Are robots zombies? This might seem like a strange question at first, but it leads to one of the most important questions in science today: what is consciousness and can robot’s become conscious? These questions fascinate many people. And when Blake Lemoine suggested that Google’s latest AI Lambda had become sentient, it triggered a worldwide media frenzy. In this HRI podcast episode, I talk with Professor Jack Copeland about machine consciousness.
The Christchurch City Council changed its fee structure for swimming pool admission as of October 1st, 2022. There are some important changes for disabled swimmers who have a Hāpai Access card.
While there is a 25% discount for annual pool membership, there is a 50% discount for casual entry fees. The later includes multi-visit pass. The question now is, how often do you need to swim per week before the annual membership becomes the cheaper option.
The graph above shows that you need to swim around 3.25 times on average per week before the annual membership becomes cheaper.
While I applaud the Christchurch City Council for increasing the discount for casual fees from 25% to 50%, I would have appreciated it even more if they had extended this discount to the annual membership. Active swimmers will be forced to give up their annual membership if they swim more than three times a week. Normally, discounts are setup so that the more you use a service, the higher the discount becomes.
No other discount category, such as Community Services Card or Super Gold Card, has this inconsistency.
For abled visitors with no discount or visitors with a 25% discount (Community Services Card or Super Gold Card), already visiting the pool more than twice a week justifies an annual pool membership:
It is unclear why the Christchurch City Council wants to make going to the pool for disabled swimmers more of a hassle than for others. Annual memberships is quick an easy. No need to constantly refresh the cards or pay every time at the counter.
It would be great if the CCC would make our live not only more affordable, but also easier.
Autonomous Vehicles (AV) are the riskiest form of human-robot interaction. One the one hand they offer unparalleled improvements to the safety and comfort of drivers, passengers and other traffic participants. They also promise to reduce emission. On the other hand, they demand new considerations for trust and responsibilities in human-robot interaction. The field of tension between autonomy, trust and liability can only be manoeuvred on the basis of objective data. Government agencies will have to implement clear obligations and standards for reporting the performances of AVs. This is the only way for consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases and the associated risks. In this podcast episode we will critically review the available data, the market situation and the recent developments.
Predicting is hard, in particular when it is about the future. In 1966 the BBC predicted that it would take 1 million pound and ten years to create the Able Mable. She is capable of letting his lordship in, do all the household chores, and walk the dog.
56 years later our robots look different, but we still promise that their deployment is just around the corner. Just a few more years and we will have our robotic paradise. Some things change, other do not. I wonder if there was person inside the Able Mable robot to move the arms.
AI is making progress. The GPT-3 language model has been heralded to be the next big thing. Some creative people at Latitude use it to create dynamic text adventure games called Dungeon AI. Sounds like a great idea. So I gave it a try. Problem is, AI is still completely ignorant to common sense. You can write whatever you want, also nonsense. AI cannot tell the different.
During my short interaction with this AI I turned myself from and android into a chicken. I moved from a space ship to an office to chicken coop. All within the same story. It is scary how bad GPT-3 is.
Here is the transcript of my little interaction with the AI:
You are Paco, an android living in the the futuristic city of Zail. You have a laser pistol and a holoband. You are a security android created to provide military level force for corporations wealthy enough to purchase you. As you stand protecting a shipment you realize an incoming ship is carrying a weapon, you have to make a choice will you:
1. Throw away your life and your holoband for the easy way out
You open communication channel.
The ship you are on is heading into the earth's atmosphere would you like some company.
You look for company.
You are standing in a room with a glass wall, in front of you are two holoband equipped guards.
You decide to watch the sun rise over the desert city of Zail.
You turn the guard into a chicken.
You are standing in a room and you are now a chicken. You can't see your surroundings but you can hear someone humming.
You decide to listen to the humming.
The humming stops and then starts again.
You lay an egg.
You are laying an egg and someone says, "Yes, I should have known you'd be laying eggs you chicken loving piece of crap."
You turn your head to see the person that is talking to you.
You whale song.
You are suddenly listening to a whale song.
The song stops and then starts again.
You decide to listen to it.
You turn the guard into a chicken.
You are standing in a chicken coop and you can hear the chickens clucking and a farmer is asking someone what the hold up is.
You decide to:
1. Go talk to the farmer.
You farmer is a whale.
You are in a coop containing a dozen chickens and a chicken farmer.
"What's going on?" You ask to be let out.
You chickens fly away.
The chickens fly away and you become a chicken again.
The guard begins singing "Chick, chicka cluck," You decide to:
1. Listen to the guard