Robot Saviours

Article by Michael Szollosy

Tscc_3We’ve all seen the terrifying headlines:

‘Rise of the Cybermen: The Terminator-style bionic ear that could give people “superman” hearing
‘Terminator is nigh: Shape-shifting material that instantly switches from solid to liquid could lead to a new generation of robots

And the rest.
Undoubtedly, there is a great deal of anxiety out there about the development of robots and artificial intelligence. Some of these fears are well-founded, of course, and some less so. We’ve been presented in the popular media so often – in films, video games and in the popular press –  with the image of robotic monsters and genocidal AI that it’s a wonder that public have not demanded that these dangerous toys be taken from scientists and forever locked away, their development forever prohibited for the good of all life on earth as we know it. (A similar public attack is underway regarding GMOs, for example; again, many of these are well-founded and some are not.) Continue reading

Should we be worried about the Technological Singularity?


Technological Singularity is based on the prediction that the development of AI powerful enough to surpass human intelligence will change the world as we know it, leading either to a catastrophic end of the human kind or to its miraculous ascent.

In a recent article in the Guardian, Alan Winfield, professor of electronic engineering at the University of the West of England, Bristol, discusses the pitfalls of being overly pessimistic or optimistic about the Technological Singularity.

Continue reading

Human or machine?

Should we make robots more human-like? A hit Swedish TV show has a say

pg-42-real-humans (1)

Credit: Real Humans

Although we may be decades away from building truly life-like humanoid robots, it is never too early to start questioning the legal and ethical implications of creating machines that are hard to tell apart from ourselves. In a brave leap of imagination, Real Humans, a popular Swedish TV show, written by Lars Lundstroem, deliberately blurs the line between humans and robots to explore what it means to be human.

Continue reading

Seeing in 3D

Credit: Tecnológico de Monterrey

Credit: Tecnológico de Monterrey

From early stereoscopic images to 3D screens and holograms, people have always been fascinated by the possibility of enhancing our visual perception and bridging the gap between various two-dimensional representations of the world and its actual three-dimensionality.

Sadly, despite recent developments in 3D technology, the digital world is still under the domination of 2D. On top of it, the divide between 2D and 3D appears to be bigger than ever as digital platforms continue to gain importance in how we interact with the world. Incorporating the digital world of ideas into the fabric of reality remains the next logical step that could give the word vision a whole new dimension.

Continue reading

A Real Life Transformer?

Japan’s working on robots for entertainment and emergencies!

If you’re a fan of Transformers, you’ll love Suidoubashi Heavy Industries’ new Kuratas robot. The jumbo toy currently on the market for about a million euros, is custom made for each of its owners. As both a vehicle and a robot, the Kuratas can be driven by the user seated in the robot’s cockpit. The giant bot may look pretty cool cruising down the street however it’s not the swiftest mode of transportation as its top speed is only about 10 km an hour.
Continue reading

Shakespeare and Robots

A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s Mechanical cast members

The video above features a special performance of a Shakespearean classic put on by Texas A&M University several years ago. The students and professors involved in the production thought this would be a great way to see how people respond to and interact with robots. Continue reading

The Human Revolution

¨I’m now filming your bionic hand with my bionic eye¨

Protagonist of  Eidos-Montreal’s new video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution,  Adam Jensen is a crime fighting cyborg in the year 2027. Like real-life cyborgs, the video game character underwent radical surgeries to merge his body with mechanical parts after a devastating accident.
Continue reading

Racy times with Roxxxy

Let’s talk about sex (with robots)

7000 USD can now buy you alternative forms of intimacy with a companion/sex robot developed by the American company TrueCompanion. Some people may find the idea of this revolting, perverted or just plain weird but with sexuality playing such a fundamental role in our lives
Continue reading

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Robot?

Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster (1931)

Our apprehension to artificial beings

The term robot was originally used in Karel Čapek’s 1921 play  RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, the concept of a being or machine  akin to today’s conception of a robot is something that goes back much further.

The notion of artificial beings is present throughout history in diverse methodologies.  In some they are portrayed as human servants, in others as divine creatures.  How are robots portrayed today?

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov introduced the three rules of robotics in his 1942 short story Runaround.
Continue reading