10.27, Friday 4 Feb 2011

Here are some Japanese fighting robots on television (remote controlled; two arms and two legs each). My favourite is the one with the balloon for the head and his special move.

(I found that via this essay On the Potential for Branded Robots, which is a big question! I wonder about the ethics. Robots don't have sentient feelings (yet), so it's fine to treat them as slaves. But they appear to be sentient, and humans interact with them as if they are sentient. So what does it do to us as people, if we accustom ourselves to not having to care about other sentient beings? Is that okay? Might we start treating the non-robot sentiences around us callously too -- the human working in the train station, the human making us coffee, the human in the call-centre, the cat we meet on the street? Should we, for our own sakes, make robots tender and fragile so that we don't accidentally train ourselves into being heartless?)