What we talk about when we talk about robotics
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” is a collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver. In his collection, he doesn’t provide a direct definition of love but instead lets the perception of the nature of love form in the minds of the reader through narrating a series of short stories.
This idea of perception leads me to my point. In my previous post, I highlighted the widespread reproducibility issues still haunting robotics research. These issues need to be fixed if we want to talk about Robotics as a science. Like what the new journal Science Robotics aims to do. However there are still other issues to consider: what exactly is Robotics about? What does it mean when it’s said, ‘you will never be able to do that within the mechatronic paradigm? Is there a kind of ‘robotics thermodynamics’? What can be done? What can’t, for fundamental reasons, be done with a given approach/class of physical systems?
A real roboticist (even in academia) might be tempted to dismiss those question as typical intellectual speculations.
There was a recent article in New Scientist about London’s Science Museum’s Robots called, who is really pulling the strings? ￼If you focus solely on the perception of disappointment, after reading the article, you might be led to think, as I do, that we need a paradigm change. And you may understand the objectives and concerns of some not-so-mainstream communities in AI and Robotics, for example, those gathering around the ‘Shanghai Lectures’ (2016 edition here). Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.
I will come back on this again. Stay tuned!
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read:
- The new AI and robotics: Lecture by Fabio Bonsignorio
- ShanghAI Lectures: Fabio Bonsignorio “Embodied Finance: Embodying Disruptive Innovation in Embodied Cognitive Systems”
- ShanghAI Lectures: Inman Harvey “Metaphorical homunculi: we don’t really have little men inside our heads”
- ShanghAI Lectures: Kevin Warwick “AI with biological brains”