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Thread: By 2020, Droids Will Explore Space For Us

  1. #1
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    By 2020, Droids Will Explore Space For Us

    All the best sci-fi films have them, and they may become our future automated space explorers. Currently, one of the biggest drawbacks for using robots in space is that they depend on human input (i.e. commands need to be sent for every robotic arm motion and every rover wheel rotation). This means that, especially with [...]

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  2. #2
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    So that hopefully means we are getting closer to having household droids, too, right?
    Last edited by clint; 2008-Jul-29 at 07:06 AM.

  3. #3
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    More wishful thinking by people who think that fantasy is a guide to the future. The same wishful thinking that to statements in 1956 by Herbert Simon that "machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do", the magazine "modern mechanics to breathless tell the reader in 1957 that “You will own robot slaves by 1965” and Marvin Minsky to say in 1967 "Within a generation ... the problem of creating artificial intelligence will substantially be solved." We are still waiting.


    There is the blind leap from present day research into autonomous response to pattern and colour recognition to the cute characters of a film, as if this gives the concept some validity. As if Star Wars is in any sense a reliable guide to technology. And all in the next 12 years!

    The simple fact is we don't know how to build machines which can perform the level of tasks expected of droids in Star Wars. We have no idea when we might be able to do so. And "self aware" machines are fantasy technology indistinguishable from magic.

    I will add my prediction. In 2020 we will be struggling to manage unmanned Mars sample return, spending billions of dollars to return a few hundred grams of material. We might be able to have a UAV or similar in the atmosphere of Titan. But people will still be making predictions of self aware maachines being just round the corner, this time maybe by 2040.



    Jon
    Last edited by JonClarke; 2008-Jul-31 at 09:10 AM.

  4. #4
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    So, in other words, Jerry, we never find the droids we're looking for?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    So, in other words, Jerry, we never find the droids we're looking for?

    ;-D
    Darn, you beat me to it!

  6. #6
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    More wishful thinking by people who think that fantasy is a guide to the future. The same wishful thinking that to statements in 1956 by Herbert Simon that "machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work a man can do", the magazine "modern mechanics to breathless tell the reader in 1957 that “You will own robot slaves by 1965” and Marvin Minsky to say in 1967 "Within a generation ... the problem of creating artificial intelligence will substantially be solved." We are still waiting.

    Were these claims based on real technology or simply by visionaries that did not directly work in these related fields?

    We've learned more since those days those claims were made. We have a more realistic understanding of how to make an autonomous robot.

    Expect the unexpected.

  7. #7
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    I think Marvin Minsky counts as an expert in the field! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Minsky

    So does Herbert Simon - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Simon

    The magazine "Modern Mechanics" was probably as reliable a source in its time as "PC World" (the source of this story) is today.

    The whole field of AI and robotics has been cursed by hype from the start.

  8. #8
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    Even so, humans will still be better at exploration than robots. Your local pizza delivery boy is a cheaper ride for your pizza pie than any Darpa challenge vehicle will ever be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Even so, humans will still be better at exploration than robots. Your local pizza delivery boy is a cheaper ride for your pizza pie than any Darpa challenge vehicle will ever be.
    My pizza boy doesn't need to drive through high radiation zones, and keep on-track with the mission for a few consecutive decades. His mission lasts thirty minutes.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  10. #10
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    And still he covers more ground than Spirit or Opp does in 30 months.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    My pizza boy doesn't need to drive through high radiation zones, and keep on-track with the mission for a few consecutive decades. His mission lasts thirty minutes.
    I need a new pizza boy then....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    And still he covers more ground than Spirit or Opp does in 30 months.
    Snails cover more ground than Spirit or Opportunity.

    Jon

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    My pizza boy doesn't need to drive through high radiation zones, and keep on-track with the mission for a few consecutive decades. His mission lasts thirty minutes.
    And if he missed his mission in thirty minutes , I'm sure to receive the Pizza for Free.


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