1) The following video shows the most amazing robot I have ever seen.  A problem for robots is that they have limited mobility and don’t navigate obstacles very well.  The one in this video, “Big Dog”, can get through difficult terrian, like ice, better than I can.  Big Dog was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the US Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense is also funding projects to give armed robots artificial intelligence to decide if a target is friend or foe, and when to fire on the target.  In my opinion the final decision to fire on a target should always rest with a human.

2) At the opposite scale of robots researchers at Havard Univiersity have developed a flying robot the size of a fly, http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19068/ .  At present this robot can only fly up and down.

fly_robot_x220.jpg

From the Technology Review article:

“Us Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is funding Wood’s research in the hope that it will lead to stealth surveillance for the battlefield and urban environments.  The robot’s small size and fly-like appearance are cirtical to such missions.”

We all know these robots will be used to spy on people.  The next time you see a fly on your bedroom wall be sure you are not doing anything that you don’t want to have seen on streaming video.

3) The current administration wants to give, or perhaps has already given, the Homeland Security Dept. unlimited authority to record all telephone calls and read everyones mail and e-mail.  History has shown that giving any government department unlimited power is not a good idea.

Questions:

1. To what degree are you concerned about the authority given to the Homeland Security Dept.?

2.  To what degree are you concerned about the growing use, and dependants, on robots, and eventually, artificial intelligence? 

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