Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why robots matter

Marshall Brain has an excellent series of essays on the future of robots in our society.  Well worth a read.

I'm thinking that here in 2012, the idea of robots becoming ubiquitous should start to seem like a realistic possibility even to normal people.

Brain dwells on the effects of robots on employment rates.  I think he makes some valid points.

I tend to dwell on the possibilities for repression.  How would you like a robot following you around and preventing you from doing wrong things?

I trust many of you reading that last statement may scoff, but I also daresay you then thought about it for a minute.  If you don't think it's possible, you're just wrong.

And this is exactly one reason why liberty and freedom are so incredibly important to maintain.  There is never an "end state" where "yay we have achieved freedom!"  This is similar to all other strivings for human improvement.  Nothing is ever complete, nothing is static--everything worthwhile is a constant struggle to achieve and maintain.

The free internet will not guarantee that bad things will not happen in the future.  However, without a free internet they will be impossible to stop.


  1. A robot "following you around and preventing you from doing wrong things" is just a couple of steps beyond your DVD player refusing to play movies from another region.

  2. Indeed. Or they could hold your family hostage.
    It'll happen :-(