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When Robots Live Among Us / Technology
Humanoid robots previously held sway only in fiction, but scientists say such machines may soon move among us, serving as hospital orderlies and security guards, caring for our elderly, even standing in as objects of friendship or sexual and parental love. As we embark upon this new era, it is worth asking whether such robots might ever seem truly emotional or empathetic. Could they be engineered to show loyalty or to get angry?
Josh Bongard, a roboticist at the University of Vermont, thinks the answer could be yes, and adds that we might respond in kind. Emotional relations with robots “are definitely a prospect in the near future,” he says. “You already see it with children, who empathize with their toys. Many of us have emotional relationships with our pets. So why not robots as well?”
Machines smart enough to do anything for us will probably also be able to do anything with us: go to dinner, own property, compete for sexual partners. They might have passionate opinions about politics or, like the robots on Battlestar Galactica, even religious beliefs. Some have worried about robot rebellions, but with so many tort lawyers around to apply the brakes, the bigger question is this: Will humanoid machines enrich our social lives, or will they be a new kind of television, destroying our relationships with real humans? The only given is that the day we learn the answer draws...
Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №1 (январь 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.