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Category Archives: Robots

The First Stepford Wife


[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

Wikipedia sez:

 

The Stepford Wives is a 1972 satirical thriller novel by Ira Levin. The story concerns Joanna Eberhart, a  photographer and young mother who begins to suspect that the frighteningly submissive housewives in her new idyllic Connecticut neighborhood may be robots created by their husbands. The book has had two feature film adaptations, both using the same title as the novel: the critically acclaimed 1975 version and the critically panned 2004 remake.

“While the 1975 film was a moderate success at the time of release, it has grown in stature as a cult film over the years.  Building upon the reputation of Levin’s novel, the term “Stepford” or “Stepford Wife” has become a popular science fiction concept and several sequels were shot, as well as a remake in 2004 using the same title, but rewritten as a comedy instead of a serious horror/thriller film.”

Well, the satire and comedy are missing from the video below.  This video recounts how one man fixated on actress Scarlett Johansson built a robot to look like her for $50,000.  I don’t know which is creepier:  the robot/Stepford-Wife or its inventor.

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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Humor, Robots

 

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No More Shopping Carts?


Korea has opened the world’s first virtual shopping center. All the products are just LCD screens that allow you to order the items by touching the screen. When you get to the counter, your items are already bagged and ready to go.

 

Automation1

 

Pretty cool.  No more shopping carts.

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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Revolution, Robots, Technology, Values

 

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World’s Savior: “Helicopter Money”?


Helicopter Money: Modern Manna? [courtesy Google Images]

Helicopter Money: Modern Manna?
[courtesy Google Images]

We live in times that are not merely “interesting” but spectacularly so.

According to Zero Hedge.com (“Helicopter Money Arrives: Switzerland To Hand Out $2500 Monthly To All Citizens”),

 

Citi Bank’s chief economist has recently proclaimed that, ‘only helicopter money can save the world now’.

The Finns are considering a ‘basic monthly income’ for the entire population.

“And soon, Swiss residents are to vote on a countrywide referendum about a radical plan to pay every single adult a guaranteed income of around $2500 per month, with authorities insisting that people will still want to find a job. . . .  Under the proposed initiative . . . each child would also receive 625 francs ($750) a month.”

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Robot Wars


[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

“The Terminator” was an A.D. 1984 film starring “Ah-nolt” Schwarzenegger as a robot sent back in time to kill a particular person.  I thought the movie was cool, and I liked at least one of the four “Terminator” films that were subsequently spun off from the original.  Even so, the idea that robots might come to challenge mankind’s earthly supremacy seemed so technologically far-fetched that I didn’t expect to a conflict with robots in my lifetime.

Silly me.

Here we are, 31-years later, and it appears robots are present and already challenging mankind for commercial supremacy. They’re competing with us for our jobs–and they’re winning.

What I didn’t think I’d live to see 31 years ago, is already happening.  Ohh, we’re not fighting with robots just yet.  But, as you’ll see, that’s coming a lot faster than I ever expected.  For now, robots are only taking our jobs.

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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Employment, Robots, Technology, Video

 

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Autonomous Hauling: A Sign of Things to Come


Illegal Aliens? [courtesy Google Images]

Illegal Aliens?
[courtesy Google Images]

Here’s an 8 minute video that has nothing to do with the law and–at first glance–not much to do with the economy.  But it has lots to do with the economy because it demonstrates that, thanks to computerization, automation and robotization, the need for truck drivers, chauffeurs, deliverymen, etc. , is going to shrink and perhaps disappear over the next few years.

Caterpillar is automating trucks the size of your house and eliminating their drivers.  So long as the technology works, it will undoubtedly be safer, more reliable and less costly than using trucks that include drivers.

But what’s going to happen to the drivers?  Will they be trained to become systems’ analysts, rocket scientists or medical doctors?  Or will they become permanently unemployed?

There’s a fundamental problem with robotics, automation and computers.  The first people to be replaced by robots will be those who are least intelligent and who have heretofore had fairly menial jobs.  But, as menial occupations are increasingly filled by robots and automation, where will menial workers find new jobs?

Increasingly, they won’t find new jobs.  The first jobs taken by robots will be from people who lack the intelligence to get better jobs.  Then what?  They don’t have to work?  They just live on welfare?  I guarantee that the people and companies who own robots will scream about the injustice of having to pay high taxes to subsidize the people who can no longer compete with the robots.  The people who own robots will be rich.  Congress will listen to them, cater to them.  Congress will pass laws to cut welfare payments to former menial employees and may even seek to pass laws to eliminate the “menials”.

The menials will suffer, riot or even die.

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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Robots, Technology

 

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