In this week’s readings, Cynthia Breazeal discusses her thoughts on how robots could impact our lives in the future. She believes robots could play an important part in areas such as media, health and social interactions. For example, in a health trial, robots were programmed to interact with the participants, giving the same advice as available on a laptop used by the control group. The participants using the robots had better results, thought to be due to the bond developed between the participant and the robot. Some participants even began to demonstrate anthropomorphic behaviour. (Breazeal, 2011).
Science fiction films and books, have given people in today’s society different expectations of robots. In both the anime and movie of “Ghost in the Shell”, humans are replacing body parts with robotic components, to enable them to to live longer, look younger and have superhuman abilities. In the episode, “Captivated”, an eighty year old female transfers her mind to a robotic body, with the appearance of a twenty year old woman (Kamiyama, 1995). The opposite occurs in the film, “Blade Runner”, where robots are trying to become human and have human memories (Francher, Peoples, 1982).
Companion robots, available in many forms, could have a future positive impact. However, still in the development stage, they will inevitably be too expensive for the average citizen.
Breazeal, C. 2011. The Rise of Social Robots. Posted February 2011. Accessed April 25th 2012. http://www.ted.com/talks/cynthia_breazeal_the_rise_of_personal_robots.html.
Francher, H, Peoples, D. 1982. Blade Runner. Directed by Ridley Scott. Produced by Michael Deeley. Neutral Bay, Warner Bros Pictures. DVD.
Kamiyama, K. 2002. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Captivated. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Produced by Production I.G. Australia, Madman Entertainment. DVD.