technology--while helpful--can cause problems as well. I mean, it's great that (from the article) "Two years ago, after the opposition-led National Assembly impeached President Roh Moo Hyun, a consensus began forming on the Internet that the move was politically motivated -- two hours after the vote took place, Mr. Chang said. That quickly led to mass demonstrations," he said. "That kind of thing had never happened in Korea before. Everyone is connected to everyone else, so issues spread very fast and kind of unpredictably." However, then you have incidents like this:
There has been at least one unpredictable side effect: fierce witch hunts. In a case that caused national soul-searching, a woman riding the subway with her dog last year refused to clean up after it defecated in the car. One angry passenger photographed her with a camera-equipped cellphone and later posted the photos. Soon, all of wired South Korea seemed to be on the hunt for "Dog Poop Girl." Several misidentified women were verbally attacked, and finally the woman herself was identified on the Internet and humiliated as the topic of countless online discussions.


Honestly, I think South Korea might be moving a little too fast for its own good. People aren't getting a chance to adapt. But then again, who knows?
"But eventually robots could change how we live in a way we can't predict right now," Mr. Kim said. "It's like the PC. No one ever thought the PC and the Internet would transform our society the way they have."

Re:Robots? (3, Insightful)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049928)

A woman who refuses to pick up her dog's crap after it takes a dump on the subway *deserves* to humiliated.

If a dog craps on the carpet, you rub his nose in it. If a dog craps on the subway, and the owner doesn't pick it up, you rub *her* nose in it.

Re:Robots? (1)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051627)

Rubbing a dog's nose in their poop is useless. Dogs use poop as buisness card with a complete medical history on the back of it. The grabing by the neck and being forced down might do some good but dogs and people have two very differnt ideas on poop.

As for the witch hunt: Given the nature of shame in eastern culture I would expect this to the last time that anyone refuses to pick up after their pet, be it on a tram or in a park or anywhere else.

Yeah what about the other people (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053751)

A woman who refuses to pick up her dog's crap after it takes a dump on the subway *deserves* to humiliated.

If a dog craps on the carpet, you rub his nose in it. If a dog craps on the subway, and the owner doesn't pick it up, you rub *her* nose in it.

Yeah but what about the other people who were humiliated that had nothing to do with this event. Trust people are too uptight and this just shows it. To have a large group of people become obsessive over this one thing is just stupid.

Re:Robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050178)

This goes to show how conditioned the average individual is with regard to government. Nowhere do I see anyone asking the fundamental question of human rights: is it morally correct to force an individual to invest in such technology against his will?

Instead, here is our only concern: is this technology ready to be forced upon each individual against his will?

The question of individual rights was never on the table for discussion in the first place! Sickening, isn't it? Hardly surprising, though, when you consider that every one of us grew up knowing nothing but big government.

Re:Robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051236)

"a woman riding the subway with her dog last year refused to clean up after it defecated in the car."

Wait, this is South Korea, right? She was riding with her DOG? Why would anyone be opposed to cleaning up after his or her LUNCH? It's just common courtesy, people. This kind of outrage must be stopped.

Would you want your sister to marry one? (3, Insightful)

wsanders (114993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051697)

Really it all boils down to one question. I don't see any problem here.

- I wouldn't mind if my sister married an ATM, for example, it would be really easy to beat him at poker and I'd have all the cash I wanted.

- And what's the problem with "Dog Poop Girl"? She needed the humiliation.

- And what's wrong with organizing mass demonstrations by IM? Already happens everywhere.

Re:Robots? (1)

Clovert Agent (87154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051807)

"Soon, all of wired South Korea seemed to be on the hunt for "Dog Poop Girl." Several misidentified women were verbally attacked, and finally the woman herself was identified on the Internet and humiliated as the topic of countless online discussions."

Honestly, I think South Korea might be moving a little too fast for its own good. People aren't getting a chance to adapt. But then again, who knows?

To be brutal (and if I was a victim I might feel otherwise!), but is this bad? I mean, some people got verbal abuse, and the person in question got humiliated online. That's a shame, but I bet she hasn't done it again. If anything, this is a good example of society taking action against an offender using the tools at its disposal.

