Friday, March 09, 2007

My Coffee Maker is Demanding a Vacation

Here's a juicy one. Apparently the Government of South Korea is developing a Robot Ethics Charter which will lay out the roles and responsibilities of our new friends. It's not too crazy, as South Korea expects that every Korean household will have a robot by between 2015 and 2020. I guess they are going to have to vote and pay taxes, just like the rest of us.

I'm wondering how we are going to deal with all the robots we have right now. For example, what rights do the
100 energy slaves that I have working for me right now get? The dumb ones - the toaster, the coffee maker, the remote control - I'm not too concerned about, I'm just going to manhandle them, slap them around. You know, just like in real human life. It's the robotic surgeons and the PCs, who are taking our jobs, that I'm going to have to strategize against.

I think it comes down to math. The average human runs at about 100 watts, and the brain is 20 percent of that. So, mano-a-mano, any machine that comes close to doing what a human can do for the same amount of wattage is a competitor, and the OLPC comes close. Unfortunately for us, we have to tack on all our SUVs, our heat to keep us warm, health insurance, electric tootbrush, etc., and that puts us (Americans) up to a whopping 11,000 watts. A PC brain only needs to add a case, power supply, and some juice, so maybe they are at 250 watts or so. Geez, with those kinds of numbers it's no wonder the future doesn't need us. Scared? As Yoda says, you will be, you will be.

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