A I and ROBOTICS
On Friday, September 29, Dennis Holman painted a fascinating picture of the future that was somewhat (very) unsettling. His background at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) in Menlo Park, CA provided him with a deep knowledge of the current development of artificial intelligence, the theme of his presentation.
Dennis worked as SRI’s principal systems engineer for over 36 years. At SRI, he was involved with a great variety of projects, including surgical robotics, micro-satellites, the GPS system, unmanned vehicles of all types, radars to sense space weather, applications of artificial intelligence, and consulting on a wide range of aviation topics.
Dennis pointed out that our economy has been grounded in manufacturing and agricultural jobs that provided citizens steady employment and wages that supported their families. Times are changing. Robots are being created that can do those jobs without requiring wages or insurance, without being subject to illness, without need for vacations. Even very specialized fields are using robots to accomplish work that requires a precision that humans cannot achieve. Medical surgery is a good example...
There are ethical conundrums. Should robots be created that could respond with emotion to situations? Robots that could replicate themselves? Where is the line? As I said above, the presentation was fascinating and gave us much food for thought.