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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

W.W.T.I.D? delves into "The Future of Robotics is... Cute?" | New Blog Post on What Would The Internet Do?

The Future of Robotics is… Cute?

This week, Siobhan is driving the conversation with her questions on robot-human relationships, with responses from Gunther, Sasha, and Len.

Have you seen those crazy videos of Japanese humanoid robots that can mimic human expressions taking us closer to the seamless humanoid robots of AI, Bladerunner and Alien? Creepy huh? That’s why the future of human/robot interaction and the integration of robots in everyday life may be driven by the ‘cute’ factor as much as labour needs or sex. Think Wall-E, R2D2, those cute robots that are a marketer’s dream. Alexander Reben at the MIT Media Lab amped up adorable helplessness in Boxie and found that, yup, people respond to a big-eyed, plaintive cardboard box on caterpillar tracks, crying ‘I need help!‘ ‘Pick me up so I can see you!’

With Siri in your pocket, what kinds of interactions will we be having with robotics in the near future? What interactions are already seamlessly integrated? Do we need to have an animated animatronic presence to really engage? Or will we be having meaningful relationships with the ubiquitous computing in our refrigerators and our cars? Will there be any difference?

Latitude Research’s Robots School study found that kids today “think of technology as fundamentally human: as a social companion that can entertain, motivate, and empower them in various contexts.” Is the perceived difference in value of a human relationship vs. a relationship with a robot going to be a generational distinction?

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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