If we were to lose the ability to be emotional, if we were to lose the ability to be angry, to be outraged, we would be robots. And I refuse that.
I’m not a follower of this or that religious leader. More wars are started because of religious leaders, and people are following and they don’t know why… That is religiosity. That is what turns people into robots.
People with lots of doubts sometimes find life more oppressive and exhausting than others, but they’re more energetic – they aren’t robots.
To send humans back to the moon would not be advancing. It would be more than 50 years after the first moon landing when we got there, and we’d probably be welcomed by the Chinese. But we should return to the moon without astronauts and build, with robots, an international lunar base, so that we know how to build a base on Mars robotically.
Above all, I would not expect a wise race, at great expense, to set loose an army of self-replicating robots.
At MIT, in Professor Rodney Brooks’ lab, I was involved in a project, led by Anita Flynn, to build robots using techniques similar to those used in building silicon chips. We got some silicon micro-machined motors to move a bit, but this didn’t lead to an actual product.
The other one I did was ‘I, Robot.’ I take apart Isaac Asimov’s Robots world.
I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I’m rooting for the machines.
Robots have gotten steadily more capable, but humans’ expectations that robots should have minds keeps biting robot developers.
I’m Dr. David Hanson, and I build robots with character. And by that, I mean that I develop robots that are characters, but also robots that will eventually come to empathize with you.
I have found in experiments, people become used to the robots. The less startling they become, the more commonplace they get. If these robots do become commonplace, then that uncanny effect will go away.
Nobody complains that Bernini’s sculptures are too darn real, right? Or that Norman Rockwell’s paintings are too creepy. Well, robots can seem real and be loved, too. We’re trying to make a new art medium out of robotics.
Zombies, vampires, Frankenstein’s monster, robots, Wolfman – all of this stuff was really popular in the ’50s. Robots are the only one of those make-believe monsters that have become real. They are really in our lives in a meaningful way. That’s pretty fascinating to me.
When Steven Spielberg comes to you and says, ‘Hey do you want to write a movie about robots?’ You just say yes.
If you don’t need umpires out there, and you can put robots out there, then why do we need ballplayers?
If you look at it from just a pure economic basis, technology is replacing all of the jobs robots can do, and machinery is replacing the jobs that humans once held. If we don’t train our children to imagine, to create, they’re going to be unemployable.
Let’s not kid ourselves here, robots already run most of our world. We’ll be their butlers soon enough.
At the end of the day, tech workers are not robots: they feel, they think, they have values.
If I could do anything, I’d be an engineer of some sort. I used to build robots.
But I’m not imaginative. I couldn’t look into the future, like Star Wars or Robots or anything like that.
If robots are to clean our homes, they’ll have to do it better than a person.
There’s something so arrogant about us creating robots that are more and more human-looking or acting. It’s like we’re playing God. Let’s create something that’s a reflection of us, but it’s inferior.
Well, really the way worked was that I had probably built fifty robots before Mystery Science Theater, and I had sold them in a store in Minneapolis in a store called Props, which was kind of a high end gift shop.
When we did the pilot, I sort of pictured this guy pirating a signal and then this story unfolding of him building this satellite and these robots and watching these bad movies.
I got to draw monsters, robots and write funny stories. I loved doing that stuff and working with the actors. But it got to be less and less that stuff and more about trying to be everywhere and not being able to do one thing very enjoyably.
When I made ‘Terminator 3,’ I learned something about directing actors to behave like robots. And one of the key things I learned is that if an actor tries to play a robot, he or she risks playing it mechanically in a way that makes the performance uninteresting.
According to Jewish legend, only the very wisest and very holiest rabbis had the power to make golems, animated servants of clay. Strictly speaking, the golem is not in the same class with Frankenstein’s monster, because the golem is neither alive nor dead. He is, rather, the ancestor of all robots.
Robots do not hold on to life. They can’t. They have nothing to hold on with – no soul, no instinct. Grass has more will to live than they do.
My dear Miss Glory, Robots are not people. They are mechanically more perfect than we are, they have an astounding intellectual capacity, but they have no soul.
If you had an alien race that looked like insects, then they would build robots to look like themselves, not to look like people.
Our robots are signing up for online learning. After decades of attempts to program robots to perform complex tasks like flying helicopters or surgical suturing, the new approach is based on observing and recording the motions of human experts as they perform these feats.
The human condition is not perfect. We are not perfect specimens, any of us. We’re not robots.
Robots already perform many functions, from making cars to defusing bombs – or, more menacingly, firing missiles. Children and adults play with toy robots, while vacuum-cleaning robots are sucking up dirt in a growing number of homes and – as evidenced by YouTube videos – entertaining cats.
The future’s come and gone it’s a thing of the past. That once impossibly exotic expression ‘the year 2000,’ for so long evocative of silver suits and robots in pinnies, now feels antiquated.
Robots may cut down on infection and mean a consultant can see more patients, but wouldn’t you rather meet the doctor than a machine?
Bruce Lee’ is the fastest film in my career. But the quality is also very high. The last song was shot continuously for 24 hours. We worked like robots for that song, but the quality is outstanding.
Two big questions that people ask me are: if we make these robots more and more human-like, will we accept them – will they need rights eventually? And the other question people ask me is, will they want to take over?
In 2008, I decided I wanted to begin a new venture, so I started Rethink Robotics. We build factory robots that a person can learn to train in just a few minutes. In May 2011, I stepped off the iRobot board.
As a geek, I take umbrage at the notion that chips are not sexy. But yes, robots, drones, satellites and self-driving cars are the kinds of things that excite me.
All in all, I don’t think robots and greater automation can bring about a utopian world as I imagined it would as a kid 50 years ago.
Normally, in the presence of radiation, communication links fail. But with autonomous robots, you don’t need communications.
Our nano-quadrotor robots are made to be as lightweight as possible: less than a fifth of a pound and palm-sized. They can do an aerial backflip in half a second, accelerate at two Gs, and fly rotor blade to rotor blade in three-dimensional formations – and they do all this autonomously.