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Computer Scientists have come up with many different forms of
technology that have wowed their audience. Now they are coming up with
computerized robots that can even pass the Turing test and mimic human
interaction. This technological advancement raises many philosophical
and ethical questions. What does this mean? Where does this take us?
How does this impact our future in robotics and computerization?

All
these questions come to mind when considering the news of different
technologies introduced every day. We hear of robots that smell, eat,
drink and become thirsty. We even hear of robots that can mimic human
speech and have conversations.

When Eliza was invented in 1966
(a computer program that fooled many into thinking she was a person)
many people wrote about her and how she had passed the Turing test.
Does this mean computers can think, many ask?

The answer to
that question is no. The Turing test is no longer considered an
accurate way to judge if a machine can match human intelligence because
a machine can be set up in such a way to make it appear it is
interacting with the human when it is simply programmed to act that
way.

In the book Hamlet on the Holodeck, Mr. Murray states "It
is an important moment in human history to be able to make machines
that exhibit emergence. It is a sign that we have reached a new
threshold in our ability to represent complex systems systems of any
kind, whether thermodynamics, war strategies, or human behavior."

But is this an important moment in human history, or does it mean we are about to meet our competitor?


If robots that have the ability to eat, drink, smell, interact, and
converse, (robots that are so much like a human, that they are a
virtual human) are brought into the household, and controlled by humans
to do what the human wants, who is to say that one day the robot won't
possess the power to override the program that controls it.

We
are introduced to movies about robots often, such as I Robot, the
Matrix, Bicentennial Man, Terminator, and many more. There are many
stories of how people think; if we bring these technologically advanced
appliances into our homes, it will virtually destroy our own freedom.
We praise our rights and freedoms, yet we want to bring something into
the world that could jeopardize that.

As Murray states "Our
solace until recently has been to celebrate our place in nature, our
separateness from the increasingly mechanical world around us." Now, in
the new millennium and throughout the 90s, that contentment is being
tested. I feel that with the creation of these different devices comes
trouble.

Although, as McLuhan says, we are always looking for
new and better pieces of technology; is robotics really the correct
route to take? However, man is selfish, and will continue to be
selfish. Man desires to have power, and if a machine is what he thinks
will give him more power, nothing will stop him.



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