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Human-controlled robots shown to make manufacturing safer, more efficient (wisc.edu)
25 points by kick 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

Also known as "tools" or "equipment"...

Would you call an excavator or crane a "human-controlled robot"?

I really hope the first big robotic wave will be humans from low-wage countries controlling robots in richer countries. With fast enough internet everywhere there is no problem having someone in India folding my laundry with some simple robot that can't leave my basement for example.

Nice scenario for a horror movie when this robot gets hacked or remote operator replaced by somebody with evil intentions. We can’t secure our cellphones and bank accounts. A robot from a “move fast and break things” type startup will be even worse.

Literally a "move fast and break things" robot!

I think part of the issue is that for things like this, the maintenance cost on robots is often not worth the investment compared to a human (it is sometimes).

What could go wrong?

I strongly believe that the future should go in this direction. And not just for robots but also for AI. Just like cars and smartphones they must be extensions of us humans instead of independent actors. One reason is safety, as probably many people are aware of, and the second is about how humans feel. We don't like dealing with other independent actors who we don't fully understand. But an extension to ourselves, that feels right. That's why for instance dogs are so loved as pets, but wolves are not, although both animals look very similar from the outside.

Kettle and toaster are independent actors and so is Roomba and yet here we are doing fine.

I'd argue kettles and toasters are not independent actors. A toaster won't make a decision if another toast is needed, it will not grab a slice of bread and then toast it.

But a roomba is really an independent actor and we already see problems with it (roomba companies collecting apartment layout data, pets feeling strong competition, people feeling rather helpless if a roomba doesn't clean some place or gets itself constantly stuck on rugs etc). Sure they are not big problems, but roombas aren't really big independent actors either.

Well, the machines I program and operate at work do the job of someone manually using disc saws and angle grinders to cut through and shape stone. Using the machines are incredibly safe by comparison and one machine does the same amount of work a team of people would do in a week in a single day. So I very much agree yes.

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