Sep 13, 2009

Morgui The Scary Robot

I don't know if I'm afraid of robots because they are inherently ominous, or because I watched entirely too many sci-fi movies as a child. Either way, my views on allowing them into decent society have been consistently pessimistic. I don't know how I feel about an 'I, Robot' kind of future, where they become our mechanized indentured servants. Why? Because enslaved beings always revolt, and I don't want to be apart of that either. I guess I'm xenophobic toward the robotic.

In that case, I'm not alone. And I'm kidding. Somewhat.

Meet Morgui, the new robot constructed at the University of Reading, which has been deemed so scary it has been banned from interacting with anyone aged under 18. The x-rated robot is a disembodied head with five senses and big bright eyes and is able to follow people around the room.

But the university's ethics and research committee took one look at Morgui and decided it might be just a bit too scary. This is ironic. Morgui, which is Mandarin for Magic Ghost, cannot experience emotions - it is an experiment in how people react to robots.

We're not on the verge of a 1:1 human-robot ratio, but the technology we're developing (as humanity; I'm not British) is helping us discover more about who we are, oddly enough, in some strange self-indulgent way. It's like we're only interested in an enlightened form of intellectual masturbation, perpetuated, of course, by (who else?) our best and brightest minds.

University Robot Ruled Too Scary - Guardian UK

No comments:

Post a Comment