Beeline To The Future

BEELINE TO THE FUTURE: Sociable Robots

Robert Bee's picture

One major goal of contemporary robotics is to create sociable robots that have emotions and facial expression, to make it easier for humans to relate to them. If robots and humans can interact with one another more effectively then robots will be used more in homes and offices. The science fiction cliché of the rational robot without emotions is what AI programmers are trying to avoid. The ideal might be something more like Data, a robot that can learn to approximate human emotions.

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BEELINE TO THE FUTURE: 3D Printing

Robert Bee's picture

3D printing has always struck me as either the beginning of an entirely new economic model or a geeky hobby that will ultimately peter out. I tend to think more the former but only time will tell. In the current state of technology, a 3D printer prints objects in plastic rather than words on paper. This technology remains in its infancy and is heavily used by geeks and hobbyists to print toys and iPod cases, but it can manufacture many objects in a garage that in the past required a factory.

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BEELINE TO THE FUTURE: Is Your Job Robot Proof?

Robert Bee's picture

People don’t take me seriously when I tell them that robots will be taking over many jobs in the next five to ten years, but I keep running into more and more information suggesting I’m right. Businessweek has an article, “The Robot in the Next Cubicle,” which describes a robot that costs $350,000 and can “deliver mail, pour coffee, and recognize its co-worker’s faces” (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_04/b4212069774202.htm).

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BEELINE TO THE FUTURE: Robots and the Job Market

Robert Bee's picture

In Jack Williamson's story "With Folded Hands" he portrays a future in which humans have nothing to do because robots have surpassed them at all forms of work. The robots prevent most human activities, not out of malice but to take care of people, for their own good, with the motto, "To Serve and Obey, and Guard Men from Harm."

In "A Robot Stole My Job: Automation in the Recession"

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BEELINE TO THE FUTURE: Google's eBookstore and the Universal Library

Robert Bee's picture

Humans have sought a universal library for centuries. Before it burned down, the library of Alexandria was the first and probably best attempt at housing the world’s books in one place. Scholars have estimated that the library contained between 30 to 70% of the scrolls at the time, a percentage that no library since then has come close to replicating.

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