Robot Rock

Like the prequel to a sci-fi horror trilogy, scientists are developing robots that aim to freak people out in public by invading their privacy. The ‘humanoid’ robot Nao is designed to use facial recognition software to dig up personal information on people from social networking sites, track their online profile and even more disturbingly tapping into their mobile phone and searching their recent tracking history to find out when and where that person has gone.

Just like a horror film there will be a catalyst, a line in the sand, and once that line is crossed there will be no return to life as we know it. A dark and sinister Robot Empire will emerge and the human race will be enslaved. Even if we are not overtaken and made subordinates of a metallic race of Robot overlords like in The Matrix there are still some pressing privacy issues surrounding this new technology.

Major web technology firms, such as Google, have been embracing robotics. Lawyers, researchers and privacy advocates are concerned that robots could act as physical extensions of these companies, giving them a huge amount of access into your life. For example, a housekeeping robot can gather details about your house and monitor your activities while it’s tidying up. It can then sell that information about your home and hobbies to companies that can target you with ads and products.

As Marcus Woo from the BBC points out, “In today’s interconnected age, there’s more available information about us than ever before. And the presence of robots ups the ante: if it turns out that we are more likely to feel comfortable with them because of their appearance, then this raises serious questions about how much access they should have to our lives. After all, behind those robotic eyes, someone else may be watching.”

Well maybe we shouldn’t worry and just embrace the fact that one day we may all be doing the “robot rock”.

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FX7.jpg FILM TITLE I, Robot