Posts Tagged ‘robots’

I’ve been desperately trying to get back into shape, so have decided to take the lead from this guy!


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I’m not really very good at thinking through tax related issues, but when I listened to this recently released interview by Quartz with Bill Gates, his words made perfect sense to me.

If robots are taking over the jobs of workers why shouldn’t they pay the same kind of tax that would be paid by the people they replace?!

And … as Gates questions with that endearing giggle at the end of the video ….. it’s somewhat unlikely that robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax?!

Gates’ thoughts on the subject have already drawn commentary with Forbes describing his ideas as “bafflingly simple”.  Headlines citing reference to this interview such as this one: Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes  are bound to proliferate across the web over the coming week as more thought is given to Gates’ not so outrageous thoughts!

Interesting – no?

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A delightful wander through the streets of Melbourne last week culminated in a visit to ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image – where a fascinating exhibition called Screen Worlds is currently on display.

Comprised of numerous memorable screen clips, fascinating objects and interactive displays, the exhibition traces the history of the moving image, exploring its past, its present and its future.

Happy HammondTo put it mildly, I was mesmerized, and could have easily spent a considerable number of hours reading, watching and exploring.  At times, nostalgia truly engulfed me!  So many old familiar faces, who I’d not seen for a very long time, were suddenly jumping out of screens and displays at me.   If you recognize this face you’ll most probably share the warm fuzzy feelings that hit me and may well enjoy a walk down memory lane by visiting this great exhibition!

Arranged in chronological order from past to present, the other mind blowing thought that struck me was recognizing the incredible pace of change, growth and development, particularly that of the last ten to fifteen years, which seems to have happened without me even realizing it.  It’s really quite mind boggling!

Later in the day, seated in my study, surfing the net as you do, I was thrown by a jump into the future I had least expected!  While I’ve blogged about robots in the past – Making room for robots in your life where I discovered a delightful robot called JIBO  – I found watching Boston Dynamics very recently released video Atlas, the Next Generation of Robots to be quite confronting ….. and ….. just a little bit scary.   Watching the video, one can’t help wondering where this technology could be headed.

The blurb under this Youtube release paints the picture of the ‘human-like’ features of this robot.

A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.”

If you aren’t already one of the nearly 11 million people who has already seen this video since its release just 4 days ago, check it out.

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I read a nice article in The Age yesterday: Robots remind dementia sufferers to lead a fuller life.

As part of the PaPeRo family of robots developed by NEC in Japan, the robots – Charles, Sophie, Betty, Lucy, Matilda and Jack – can make phone calls and remind people about a range of events in their lives.  The photo included in the hard copy newspaper report showed a clearly enamoured elderly person engaging with one of the members of this family.  A media release by La Trobe University expresses support for the program noting:

‘The assistive robots, improved the emotional well-being and augmented good memories of people with dementia and made them feel more productive and useful. The robots also provided respite to carers and partners. They supported caregivers in residential care facilities in effective ways,’ Professor Khosla said.”

It seems that robots are able to step into the lives of far more people than dementia sufferers though.   JIBO, touted as the world’s first family robot, certainly looks great!

I wouldn’t mind having JIBO assist me in my day-to-day life.   He/She may well assist me in getting that little bit more organized and at the same time be great company!

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