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Slideshow: Artsy Robots Take Center Stage

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Elizabeth M
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Elizabeth M   11/11/2013 9:10:24 AM
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Yeah, I actually wrote a story about the robot play when it was running in the U.S., Rob, but for one reason or another it didn't actually post on the site. But it was really interesting to talk to one of the actors and the playright and see what it was like to interact with robots, and what the audience reaction was. The Japanese seem to really like this sort of thing and be on the cutting edge of integrating robots more with humans.

Elizabeth M
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Elizabeth M   11/11/2013 9:16:04 AM
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Thanks, Chuck. Yes, I think that your take on that art exhibit is probably right, even if it wasn't the intention of the artist. I think also as people become more comfortable with robots in different venues like the ones in this slideshow, the uncanny valley effect will begin to diminish.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Rob Spiegel   11/11/2013 9:22:58 AM
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Yes, it is interesting how robot-human interactions have flourished in Japan. I think you're right that they are ahead of a curve that will eventually spread.

Charles Murray
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Charles Murray   11/11/2013 6:48:41 PM
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I agree, Liz. I'm sure the Uncanny Valley is just a temporary phenomenon. The question is how temporary.

Elizabeth M
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Elizabeth M   11/12/2013 8:48:07 AM
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Yes, Rob, I wonder what it is about Japanese culture that makes them more comfortable with robots than other cultures in the world. I guess it has something to do with the tendency that makes things like anime and monster movies (I'm thinking of "Godzilla" ;)) popular in Japan. I wonder if anyone has done a sociological study about it!

Elizabeth M
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Elizabeth M   11/12/2013 9:06:38 AM
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Yes, Chuck, it's just a matter of time. I actually think it won't be so long--maybe only a five years or so, depending on how quickly robots become adopted in the mainstream--before people forget that robots ever seemed weird or strange to be around. But maybe I'm just optimistic and think technology like helper robots for the elderly and Baxter for factories will become part of the mainstream quickly.

William K.
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
William K.   11/21/2013 7:02:56 PM
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Rob, much of Japanese culture seems to be an urgent need to be just like everybody else. That would tend to make the people identify with robots quite readily, since robots seem to come off an assembly line, all quite similar to each other. At least the industrial robots that I ammaquainted with all seemed to have identical personalities.

William K.
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
William K.   11/21/2013 7:10:08 PM
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Elizabeth, let us hope that robots never become "self aware", because at that point they will suddenly have personalities similar to the worst aspect of those programmers who create their basic progams. And that will be a rather bad situation, even worse if there are a lot of them. Just imagine an unhappy machine that lacks an adequate intelligence to understand an explanation of the real situation, and why it is satisfactory. And picture a robot that becomes bored doing robot tasks.

Robotic art is fine, the media can indeed be the massage, but it sould not attempt anything like real intelligence, only good reflexes and an ability to follow instructions.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: What a range of creative robotics
Rob Spiegel   11/22/2013 1:05:39 AM
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That's an interesting theory, William K. That could explain why the Japanese don't experience the uncanny valley to the degree Americans do.

AnandY
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Re : what a range of creative robotics
AnandY   11/23/2013 3:54:09 AM
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I really love the idea of a robot at an art exhibition showing visitors around the room. As a designer (though not exactly an artist) I often find myself having to exhibit my designs to the world at some point. The problem with exhibitions is that you have to repeat the same facts over and over and this can really get exhausting. Having a robot do that for me is simply awesome and thanks Elizabeth for bringing that up.

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