Monday, February 19, 2007

Entry for February 19, 2007

I've taken my "October Moonbase" offline for a bit. Physical Reality isn't cooperating with me. Neither are finances. It's kind of hard to build a moonbase out of LEGOs when you can't afford to buy 'em. I'll announce when I have it back up.

On an unrelated note; we have a gizmo at work that pumps a soapy chemical similar to Rid-X thru the pipes to the outside grease traps. It's a very simple affair. A timer, battery pack, and pump. That's it. The reason I mention this, is a couple of weeks back the thing wasn't working, so I had changed the battery pack. It also turns out the timer was turned off. Well, a few days ago the manager asks me if the "McFree bot" was working.

Bot?

Now I would NEVER have considered that thing a bot. But part of a defination of robotics is automation. And the pump is definately automatic. Not autonomous. but automatic. Yes there is a chip in place to run the show. But, I mean, c'mon, it's a simple mechanism. There is a mindset change happening in society. What I think of as a gadget, others are now calling a bot.

Robotics is definately on the move, to loosely use a term. One day in the VERY near future, we're gonna be seeing these machines and not pay them any mind. Until one day you're out of a job. They won't take over the world. They have no use for it. It's physical. Their domain will be virtual. All you need to do is hit the off switch, and they're nothing but so much plastic, metal, and silicon. If you ever come across a machine that has learned to put it's power switch in front to protect itself, then we'll have problems.

No, I'm not going to be around when the machines are smart enough to replace people in mass. But the people that WILL be around are already entirely comfortable with the concept of burger flipping machines and a colorful speaker inside the lobby of the local fast food place with a perfect electronic voice offering you choices and specials.




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