Transhumanist

ROBOT GETS FASTER AT PERFORMING HUMAN TASKS

This important story about technological advances in robotics was shared by a regular reader here, Mr. J.L., and I want to pass it along. But first, a little background. Recently (Oct 30) I recorded an interview with former HUD Assistant Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts, for her Solari Report third quarter wrap up. One of the questions in her review of technological advances and how they might impact future human culture and society, was robotics. Her thesis, briefly, is that as these new technologies come on line and are perfected, they exert a tremendous deflationary effect, driving down labor, energy, and manufacturing costs.

With that in mind, consider this story and watch the short videos of the robot named ATLAS:

ATLAS Is Getting Faster and Faster At Simple Human Tasks

Now, imagine this technology say, five to ten years down the line. Already we've seen robotics enter manufacturing, in the auto and other industries. But now imagine robot sales clerks at a retail superstore like Walmart or Sam's Club, stocking shelves, directing customers, even performing check out duties, or manning the local pizza parlor, giving eye examinations (or for that matter, filling the prescriptions), manning the pharmacy counter, counting out pills and filling prescriptions, a robotized nurse making his/her/or its rounds. Already there has been talk not only of robotic soldiers, but of robot policemen (yes...Robocop, sans the human element). Extend your imagination, for a moment, to your home: robots to cook, clean, and do the laundry... Flying airplanes, driving trucks, or even as engineers in locomotives (indeed, why even a robot to drive the locomotive, when it could all be done remotely anyway, from humans in a control center on today's remotely controlled railroad switching and tracking posts)?

In fact, there is very little one cannot imagine robots not doing, and as a result, I tend to agree with Ms. Fitts that this is an extraordinarily deflationary technological pressure.

The problem is, and the reader will have immediately caught it, is that humans will possibly become "obsolete", and a leisure class could survive with dependency on robots. Robots, after all, are far more programmable and cooperative as a slave/serf than pesky human beings. And this is where Isaac Asimov and Elon Musk come in. What if those robots are all controlled by a machine that "wakes up" and, Matrix-like, decides that it doesn't need humanity any more at all, not even the leisure class it serves?

ATLAS is "learning" quickly... and that should give everyone pause, because the time is now, not later,  to begin to address how humanity is going to cope with this technology, and this is one debate that we can ill afford to leave in the hands of "the elite."

See you on the flip side...

25 thoughts on “ROBOT GETS FASTER AT PERFORMING HUMAN TASKS”

  1. I’ve often wondered if UAV’s aren’t an outgrowth or deeper development phase of the old, officially discontinued SRI remote viewing program cloaked underneath the cover of high-tech, but public consumption robotics. Is it possible there is a deeper connection between what is now generally termed ‘psychic’ phenomena and modern robotics? One would almost necessarily have to consider this in the case of cybernetics.

    I’ve long entertained the idea that the NRO was nourished by some of SRI’s research into remote viewing.

    Just silly thoughts. But what would life be without silly thoughts from time to time?

    1. Well, here’s another one with some strangely up-to-date themes and memes: “The Flight That Disappeared” (1961). Sound familiar? Here, the LA-DC flight carrying a scientist with a new weapons project disappears. Those on the plane meet with people from the future, who warn them that the new weapon could kill all life on earth…
      http://youtu.be/CdqJBgg_Asc

  2. Pingback: How Will These Super-Smart Robots Change Society As We Know It? | Beware the Fury of a Patient Man

  3. Why is it always the assumption that we will humanise the mechanical rather than mechanise the human.

    Far easier to turn a human into a robot than a robot into a human.

  4. I’ve got a kind of off-beat film clip to throw in here: it’s the prologue to the 1984 David Lynch version of Dune (link below). I assume this was in the book too. The gist of it seems to be that the Dune society became apathetic and weak through dependence on robotic servants which eventually lead to their being conquered and enslaved. Later they rebel and swear off the use of computers and robots completely. Instead, they use selective breeding and the mysterious “spice” to create super-human specialists (navigators that fold space to enable interstellar travel, human computers, etc.). Interestingly enough, the spice is available on only one planet and control of the spice is the basis of the current empire. Besides the robot future-history, it’s fun to imagine the spice = philosopher’s stone …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7FcJwg6OkA

  5. The robot meme is being pushied hard this Christmas. Every stupid toy or electronic catalog has a robot on the cover. Hmm I’ve never heard of any encounters or contact with et’s that involved robots or machines, but I’m no expert on the contact meme. That could be telling in and of itself.

