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Jul 10th 2012 at 9:36:48 PM •••

Burnside's Zeroth Law of space combat

As per

Most people instinctively know Burnside's Zeroth Law of space combat: Science fiction fans relate more to human beings than to silicon chips. That is, while it might make more logical sense to have an interplanetary battle waged between groups of computer controlled spacecraft, it would be infinitely more boring than a battle between groups of human crewed spacecraft.

:So, does this relate strongly enough to RHR, to be worth a mention here?

Mar 7th 2012 at 9:34:52 AM •••

Oh great, someone went and replaced the image of Alpha from "Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou", one of the most human robots in fiction ever with a Futurama picture, because we really needed yet another one. Couldn't we have the old one back?

Apart from being a worse example in general, I'd question if referencing a portrayal in comedy works at all. Comedy makes EVERYTHING more human acting - the laugh wouldn't work otherwise. You may as well feature a picture of GIR or something.

Jul 28th 2010 at 6:28:23 AM •••

Trev-MUN: The opening explanation for the article sounds a little too much like a single troper is using it as his personal Author Tract. Specifically this section:

"In reality of course this trope makes very little sense, or at least requires an absurd amount of hand waving to justify. Artists who utilize this trope rarely stop to think that a solid state microchip might favor appreciably different logic than that of an organic bio-electric human brain. We're just supposed to assume that everything which has a certain amount of raw intelligence is automatically going to look human and fit neatly within Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. On a more practical level, the reasons why people decided to design and mass produce human-like robots are usually reduced to them being stronger or more efficient than humans, but that only raises additional question of why they spent so much effort trying to cram all that physical capacity into the human form in the first place instead of drawing up designs which make slightly more sense in engineering and economic terms. And why they decided to give these expendable grunts and mining robots complex neural networks and baby blue eyes in the first place is anybody's guess. Usually these concerns are just ignored because they undermine the plot or themes of the story."

If it were so self-evident, I wouldn't be reading scientific articles about roboticists seriously attempting to study biological processes as a guide for the development of robotics.

And I don't just mean that in in a general, biotechnology sense. I actually recall a special report about roboticists giving a very good justification for human-shaped robots: the more a robot is designed to look and move like a human, the easier time it will have adapting to human society, simply because nearly everything in human society is built for the purpose of humans living in it or using it.

And we've certainly seen that companies, universities, and research institutes are always striving to make robots that look, walk, and act like humans.

Unless anyone can give me some good arguments on why that Wall of Text should stay, I'm going to remove it. Not because it's a Wall of Text, but because it's making presumptuous declarations on what is "sensible" in the fields of computing, robotics, and biotechnology.

Or, to put it in a TLDR way: Think back to the famous 1980s quote Bill Gates allegedly said: "640K ought to be enough for anybody." Look how far computing's come in 30 years, and now compare that quote to the paragraph I've quoted above.

Edited by TrevMUN Hide/Show Replies
Feb 11th 2011 at 9:08:46 PM •••

I found the paragraph presumptuous as well. As the emulation community has shown, hardware might not be as important if you have the right software. Who can guess what kind of analogs would exist if we knew everything about our own biology? Or what consciousness is?

Edited by justanid
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