Humans + Robots: It's Complicated

Image: Flickr / ocularinvasionMy most recent column for Current Intelligence, released at the beginning of January, looks at how human relationships with robots got a liitle more complicated in 2011. It was a year when more attention was focused on how robots serve us, how they see the world, how we relate to them, and how we fear them. In short, humans and robots are edging even closer to a domesticated relationship. An excerpt: 

“We’ll need to get used to seeing the benign, geometric world of the sensor vernacular, as well as the unblinking, unsleeping view of the eye in the sky, and become more comfortable making decisions in both environments. As we develop more sociable, domesticated assistants, help-meets, and even protectors, I suspect that we will find ourselves being re-programming in much the same way domestic dogs and cats have been doing since they were first domesticated, quietly nudging us into their need-states more than we do with them into ours. We already talk of an impending drought of empathy as we drift deeper into computer-mediated society, generations raised on steady diets of simulation increasingly distanced from the realities, necessities and benefits of human socialization. As fast as we try to adapt AIs to our own needs, it’s a fair bet we’ll find ourselves bending to theirs.”

Read more here.