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Karl Pilkington meets Asimo

by on November 24, 2012

In the TV series “An Idiot Abroad”, Karl Pilkington travels around the world in an attempt to broaden his mind. Here, he is in Japan and meets the robot, Asimo. Watching the robot dance inspired him to notice:

“Walks like it’s shit itself, dunnit? Maybe it has, don’t know how human it is.”

And:

“Of all the things I need a robot to do, it’s to fix stuff. In the eighties that’s what they were for, weren’t they? They were in car factories, putting cars together. It’s not doing that, it’s piss-arsing about, having a dance on a stage. We’ve got enough dancers. I think that’s the problem it’s got so advanced it’s going ‘Oh, I don’t want to do work anymore.'”

Karl points out that we have “enough dancers”. Any human can dance and walk. He seems to find it frustrating that someone put so much money and science into creating a robot that can’t do anything better than the average child. He speaks about robots working to make cars, and appears to favor the way we built things to do a job better than a human. He is clearly unimpressed by the robot, and I can understand why; a robot that can awkwardly move and dance slowly will lose its novelty eventually, and not necessarily if better robots are made. This is why I don’t think robots will ever take over the role of humans on planet Earth. We live in a world ruled by consumerism, and, with our deeply rooted cultural anxiety over a robot revolution, the masses will never feed money into something that resembles too closely the way all those robot films begin. And even if we do, intelligent robots may eventually get boring, and all we’d have to do is pull the plug.

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One Comment
  1. I think you’re point is interesting. I also find it interesting that in a world which embraces consumerism why the need for the newest, biggest, most advanced piece of technology wouldn’t be desired? So far as pulling the plug, i don’t think any scientist would want to devalue their invention by not boasting it the world. In the case of the German scientists who discovered the nuclear bomb, their revelation which they knew could jeopordise the human species didn’t stop them from sharing their discovery. It’s really funny if you really start to start to think into the strange possibility of robots taking over humanity; that our cultural anxiety of robots taking on human agency would be the reason for our unison rather than our defeat. Because surely a robot which cannot feel or empathise would be the ultimate killing machine. Especially with the need of advancing technology so far intellectually that they can hold more information than the human brain. Imagine a machine so intelligent and massive without the ability to have feelings or understand right from wrong having a tripped wire. Even a sat nav can break and leave you hopeless, a bad example, but imagine putting your trust into a machine that has a million times more complexities and abilities and it backfires. Trippy

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