On the other hand, that's only a short step away from a mob with pitchforks, right? Vigilante justice, even non-violent vigilante justice, is probably a very bad idea.

Re:Robots? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054204)

But to be honest, after reading the article, I am quite impressed. I did not know this. Take, for example:


        Since January, Koreans have been able to watch television broadcasts on cellphones, free, thanks to government-subsidized technology.


Enh. I don't find it all that impressive. "Free" in this case means, "paid for by taxing Korean citizens". Think about that for a moment, then ask yourself, "is delivering free TV to cell phones really the best use of your citizen's money?" Another good question to ask is, "wouldn't it be better for everybody to cut taxes, and let those citizens who actually want or need cellphone TV buy it themselves at market rates with the money you've let them keep?"

Not Again... (-1, Redundant)

Aque0us (955275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049598)

I for one welcome our new South Korean robot overlords...

Re:Not Again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049639)

I, for one, welcome our bad spellink, diaper wearing, bad joke using overlords.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0, Offtopic)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049610)

In soviet russia, robot penetrates YOU!!

What we really need to advance robot tech is WWIII (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049623)

Think about how much technology advanced between 1935 and 1945. Compare that to the advancement between 1960 and 1970.

The problem, though is that we have nuclear weapons, so there's no reason to on-the ground wars at all.

Still, if the iraq war were to continue, I could imagine a million-strong robot army would actually help us put a dent in the insurgency, without taking the kinds of casualties that make the war so distastefull at home. Robot soldures could take risks that real soldures can't, so they could be a lot more careful in not killing civilians.

Plus, it would really demoralize the insurgency. They know they can scare us off if they keep killing soldures, but you can never kill enough robots.

Re:What we really need to advance robot tech is... (5, Funny)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049711)

Plus, it would really demoralize the insurgency. They know they can scare us off if they keep killing soldures, but you can never kill enough robots.

Obligatory:

Zapp: You see, the killbots have a preset kill limit; knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own men at them until they reached their limit and shut down.
Bender: It was a dark day for robotkind. Ahhhh, we can always build more killbots.

Re:What we really need to advance robot tech is... (-1, Flamebait)

NiteHaqr (29663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049910)

Even more obligatory

Its SOLDIERS not Soldures.

If you cannot communicate properly, how do you expect people to take you seriously.

Also I think if you asked them, they are freedom fighters fighting for the freedom of their country, not insurgent terrorists.

A telling fact in the whole Iraq thing is the fact that the current war started just after Saddam started selling oil in Euro's and one of the first thing that happened after the then government was deposed was that Iraqi oil was once again priced and sold in dollars - despite this being against their best interests - I think it cost them something like 20% of the price of a barrel.

There are a few wikipedia pages on this concept - why not go have a read, then see if the current occupation of Iraq is a good thing for Iraq as a nation - you could start here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar_warfare [wikipedia.org] and work your way through the links -

[sarcasm] But yes, lets send in the kill bots [/sarcasm]

Re:What we really need to advance robot tech is WW (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049806)

Plus, it would really demoralize the insurgency. They know they can scare us off if they keep killing soldures, but you can never kill enough robots.

That's a nice optimistic thought. Unfortunately, in real life it would probably be more like "it would really delight the insurgency, because they only have to hack one and they have a million killing machines they can send at the US troops". (You can tell how much faith I have in the software industry . . .)

Re:What we really need to advance robot tech is WW (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054283)

"it would really delight the insurgency, because they only have to hack one and they have a million killing machines they can send at the US troops".

I'm with Masamune Shirow [asgard.gen.nz] on this one: Advanced automated devices--especially military and paramilitary devices--will require almost-constant maintenance services from an advanced industrial infrastructure.

Hack one, and it's yours until its component failure. After that, you better hope you're in charge of a major industrial superpower, if you plan on repairing that component and continuing to use the device.

Hack a million, and they're yours until ten seconds later, when your enemy withdraws the support infrastructure...

