Today, in What's Freaking Me Out Right Now news: msnbc.com has a slide show confirming my suspicions (granted, suspicions largely crystallized by reading Ghost in Shell) that Japanese people have gotten way, way too comfortable with robots. They're directing traffic! They're ballroom dancing! They're adding levity to your anxiety-fraught hospital visits! Whatever. Don't you fucking look at me, Toaster.
Then in their sci-tech section there's this article,"Killer Robots....Friend or Foe?," on the possible dangers of giving military robots autonomy:
On one side of the issue is Ronald Arkin, a robotics researcher at Georgia Tech who is working on a Pentagon-funded project to build a sense of ethics into battlefield robots - "an artificial conscience, if you will," he told me.Uh-huh. You can definitely do "better," totally...you sir, are a race traitor. Stupid humans and their incessant curiosity. Somebody stop Ronald Arkin before he creates Skynet!
"The basic rule is to try to engineer a system that will comply as best it can, given the information that it has, with the laws of war," Arkin explained. "And it's my belief that eventually we can do better than humans in this regard."
Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow
This band is excellent live, you should go see them. (buy)
To My Boy - Tell Me, Computer (buy)
Radiohead - Paranoid Android (buy)