The robots I want to have, know and to love.
The problem with drugs, servants and robots.
I am thinking of the uses of robots in the personal sense. What can robots do for me, in my personal life, as an ordinary human being, to help me live my life more pleasurably, and abundantly? How can a robot help me live longer, and get more fun out of the life? How can robots, servants, and drugs find the exact points in my being that I want stimulated, and which will be the most pleasing to me? I don’t want to pay any money or effort to get it it either. I want it now of course. I want it all, and of course I want it to be FREE.
That slipped over into overstatement to show the silliness of that way of thinking. Well, it’s not going to happen, that you get your every whim satisfied, without any effort. In fact you shouldn’t want that to happen to you. It would be a curse of the worst sort. Why? Because that would be like pleasure inducing drugs, which are the ultimate disservice to mankind, which short circuit the normal channels for reinforcing our behavior that brings us to those things we actually need. When that linking association is broken between what we need, and our efforts to acquire them, we fall out of control of our own lives. When the link is weakened we begin inadvertently training ourselves to become more and more crazy. We train ourselves to become dependent on things outside of our own control and unrelated to our personal behavior. A break in the chain of cause and effect, of actions, and rewards. When people get rewards without personal conscious effort they lose control over their real needs, and eventually lose control of their sanity. They no longer know what to do to get things done. People have to make appropriate goal directed efforts to get whatever it is that they want, and need because that is what makes them healthy, and happy. Drugs, servants, and robots can help us, but they can also set us up to destroy ourselves.
How can we get robots to help us in a good way?
Personal robots should help us get what we are working towards, but they should have little choice in setting up our goals. A desirable quality in a robot is for it to require our personal input at some directive level. We want to maintain a tight link between our behavior, and the actions which the robots perform for us because this maintains our control, our health, and our sanity. Having some artificial or mechanical means for constantly stimulating our pleasure center without our own efforts would soon destroy our ability to help ourselves.
Industrial robots are manufacturing many of the consumer products we use every day, even most of the manufactured food products we eat. These robots are totally out of our personal control, but we are totally in control of choosing or rejecting their productions. So, these kinds of factory robots are not personal robots; they are simply a part of the market economy like farm workers, factory workers or college professors. The industrial robots are not a personal problem.
What personal robots might be good for us?
Generally a good robot is one that is going to do something for us that is unhealthy for us to do for ourselves. Some other marginally dangerous jobs would be better done by a robot such as cleaning the toilets, cleaning rain gutters, changing light fixtures in the ceiling, helping us into, and out of bath tubs and showers, shoveling snow, which is a real killer for indolent men, and would be better done by a robot, and perhaps the lawn and gardening chores might be made less strenuously taxing, and more mildly stimulating. Some household chores are probably good for us because they help us get some exercise, and stay in touch with the physical world. Mild activities such as washing dishes, and vacuuming are good for us, and thus an automatic dishwasher or a Roomba from this perspective is counterproductive for an already overweight, and under exercised person.
The goal for robot tasks is to alleviate the heavy, and dangerous chores, and replace them with light exercise which is invigorating. This increases our heart rate, and decreases our stress. Another thing that a robot should do is to increase the value of being human, and having human qualities. Having ones robot near should relieve the human of inhuman tasks and encourage the person to utilize their uniquely human qualities. It would be a robot therapist in a way because part of its task is to warn its person when they were doing inappropriate non-human things. Some things the robot could do better or perhaps it could remind its person that it could do things that might be dangerous. An important robot function is one that maintains our health by monitoring our healthy, and unhealthy behavior, and warning us ,and other appropriate people when we should start doing something or stop doing it.
Robots might be able to do some things which are too … too anything … too big or too small, too boring or too tricky, too cold or too hot, too radioactive, acidic, basic or biologically active or too remote, too time separated between significant actions, or too all of the above. Some jobs cry out to be robotized such as lumberjacking, mining, ocean fishing, window washing on high rise buildings, and all sorts of painting jobs. Some combination jobs of this type would be billboard painting. Some kinds of car inspections could be done by robots, rather derivative of the bomb searching robots that check under cars. Perhaps at the airport security inspection people would be more comfortable stepping up to a mechanical scanner with a wand rather than a bored guard with a wand? How soon will we have riot control by robot vehicles rather than semi armored riot police? They could be controlled remotely by real people, but be semi-autonomous. Perhaps fewer people would be injured.
Robots are not sub-humans; they are machines which can perform some functions which appear human-like to humans because the result produced may be similar to what a human might produce. But, a robot is a machine with a few more degrees of freedom than a mechanical object that has no freedom whatsoever, and is controlled in its every action by pure mechanical actions or an intelligence. There comes a time, however, when the behavior, and the products of a robot become nearly indistinguishable from that of a human, and then they need a new name. Perhaps just plain oid or perhaps compounded as … android, manoid, womanoid, kidoid, boyoid, girloid, dogoid, dinoid, caroid, airplaneoid, roboid, etc..
Perhaps a new form of robots could be the exact opposite of self controlling; perhaps they could be guided by a group behavior a lot of people inputting their commands coordinated, and summed up by the computer, and robot, and giving some sort of super intelligent behavior — kind of a Wikibot or Wikioid. For example, a crowd of cheering people at a football game directing the movement of the play, but each person controlling some particular action of some particular part of the Wikibot with a joy stick. The possibilities are endless as they say.