The red state version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052531)

Our American way of life requires the world's oil. This is America's God-given right and manifest destiny. Getting that oil requires blood. Arab blood. Our robot armies will make the Arab street run red with blood! We will grease the treads of our robots with the bodies of their infidel children! We've done it before, and we'll do it again! God Bless President George W. Bush and the United States of America! Amen!

Re:The red state version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052689)

You should consider a career in politics. ,)

Deja vu (1)

SpiritusGladius1517 (929800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049650)

Haven't we already seen this before? We should know what the future will be like with robots integrated into society!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bender_Bending_Rodrig uez [wikipedia.org]

Re:Deja vu (1)

TenLow (812875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049699)

But that's not using a realistic timetable.

JC Denton was born about now wasn't he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049776)

"or patrol public areas, searching for intruders and transmitting images to monitoring centers."

Anyone else have bad memories of those robots from Deus Ex?

Headline Should Read: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049828)

A Dog In Every Pot, A Robot In Every Home

Ob Simpsons ref (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049902)

I for.... one....

It just isn't worth the effort.

Re:Ob Simpsons ref (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052541)

"I for.... one...." salute our David Hasselhoff look a like overlords.....Nooooooooo!

Damn. (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049943)

Better make sure my robot insurance [robotmarketplace.com] is up to date.

Physical agency and human robots (3, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050047)

The line from Bladerunner about machines either being a benefit or a hazard pretty well sums things up.

I think the biggest concern is that machines are liable to be used to destructive ends by manipulative people. Right now machines with physical agency (like cars) have very little in the way of independent capability: they can't really function independently of a human operator. And machines which can function independently of an operator lack physical agency (like ATMs).

The problem with humanoid robots is that they combin independence with physical agency. Even putting the entire issue of AI aside, such machines could be extremely dangerous because they have the potential to be misdirected for destructive purposes by people. Imagine if a 12 year old kid or a terrorist could instruct a big SUV by remote control?

It's not so much humanoid robots that are the concern, but larger machines like vehicles that are a worry to me. Right now it is virutally impossible to remotely hack the controls of an airliner, for example, but if planes began to be made to follow instructions issued from less narrow sources of input - by voice or remote control - then the window for abuse opens dramatically.

As I said, I won't get into AI since that's way too big of an issue, but there is one more point worth thinking about, and that is human beings as robots. Where human beings are profoundly ignorant and very fearful, they are vulnerable to manipulation. That's where terrorists come from. From a certain perspective, suicide bombers are like robots that are being misguided by malevolent human manipulators. Since without highly advanced AI they will presumably be easier to manipulate than even the most ignorant person, robots with physical agency could very quickly become the tool of choice for terrorism.

Wrong.... Your forgetting about the AI (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054007)

As I said, I won't get into AI since that's way too big of an issue, but there is one more point worth thinking about, and that is human beings as robots. Where human beings are profoundly ignorant and very fearful, they are vulnerable to manipulation. That's where terrorists come from. From a certain perspective, suicide bombers are like robots that are being misguided by malevolent human manipulators. Since without highly advanced AI they will presumably be easier to manipulate than even the most ignorant person, robots with physical agency could very quickly become the tool of choice for terrorism.
I doubt that is the way anything will work. The AI will probably be the overiding factor in the robot. The simplest example I could think of is a robot that can take signals from humans. Sure the robot may be conrolled by a human but there could be overiding factors that would make the robot completely ignore that signal and do some other type of maneuvuer. For example a robot may be more concerned with avoiding a wall than taking commands from a human. Unfortunately, this type of method depends on how the robot is programmed in the first place.

Built for speed (2, Insightful)

fbrchnl2112 (946378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050056)

That South Korean robot can run slightly faster than I can. That ought to count for something. fbr

Roomba (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050164)

How timely. I bought my first home robot on Saturday, a Roomba vacuuming robot. It's working superbly, and am very happy with the frankly mindless job its doing having been transferred from either myself or my wife and over to a machine instead.

