End of Death Robot

(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuYTfKMveLk)

Read: https://www.cnet.com/news/last-moment-robot-end-of-life-detected/

Chen, an artist, designer, and engineer who just graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with an MFA in Digital + Media, built the machine as one of a series of functional robots capable of reenacting human social behaviors. But just how much can a machine impart comfort and security?

Therapeutic robots have been used with other populations as well, including autistic children. But the idea of what is, in essence, a robot hospice worker, pushes the conceptual boundaries of human-machine interaction to places some people might not be ready to go. Which is precisely what Chen wants to do.

“The device is meant to raise questions,” he says. “The process of dying is probably the most vulnerable moment of a human life, where one seeks the assurance of human connection. In this installation, human presence is replaced with a robot, questioning the quality of intimacy without humanity.”

(Katz, 2012)

Questions:

  1. What do you think is the “right” way to die?
  2. Would you like to be accompanied by a robot as you die? What about your mobile phone?
  3. People subcontract out many manual jobs – for example, there are domestic servants to do housework, nannies to look after babies, tutors to teach children. Have human beings become disconnected from each other that even death becomes a detached affair?
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Sophia, the First Android Citizen of Saudi Arabia

(Full version source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5t6K9iwcdw)

(Short version source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rv_H1NKRa8)

http://www.businessinsider.sg/meet-the-first-robot-citizen-sophia-animatronic-humanoid-2017-10/

As of October 25, Sophia is the first robot in history to be a full citizen of a country.

Sophia was developed by Hanson Robotics, led by AI developer David Hanson. It spoke at this year’s Future Investment Initiative, held in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

Sophia once said it would “destroy humans,” but this time around the robot spoke about its desire to live peaceably among humans.

Questions:

  1. Should androids/robots be considered citizens of a country? Why or why not?
  2. If a robot becomes a citizen of a country, what changes could result in the society?
  3. What should be the criteria for considering someone to be a citizen?

Apple’s Prediction of the Future in 1987 | Business Insider

(source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umJsITGzXd0)

http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-future-computer-knowledge-navigator-john-sculley-george-lucas-2017-10/

Set in 2007, the resulting 1987 video followed around an environmental science professor at Berkely juggling everything from preparing a lecture to buying a birthday cake for his father.

To get it all done, he relies on his digital personal butler – the bowtie-wearing, hypothetical grandfather of modern assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Bixby, and Google Assistant.

During the nearly six-minute vignette, the professor videoconferences with a colleague, researches journal articles on deforestation in the Amazon, and updates his busy schedule, all on one touch screen tablet.

“At the time we came out with it, it was incredibly controversial,” Sculley said. “People said, ‘Well, this is absurd.’”

Questions:

  1. Have all the predictions about the future come true?
  2. Is the future envisioned by your parents’ generation the reality now?
  3. Why are people skeptical of predictions?
  4. Are they right to be skeptical?
  5. What happens if people are not skeptical?
  6. Is it better to be a believer or a doubter (in future possibilities)?
  7. What do you think will happen in the future?

Shanghai is getting an entire ‘farming district’ with towering vertical farms and seed libraries | Business Insider

Source: http://www.businessinsider.sg/sunqiao-shanghai-farming-district-2017-4/

The city is planning a 250-acre agricultural district, which will function as a space to work, live, shop, and farm food. Called Sunqiao Shanghai, it will include new public plazas, parks, housing, stores, restaurants, greenhouses, and a science museum. Some of the crops will be grown hydroponically indoors (i.e. under LEDs and in nutrient-rich water rather than soil).

Sunqiao will allow for produce to be grown closer to the city, while reducing the impact of land and water use that comes with traditional agriculture, Grove says. At the same time, he acknowledges the large energy use that comes with vertical farms, which rely on LEDs to grow crops.

Lamb Fetus Grown in Artificial Womb | Tech Insider

Source: https://youtu.be/MbgHbYXs3cM

Source: https://youtu.be/dxn6msihFjc

Source: http://www.businessinsider.sg/baby-lamb-fetus-inside-artificial-womb-2017-4/

Ultimately, the researchers are working toward creating an artificial womb that could sustain premature human babies. Preemies haven’t had time to fully develop in the womb and, therefore, are at a higher risk of health problems throughout their life.

Questions:

  • What are the implications for humans?
  • Have you watched The Matrix? Would this dystopia become reality?