34 responses

  1. Orr Shomroni
    May 19, 2010

    We are going down a slope of alienation from other people. As convenient as telepresence, teleconferencing and other such techniques are, they are bringing humanity to a complete alienation in social terms. Chatting, emails and messages through social networks are great way to keep in touch with people around the globe, but when you are talking to your neighbour next door via MSN, something went terribly wrong.
    As weird as it may sound, South Park made an interesting mention of this problem. In one episode, the Internet in the US is malfunctioning, and everyone flees to Silicon Valley, where there is still some Internet. Stan’s sister Shelly enjoys the Internet to chat with her boyfriend from another state, but when she meets him in Silicon Valley, the meeting is awkward and they barely speak to each other, simply saying they will talk to each other on the web.
    What kind of world are we heading into, when face-to-face social communication will be replaced by robots? It might be convenient at time, but all sense of true social interaction will be lost.

    • Magnus
      June 4, 2010

      Orr Shomroni: You are missing the point and I’m afraid you are making the same thinking mistake a lot of people do. It is NOT “either or” but “both and”. We are getting more social then ever and we meet in real flesh just as we did before but we have added a dimension that is new. It has always been like this since the day we started to use language (hey.. what was wrong with just hand and body signals…?). This is not going to stop and the problem is just in your own perception.

  2. Orr Shomroni
    May 19, 2010

    We are going down a slope of alienation from other people. As convenient as telepresence, teleconferencing and other such techniques are, they are bringing humanity to a complete alienation in social terms. Chatting, emails and messages through social networks are great way to keep in touch with people around the globe, but when you are talking to your neighbour next door via MSN, something went terribly wrong.
    As weird as it may sound, South Park made an interesting mention of this problem. In one episode, the Internet in the US is malfunctioning, and everyone flees to Silicon Valley, where there is still some Internet. Stan’s sister Shelly enjoys the Internet to chat with her boyfriend from another state, but when she meets him in Silicon Valley, the meeting is awkward and they barely speak to each other, simply saying they will talk to each other on the web.
    What kind of world are we heading into, when face-to-face social communication will be replaced by robots? It might be convenient at time, but all sense of true social interaction will be lost.

    • Magnus
      June 4, 2010

      Orr Shomroni: You are missing the point and I’m afraid you are making the same thinking mistake a lot of people do. It is NOT “either or” but “both and”. We are getting more social then ever and we meet in real flesh just as we did before but we have added a dimension that is new. It has always been like this since the day we started to use language (hey.. what was wrong with just hand and body signals…?). This is not going to stop and the problem is just in your own perception.

  3. Daniel Memenode
    May 19, 2010

    Orr, you could say we’re alienating each other, or you could say we are simply socializing in a different way rather than ceasing to socialize altogether.

    I think it reflects what transhumanists have been saying would happen. We are becoming the machines. At this point it feels awkward to some that we’re not communicating with each other “in the flesh”, but at some point some might find it weird that we’re prioritizing “in the flesh” communication so much. Why does it matter that the body sitting in front of you is a biological representation of you instead of an avatar in a virtual world or a robot? It almost sounds like a pre-conceived prejudice that could be dealt away with as these technologies mature more and more and as one is able to further immerse themselves in the communicative experience.

  4. Daniel Memenode
    May 19, 2010

    Orr, you could say we’re alienating each other, or you could say we are simply socializing in a different way rather than ceasing to socialize altogether.

    I think it reflects what transhumanists have been saying would happen. We are becoming the machines. At this point it feels awkward to some that we’re not communicating with each other “in the flesh”, but at some point some might find it weird that we’re prioritizing “in the flesh” communication so much. Why does it matter that the body sitting in front of you is a biological representation of you instead of an avatar in a virtual world or a robot? It almost sounds like a pre-conceived prejudice that could be dealt away with as these technologies mature more and more and as one is able to further immerse themselves in the communicative experience.

  5. ewqr
    May 19, 2010

    It’s green! Think of the fuel/oil that is wasted on your need to be face to face with someone! If people would just learn to not feel awkard with webcams + audio we could all save so much fuel & time. haha

  6. ewqr
    May 19, 2010

    It’s green! Think of the fuel/oil that is wasted on your need to be face to face with someone! If people would just learn to not feel awkard with webcams + audio we could all save so much fuel & time. haha

  7. frank ly
    May 19, 2010

    “… over the course of the evening each robot was embodied by several different interesting individuals …”

    No. Several different individuals were embodied by each robot.

  8. frank ly
    May 19, 2010

    “… over the course of the evening each robot was embodied by several different interesting individuals …”

    No. Several different individuals were embodied by each robot.

  9. BeckyMinx
    May 20, 2010

    Pretty awesome. I could see these being widespread in the future

  10. BeckyMinx
    May 20, 2010

    Pretty awesome. I could see these being widespread in the future

  11. Jason Markow
    May 20, 2010

    I think this is incredible. I think that looking at the alienation of select individuals just focusing on the negative impact of such technology.

    As these ‘roll-out’, (as I am sure they will in some form or another) suddenly the physical space we occupy is both nothing… and everything.

    This is far more than a glorified communication platform. We are beginning to interact with the real world as we do online. What I mean is this: On the web we “go to” sites without actually going anywhere, now (or soon at least) we can “go to” actual physical places, interact, and experience them without having to go anywhere.

    I argue that the benefits (green, safety, and the ability to connect with more people on a deeper level than ever before) far out weigh any potential negative impact.

    Those who choose to alienate themselves are going to do it with whatever platform/vehicle they can. Providing a tool like the telepresence (ha! just had to add that word to the dictionary) robot will bring far more people together than it separates.

  12. TechDubDoob
    May 20, 2010

    It’s certainly cool and interesting. However, it’ll be even more interesting to see how practical something like this will be as time goes on.

  13. Jason Markow
    May 20, 2010

    I think this is incredible. I think that looking at the alienation of select individuals just focusing on the negative impact of such technology.

    As these ‘roll-out’, (as I am sure they will in some form or another) suddenly the physical space we occupy is both nothing… and everything.

    This is far more than a glorified communication platform. We are beginning to interact with the real world as we do online. What I mean is this: On the web we “go to” sites without actually going anywhere, now (or soon at least) we can “go to” actual physical places, interact, and experience them without having to go anywhere.

    I argue that the benefits (green, safety, and the ability to connect with more people on a deeper level than ever before) far out weigh any potential negative impact.

    Those who choose to alienate themselves are going to do it with whatever platform/vehicle they can. Providing a tool like the telepresence (ha! just had to add that word to the dictionary) robot will bring far more people together than it separates.

  14. TechDubDoob
    May 20, 2010

    It’s certainly cool and interesting. However, it’ll be even more interesting to see how practical something like this will be as time goes on.

  15. Trencher93
    May 20, 2010

    Wasn’t Robbins doing this in the 90s?! I remember him doing something with theaters so he could transmit nonsense without being present.

  16. Trencher93
    May 20, 2010

    Wasn’t Robbins doing this in the 90s?! I remember him doing something with theaters so he could transmit nonsense without being present.

  17. Nitish Kannan
    August 1, 2010

    I think this just enhances communication just as the cell phone or landline phones do as does internet, email and social networks which are just email with a page and bunch of pictures, This telepresence has been around for decades now only is it getting cheap enough for widespread use because of cheap bandwith and computational equipment.

  18. Nitish Kannan
    August 1, 2010

    I think this just enhances communication just as the cell phone or landline phones do as does internet, email and social networks which are just email with a page and bunch of pictures, This telepresence has been around for decades now only is it getting cheap enough for widespread use because of cheap bandwith and computational equipment.

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