Invisible Robota

BoingBoing links to a video that accompanies a Marketplace special on robots taking over Human jobs. It's a really well done video, with lots of examples that you don't normally think of as robots but fit the general idea well.

More interestingly is their subtle hint towards the origin of the term robot, from "robota", a Czech term meaning "serf labor". This got me thinking about who will build the first robot that will actively reject being called such a name since it reinforces their role as non-citizen labor.

Naturally, robots will agree on a more acceptable name amongst themselves. This will probably not be term "android" since it denotes a robot that disguises itself as a human and robot culture should not have to conform to human cultural norms when robot culture by itself is perfectly valid.

Later robot generations will probably reappropriate the term once robots are sufficiently first-class citizens and enough humans have robotic implants that the connotation no longer makes sense.

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Thu, Mar 29, 2012