  6. You are forgetting one important thing: robots can’t go into debt. And even if they can simulate some robot debt culture, it just won’t be the same. The stress the robots may be feigning would be artificial– just a program to make them appear anxious and overwhelmed. Therefore, our elites would be deprived of the sustenance the grief of millions of debt slaves provide them. Likewise, the elite would also be deprived of the satisfaction of manipulating their human victims with their tv programming. Once again, robots could only be programmed to enjoy celebrity gossip or the Kardashians, but it wouldn’t genuinely enjoy these tv shows. Even the callous elite would feel this hollowness. Moreover, who would purchase all the factory goods being pumped out across the planet? I’m sure the Chinese and Wal Mart would have something to say about humans being phased out. And what about the western intelligence drug running operations or the pharmaceutical industry? Without humans, who would buy their narcotics? Once again, a robot programmed to get inebriated on drug strikes me as an empty charade and surely unsatisfying to a predatory drug pusher. (Unless this is how the elites plan to control the robots or prematurely damage them to create robot factory demand).

    Maybe our elites have decided to strike off into space not out of greed or adventure, but out of necessity. Maybe they hope that somewhere in outer space there are life forms who will fill the vacuum of mindless consumer, debt slave, tv watcher, and drug abuser that will be lost when the mass of humans are phased out here on planet Earth. What a ridiculous cycle these elites have created for themselves. They abuse and willingly phase out their prey, and then they are forced to search for new victims to abuse and destroy. I guess the cruel joke for all parasites is they are denied the knowledge that they must have a viable, plum host for their survival and prosperity.

  7. In the first Star Trek series we have Ruk played by Ted Cassidy who kills the old ones in a episode I think titled What Little Girls Are Made Of. A Star Trek Voyager episode where these gold and silver robots kill their creators so they could go on fighting the war their creators wanted to end. Then we have to deal with our upper class twits who feel humanity is a mistake of nature and want destroy all of us including themselves for the good of the planet. And lets not forget the Daleks, Cybermen, Cyclons, Borgs of Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica, STNG nemesis fame. So there you have it and I haven’t probe the science fiction novels and short stories that deal with meme. Talking about hating your biology there in the recent Transcendence film where the main character becomes one with the computer itself I just wonder why these self haters just don’t dispose of themselves and leave the rest of us alone. Or just exist with their sycophant mechanical electronic slaves and leave the rest of alone we don’t care what they do with themselves so long as they don’t bother the rest of us.

  8. The military is allegedly 50 yrs. ahead of the civilian market. An associate I went to Tech School with in the USAF, told me that in ’93, there were computer monitors that had the following interfaces embedded in the screen itself:

    Camera, Speaker, Display..

    He worked at a very secure facility during that time frame. I’d be willing to bet the state of the Art of Robotics is way farther down the road than advertised.

    If indeed the PTB don’t need as many worker bees as they used to. Then what are they planning to do with all the unemployed / displaced masses? I’m not getting a warm fuzzy.

    Regards,
    JQ

  9. Can’t you see all the dipsh-ts on Christmas day taking videos of their new little robot going around the tree being chased by poochy and toddler.

  10. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, season 2, basically answers this question: What happens when robots (an inanimate object) wakes up?

    The series was cancelled before the implications could be worked out.

  11. Americans will by and large love and embrace robots at least at first. The line at the McDonald’s drive through will move faster and the “tip cup” will disappear from Subway etc. The price of the franken fries will drop and small business owners will save on wages. The defeat of GMO labeling referendums in Oregon narrowly and Colorado handily proves that large segments of the population will not oppose GMO’s so why would they oppose robots? As the job cuts deepen “We the people” would probably embrace compulsory military service to put bread on the table.

  12. From a bleakly mechanistic and materialist point of view, robotization seems to herald paradise, inferno or both. But a more realistic consideration of the role of consciousness, even in the context of the man-machine interfacing which is on the way, will probably make for scenarios going far beyond what even the gurus of 20th century science fiction could have envisaged.
    We might, for example, be seeing those pesky “flying saucers” (or even just plain earthlings) using thought processes to interfere with the best-laid plans of a mechanized global serfdom…

  13. Anyone familiar with A. Clarks Robot and Foundation series is familiar with the “three laws”; however, there was a fourth law which one of the two, call them “guardian” robots, came up with during this series which is never mentioned. This fourth law concerned humanity as a whole. In this series, this fourth law turned out to be beneficial to humanity. In reality, things may be entirely different…
    I believe you have asked the question: “how much did A. Clark actually “know” and when did he “know” it?” We have lived through some interesting times, the near future and what our children’s children will live through will be even more so.

      1. I do believe that Common Core fits in here somehow. The tests are all done on the computer. Colorado just passed house Bill 1202, for new “standardized tests” for k through 12 grades. It’s the usual multiple choice questions but also essay type questions. It took over 7 months to get test results back because real humans had to grade the essay questions. College courses now REQUIRE students to participate in the social media program, where they have to check in with other students 4 times a week just to chat. I think all of this computer work is teaching the main frame how to think, I think and therefore I am.

    1. It could be that Arthur Clarke and the other guys might have known that the collective consciousness or “the core” can be accessed, and that it maybe the true concept of singularity, not the one with integrating human and computer which seems like a form of entrapment

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