What I find interesting is that I have three kids, the eldest being four. They're going to grow up in a house where it's not considered unusual to have a robot pootling about the place doing domestic chores, whereas to my generation (I'm 34) that's still a "hey, cool!" thing. Nobody says "hey cool, you've got a washing machine!" anymore, at least no-one in the developed world (I'm in the UK).

I'm hoping that the Roomba is just the start of a number of domestic robots. I wouldn't mind one that could wash windows for example, both internal and external. Or a polishing robot. Or a mail-gaethering robot*, or preferable one robot capapble of doing all of it.

I would imaginethat by the time my kids are 34, domestic robots will be so common that even the phraseology will seem absolete. Sort of like your granny talking about the 'wireless', meaning something utterly different to what you mean by the wireless. They'd just be part of the normal experience of daily life. By getting kids used to the idea that there's nothing special about having a robot, such a day is hastened. And my floors get cleaned as well.

Cheers,
Ian
(*Forget the mail-gathering robot from the Hitchhiker's adventure game. I know about the mail-gathering robot from the Hitchhiker's adventure game. Damned babel fish machine...)

Re:Roomba (1)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052335)

What I find interesting is that I have three kids, the eldest being four. They're going to grow up in a house where it's not considered unusual to have a robot pootling about the place doing domestic chores, whereas to my generation (I'm 34) that's still a "hey, cool!" thing. Nobody says "hey cool, you've got a washing machine!" anymore, at least no-one in the developed world (I'm in the UK).

Methinks your "washing machine" analogy is waaaaaaaaay off. These robots will become part of the family in a way that your current-day washing machine will envy: a buddy of mine's Roomba was "allowed" to write the family's Christmas card last year. It was very, very funny.

Re:Roomba (1)

revco_38 (657452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052400)

I have to second you on the Roomba. We're had one for about a year now and it's great. My kids love to follow it around and talk to it (3 & 4 yrs). I'd like to get the base that it can be programmed to go back to and hide it in the wall so I'd be like the Jetsons! Just tell it to come out at 3AM.

Incidently, I was explaining to my kids just yesterday about how you cant pause TV at grandpa's house. So many things they'll never truly appreciate...

Re:Roomba (1)

haqatak (957736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053608)

A bit OT but... its like kids growing up these days with the digital camera age. natural for them to just run over and look at the picturse right after it was taken. not totally unheard of when i was a kid (polaroid) but still...

WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050394)

Has anyone stopped to ask why this is such a great idea? A robot is
just a computer with wheels (or legs). How exactly is this going to
help anyone anymore than a computer does already? Oh sure , all the
techno evangelists who've read one too many Sci Fi novels wheel
out the old "help you in the home" rubbish. But when was the last
time you saw a robot that was ANY practical use WHATSOEVER for
the home? Toys yes, helpful no.

They give an example of robots teaching kids. Err , scuse me , where
are the parents and teachers? Children need to interact with people
when learning , not lumps of plastic, which is why classroom based
computer learning is generally pretty useless for all but the
simplest things.

When will people (geeks and politicians alike) realise that
technology is just a tool. It doesn't solve problems on its own,
it needs to be used properly otherwise theres no point. It seems
to me this is just another "wouldn't it be real cool if..." type
of politicans and technologists wet dream.

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050514)

Has anyone stopped to ask why this is such a great idea? A robot is just a computer with wheels (or legs). How exactly is this going to help anyone anymore than a computer does already?

Err...by moving. Using its wheels (or legs).

...when was the last time you saw a robot that was ANY practical use WHATSOEVER for the home?

This weekend, as it vacuumed my house [eruvia.org] (shortness of video doesn't do it justice).

Cheers,
Ian

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050661)

>Err...by moving. Using its wheels (or legs).

Great , so it can wobble about and bump into things. Excellent.

>This weekend, as it vacuumed my house (shortness of video doesn't do it justice).

How'd it manage to do the stairs? In the corners. Around the tops
of things. Its a gimmick mate. Which was my point.

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050764)

How'd it manage to do the stairs? In the corners. Around the tops of things. Its a gimmick mate. Which was my point.

Corners? Fine - did it with a brush. It didn't do the stairs. The tops of things - nope. So it's a gmmick? No, not at all.

