Culture

Nicer Than the Terminator—But That is not Saying Much

Meet Buddy, a “family-oriented household robot…. inspired by robots from pop culture like R2-D2 from “Star Wars” and Disney’s “WALL-E.”  A French tech start-up is marking a machine that can hang around the house and make itself semi-useful or at least amusing.

Buddy has more to do with movie killer-robots such as the Terminator than one might imagine.  War machines (like all the other kinds of autonomous technologies that are likely to be part of future) will evolve based on designs informed by the experiences of our everyday interactions with robotics. Robots such as Buddy are going to teach us lessons in how humans and robots work side-by-side. That in turn will help us think through the human-robot future.  In peace and war the sooner we start living with robots, the sooner will we figure out how to live with robots.