AirTalk for November 5, 2013

Should robots be more like humans?

Uncanny Valley

Steve Jurvetson

A man stands beside a robot made to look just like him. Should robots look more like humans?

With advances in technology, Robots are beginning to move, look and act more like humans. They are also creating robots that are good at performing tasks like human do. Many of the latest robots are operated from a distance, but now many can operate without any human control at all.

A recent New York Times piece pointed out that robot designer believe robots will be able to perform any type of human labor including working as caregivers or security guards. Recently, Rethink Robotics released a video of its robot making a cup of coffee.  The robot, Baxter was programmed to make coffee in just a few hours.

Do you think robots should imitate humans? What is your threshold for robots becoming more humanlike? How will this faux-people be accepted into society?

Guests:
Ayse Saygin, Associate Professor at the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego who studies the effects of the robotic theory called “the uncanny valley.”

David Hanson, founder and chief science at Hanson Robotics, which makes human-like robots.


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