If the argument is "have we reached a state of robo-nirvana?", then of course I concede. But your question was "when was the last time you saw a robot that was any help at all around the house" - and for that my answer stands. I was busy yesterday, but still the upstairs landing and room floors got cleaned which otherwise they wouldn't have done. Overnight, I had it doing the kitchen and dining room floors. During the day its been doing the kids' floors as they like to watch it.

Get the idea? The fact that it isn't C3PO personified does not make it a useless robot. I think if you come down from the sci-fi ideal of robots and start looking at what they actually are - automated devices to perform a task, such as have been used in industry for decades now - then I think you'll find the whole thing makes more sense. The perfect android won't just go "ping!" and arrive directly in front of you, you'll have to get there via a number of steps, with each step increasing the complexity of what's available. One step in that process is currently cleaning my floors and saving me hours, with which I'm very happy.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

MCraigW (110179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052338)

We returned our Roomba. It gets stuck under low furniture, and doesn't really get up dog and cat hair that has worked into the rugs. You can't turn it on and expect it to do all the rooms on one floor (the whole downstairs). It has trouble with things like dining rooms and kitchens with lots of tables and chairs. It doesn't get up the stuff stuck to the kitchen floor.

If it really could clean well, it's dust bin isn't nearly large enough. And yes, it would be nice if it could do the stairs/steps, clean in the crevasses in the couch, and empty itself into the trash bin.

Basically, it isn't a vacuum, but a sweeper, and not a very good one. On the other hand, it was novel and somewhat entertaining to watch, until it got stuck under the couch or something. I'd be willing to pay about twice the cost of a good vacuum cleaner, say a high end Dyson, for a robot that really could vacuum properly, doing all the things above.

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052909)

But, that's where they are going. Roomba is poorly desgined, and I've seen better modals for sweeping and cutting lawn that are a lot smarter than the average Roomba. That said, the problem isn't done being worked on.

Your argument sounds alot like "Who'd ever use a remote control for the TV, when they can just get up and turn the nobs themselves"?

Do you have a dishwasher?

IF YES,
How well does it perform?
Do you have to rinse/wash/scrape any dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?
Does it put them away? (actually, when we had one, we'd typically not put them away, and take them straight out of the dishwasher)
Well, old ones have these problems. newer ones are getting better, and tomarrow's who knows... But I'd suspect they'd clean a lot better.

IF NO,
Will you get one when they completely wash and sanitize all the dishes in few seconds?
Will you get one when they are able to sort and put them all away?

Re:WHy is this such a great idea? (1)

mshurpik (198339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053449)

> Has anyone stopped to ask why this is such a great idea? A robot is
>just a computer with wheels (or legs). How exactly is this going to
>help anyone anymore than a computer does already?

Oddly enough, a human being is just a computer with legs, except that a human runs on food while a robot runs on fossil fuels. I'll leave it to the reader to decide which one is more efficient.

Sigh.... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053937)

A robot is just a computer with wheels (or legs).
No it isn't. A robot is far more than just a computer. You can't just plop a CS major and have him program a robot. A robot has to react to it's environment by the information it gets from it's sensors. The number of ways this can be accomplished has been probably as varied as the number of computer languages that are available. In fact some computer langauges have been created with the sole purpose of using them for robotics.
ut when was the last time you saw a robot that was ANY practical use WHATSOEVER for the home?
Last year if you want me to exclude the Rhoomba and the Scooba. Actually, I believe it was supposed to help the elderly. The iBot also is brought to my mind for helping wheelchair bound people.
They give an example of robots teaching kids. Err , scuse me , where are the parents and teachers? Children need to interact with people when learning , not lumps of plastic, which is why classroom based computer learning is generally pretty useless for all but the simplest things.
Yeah but what are toys but lumps of plastic and what do kids play with but toys. What did you say robots are good for? Toys.

A Mind In Every Robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050433)

AI Minds For Robots [blogcharm.com] are being developed as Open Source Artificial Intelligence for installation in PC-based robots in Korea, America, India, Europe and nearby parsecs of planetary space-time.

