Acts of Volition


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Alan -

Its that use of humanity rather than humans that lets all the robot killings go on.

~bc -

It's not a robot. It's a giant remote- controlled plane. Well, giant for a remote control plane. It's not automated. A human pilot flies it from the ground, using telemetry and cameras. This particular one is a version of the recon drone that the US Military uses, but adapted by the CIA to fire Hellfire missiles. It's called the Predator.

nathan -

It actually takes a crew of three to fly, plus the support of 55 personnel to manage the whole system.
<br>Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Fact Sheet

Steven Garrity -

I take your point that it is not autonomous, but technically, it is a robot. According to, a robot is "A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control."

I guess Asimov's laws only apply to autonomous robots. So, in this case, we'll have to blame the humans and use the ten commandments, or even just the golden rule.

Andrew -

Remote controlled today, autonomous tomorrow.

Steven -

The scary thing about those robot laws is, if we followed them, and a robot killed a couple humans, the robot would actually be at fault wouldn't he? (And not the creator of the robot.)

They would have to be programed to fear prosecution and robot death.

Alan -

No necessarily. If a few humans were killed for the benefit of humanity no law is broken.

Dave Moses -

I think that Asimov's Laws of Robotics have always been pertinent. All great (science) fiction isn't about the future, it's about the present--- just as Orwell's 1984 had less to do with a vision of some date in his future than with what he saw was happening to language and society all around him, Asimov's Robotic laws are about fears from our fellow flesh and blood than the tinman with an axe.

Alan -

[Nice try, Dave. Its the robots, Steve. Fear the robots]

Andrew -

Speaking of the future, and a little off topic... I'm sure most of you seen the movie 'Clockwork Orange'. Well in this movie that was made back in the 70's, they tried making it look futuristic, like in our present day. It's quite funny the stuff they thought we would have and how we would dress.

Also, where is our hoverboards and flying cars? Remember back in the 90's when people used to say that in the year 2000 all this stuff would come out... It's 2002, and I want my flying car.

Bella -

Hey, they'd make a killing if this was the next new toy to show up at Toys R' Us. Of course, they would have to tweak it abit - cheaper to replicate en masse - and make the kids in China build it for the kids in the US. Then, because the materials are cheaper, it would malfunction a lot, spurring even more ridiculous law suits.

Bella -

I cannot allow that last post to go without saying that killing other people just isn't funny. There's so much that isn't funny.
The whole concept of war, killing, conquering, abusing, removing humans from the point of execution isn't funny.

I am sad for this planet.

jc -

"A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control."

Then my TV is robot, my stereo is a robot, my air-conditioner is a robot, my digital watch is a robot, etc.

That definition is pretty loose.

Alan -

While not necessarily defining, "robot" is based on the slavic "rob-" root which is based on farm worker rather than "prac-", relating to industry. <p> In Polish, a worker is a "robotnik" in "jestem robotnik srebropomaranczowy". There is also work (pracowac) and employer (pracodawca) and industry (pracowitosc). I think the robo- words are more about the personal experience of farm working - as in "making" - rather than industrial production. So I can say "jestem jeden bardzo pracowity robotnik srebropomaranczowy".

Red Robot -

<img src="images/robotspeaks.gif" alt="Watching you fleshlings debate your demise is agonizing." border="0" vspace="4">

Amy -

Hi everyone,

Can anyone help me find a human-kind robot with its parts shown transparently in any site?....I am having a project on it to do.And I couldn't find any site as I wanted.If anyone know any site like that,please let me know by e-mailing me.Thanks in advance.

Tim Garrity -

and lets not forget about that new lexus that speaks to you and tells you when to go to the dealer for an oil change....because the robot that is your car called it!!!


SmartFunnyGirl -

In response to Andrew, 9:23 AM November 8, 2002, Its now 2005 and I want my flying car as well .

Mike -

SmartFunnyGirl: You can buy one from Moller International.