These are not the Robots you are looking for

Nov 11, 2021Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

 These are novel living machines. They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact:
a living, programmable organism.

Joshua Bongard

Manuel and Sam are talking about the following video:
The electrical blueprints that orchestrate life

In this post the images comes from:

      1. Lennart Wittstock from Pexels
      2. Pete Linforth from Pixabay

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Manuel

Hi Sam, do you have a minute?

Today 11:38   

Sam

Hi Manuel, sure, you want to talk about robots again?  😊                     

Today 11:39  

Manuel

You guessed right! 😄

Today 11:39  

Sam

Ha! I love talking about robots 👾, so what can I do for you?                  

Today 11:40  

Manuel

I’m collaborating with a science writer, John, on a piece about the connections between science and Sci-Fi

Today 11:41   

Sam

I can see why you want to talk about robots then!                              

Today 11:42   

Manuel

Indeed! Actually, though, this is more about the history of robots …

Today 11:42   

Sam

OK, I do know some of that … and I’ve read and watched a lot of Sci-Fi! 😁

Today 11:43

Manuel

I guessed as much, but I’m not sure about these …

Today 11:44  

Sam

Oldies like Daleks and Cylons or something from Japanese anime?

Today 11:44  

Manuel

Nope: the original ones from “Rossum’s Universal Robots” by Karel Čapek

Today 11:45   

Sam

Wow, that play is 100 years old! But yeah,

I do know it actually … 😅                                                                         

Today 11:46   

Manuel

Then you know that his robots aren’t machines, but organic.

Today 11:47  

Sam

Indeed, quite surprisingly: organic robots “assembled ” in a factory

Today 11:47   

Manuel

And ultimately they develop feelings and become indistinguishable from humans

Today 11:48   

Sam

Yes, this was a very different cautionary tale from the Golem or Frankenstein

Today 11:48   

Manuel

My question is: is this feasible nowadays, with synthetic biology?

Today 11:49   

Sam

Well, not exactly no, we can’t assemble a whole adult human all at once from parts

Today 11:50   

Manuel

But?

Today 11:51   

Sam

We can clone organisms of course, and maybe within a decade even grow them in an artificial womb

Today 11:52   

Sam

but that is certainly not my area of expertise! And I don’t think we can pre-program an entire human brain … 😅

Today 11:52   

Manuel

So these are indeed very different robots. Thanks this was very useful! 😄

Today 11:53   

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …
Next week John will talk with Julia our student and mind passionate

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