Mind [sourceforge.net] is an artificial intelligence coded initially in JavaScript for Web migration and in Forth for robots, evolving towards full civil rights on a par with human beings and towards superintelligence beyond any human IQ.

Mind.html in JavaScript [blogcharm.com] has an installed user base of dozens of intelligent entities cached away on hard disks all over the world, with Update and News links for rapid prototyping of state-of-the-art robot AI.

AGI Radar [scn.org] is an advisory "radar screen" of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) projects advancing ineluctably towards a singularity and a cybernetic economy based on robots outfitted with artificial intelligence.

Technological Singularity [blogcharm.com] is now in a countdown to machine take-over not just in Korea but world-wide, unless we humans co-operate with our superintelligent planet-mates in a Joint Stewardship of Earth.

What if the robots take over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050440)

The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled.

A Robot In Every Home? (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050468)

OK, but I'm only doing it because he was Remington Steele.
-- Marge Simpson

goofy post title invites troll (2, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050733)

but before you mod this comment down, check out the facts [hankooki.com]

It would be good if they had robots to do the dirty work in Korea because as it stands, they think that is what women are for. [nanum.org]

Re:goofy post title invites troll (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051887)

That's not just in Korea... don't have to look far outside North America or Europe to see the same thing. Doesn't matter if its small town souther Italy or small town Louisianna.

But being the dad of a 20 month old boy, I sometimes dream of the freedom robotic parents could provide.

Primates First (2)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050751)

It's funny how we are ready to protect robots but we still treat our closest genetic kin, other primates, as nothing more than cheap food ("bush meat") or lab rats.

Re:Primates First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051119)

Did you RTFA? No? How about the summary even? No? What about the goddamn comments? Nope? Then keep your mouth shut and you might not look like an ignorant idiot.

Re:Primates First (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052023)

Sorry Anonymous Coward, I guess I misread this line when IRTFA, "...has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society".

You really have anger issues.

It's the food chain, flesh-bag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051243)

Humans eat bush meat, robots eat humans.

Re:Primates First (1)

starsky51 (959750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051338)

you're right, that is funny!

The real reason for this: xenophobia (0)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051110)

There are plenty of Filipino workers who would jump at the chance to work in an industrialized country like South Korea to do menial jobs at low wages, but the insular mentality of that country is such that they would be more comfortable integrating robots than foreigners into their society. Currently 99.8% of the population of South Korea is ethnic Korean, immigration laws are extremely restrictive, and there's huge political pressure to keep this.

Koreans know that as their population ages and moves increasingly to high-tech knowledge work, there will be a huge economic need for more unskilled laborers. But they can't accept the most reasonable solution so they go for this pie-in-the-sky scheme.

Re:The real reason for this: xenophobia (1)

z23rd_hsuan (954808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053768)

there was a bit nearly about this somewhere, but in aplication to japanese xenophobia. it was talking about how a majority of polled citizens in tokya said they would be more comfortable with a robot coming into thier home and doing menial chores than a cheaply paid foreigner. im sorry i can find the source as it goes right along this article funny how the japanese and koreans are historicly so racist and especially failed to get along with eachoother. oh sorry im a silly gaijin did i say racist? i meant secular

Cool! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051146)

"... make robots full members of society." Cool... so now I can drive in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane, as long as my Roomba is the passenger seat? Great!

a better idea (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051291)

Pot and robot chickens in every home! *cluckbeepcluckbeep* Oh yeah. Kung-Fu Robot Chickens, even better! They can help defend against those pesky cows with guns I heard about on the radio once...

Slippery slope (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051382)

Ummm..."Members of society"??? Just wait till they unionize and start demanding health care. Or would that be maintenance? Hmm...have you signed up for your MMO plan yet? (Machine Maintenance Organization) Open enrollment ends today.

robot is a relative term in korea (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051943)

The few and far between pictures of what Koreans consider robots show their definition of robot is more like a vending machine or an ATM. If their robot utopia was real, they would be helping u.s. in Iraq.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052968)

In Korea, work is for old people only!
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