Friday, January 03, 2014

TECHNOLOGY - Our Robotic World

"Tech industry looks to robots to tackle problems but finds hurdles on the way" (Part-1) PBS Newshour 1/2/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (Newshour):  The latest gadgets and electronics are perennially best-selling holiday gifts.

Our science correspondent, Miles O'Brien, had a more ambitious wish list, but he didn't yet get what he wanted for Christmas.

ACTOR:  Danger, danger.  Force level building to fatal intensity.

MILES O'BRIEN (Newshour):   I have always wanted what Will Robinson, George Jetson, and Luke Skywalker have.

ANTHONY DANIELS:  That's how he came to be in your service, if you take my meaning, sir.

MILES O'BRIEN:  You know, a robot servant to do my bidding, my dirty work.

Seems like that idea is languishing in around-the-corner purgatory, with the flying car, fusion power and the jetpack.  A lot has changed over the years.  Robotic devices are everywhere, assembly lines, disarming bombs, helping the disabled, even sucking up dust bunnies.  They are smarter than ever.

But, unlike Hollywood's robots, they only excel when the task is very narrow and clearly defined.

"What role does the human touch play in the digital age?" (Part-2) PBS Newshour 1/2/2014


SUMMARY:  In a digital age that creates more automated services at ever lower prices, how can we retain the value of human work and relationships?  Hari Sreenivasan ponders this with computer scientist Jaron Lanier, author of "Who Owns the Future?," and Andrew McAfee from MIT's Center for Digital Business at the Sloan School of Management.

PS:  As Google Inc. gobbles-up the tech world....

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