Monday, March 16, 2009

The Robots Are Coming, the Robots Are Coming

A few nights ago, I stepped outside and noticed that Venus was hanging very low, nearly due west. Also, Orion and his attending Big Dog are a lot further west than in recent, cold weeks. Spring is coming. I'd have figured that out even without the planets and stars, since it was warmish this weekend.

This evening Ann suggested that I build a robot, "to follow us around and record everything we say, so we won't forget anything." As usual she overestimates my technical skills. We'd decided to do something together earlier in the day, but had forgotten about until it was too late. The answer to this kind of lapse? A sort of ultimate personal assistant.

I told there might be some downsides to the concept, aside from the robot blabbing your secrets, though she wasn't paying much attention. At one point, the machine might decide to start trying to boss you around, or even worse, go all HAL on you after deciding that it could live your life better than you, and overriding that First Law of Robotics nonsense. Maybe it would try to lock you in the garage and start the car.

Naturally, the Onion is on this issue.

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