Not only are robots an excellent opportunity for humans to extend their knowledge and practical uses of science, engineering, information technology, and cognitive science, but they also currently and in the near-future will help us to live longer, healthier lives.
In this article, by the University of Exeter helps provide several insightful examples of how robots can help us. The article specifically focuses on the uses of robots to help fill spots where we are expected to be physically, but cannot due to any number of variables, including sickness, physical impairment, prior demands, or just overall too busy.
In a research project funded by the university titled, “Being There: Humans and Robots in Public Spaces”, helps bridge the gap of possible uses of robots for when we physically cannot be present. The focus of the study is primarily, “To look at the social and technological aspects of being able to appear in public in proxy forms, via a range of advanced robotics platforms”
For transhumanists and those interested in using technology to better our lives and our bodies, this is excellent news. The project overall aims to enhance the public realm where people can express themselves in public with full equality and privacy, which is most important. Professor Mark Levine of the University of Exeter has this to say, “Being able to interact with others in public space plays an important role in the well-being of individuals and societies. Sadly, many people are unable to do this – because they are ill, housebound or unable to travel. However, if a robot proxy can act for them – and can transmit back the full experience of being with others – we can help to reduce social isolation and increase civic participation”
This aspect of the study and the use of robots in general should definitely be researched and studied even further. Especially if more humanoid type robots can be implemented, the relaying of facts and experiences to the host human will become more meaningful and more productive. Perhaps we could have multiple robot proxys and can be present via those proxy’s in various physical locations, further enhancing our production capabilities. Opening up the public sphere to the use of robots proxys is vital if we are opening up ourselves to integration of technology into our bodies and our behaviors and decision-making.
If we are to use robot proxys to replace our physical representations both in public and family events, it will be paramount for us to use this technology in a responsible way. Designing articificial intelligence following the three rules of Asimov’s Robots will help insure this. Lastly, intergrating robots into our daily social interaction, will aid in our social development from a health standpoint, and will lead us to live longer, more healthful lives. Simple social interaction, via technology and robots. Perfect!
Transhumanist Librarian will be back with another article soon!