Soon we might see robots of different shapes and sizes driving cars, checking customers into hotel rooms, and even alternating between playing the role of a robotic reindeer and providing assistance to the US military personnel. Google’s robotic firm seems to have such a vision.
To begin Christmas celebrations a bit in advance, Google-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics has released a video showing a team of its robotic dogs Spot pulling a sleigh. However, the technology appeared to be terrifying to some.
For those who don’t know: Spot is a hydraulic-powered four-legged robotic dog that recently took part in a training exercise session with the US Marines. Experts are saying that this creation of the roboticists may potentially have a strong impact on the country’s military capabilities. Spot can be described as an agile and rugged robot boasting a range of applications in truly difficult terrains.
However, there’s a hitch. Like the Big Dog robot, another Boston Dynamics creation, the design of Spot is also raining the question, why robotic technology often seems so terrifying.
Some critics are saying that the Google-owned firm doesn’t care whether people watching the video can ever sleep again. According to them, by releasing a video showcasing robotic soldiers fighting a war for Christmas Google has shown what a more robot-dependent future actually has in store for us.
This video, according to experts, will be spreading in different parts of the globe thanks to the availability of easy internet connections and generate fear in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people viewing it. However, with that, it will also let people know about the most recent innovations in the field of robotics.
It seems that the reactions the newly released video is getting are pointing towards an event researchers refer to as “uncanny valley”. According to this phenomenon, the more human and lifelike a robot becomes, the more fearful and uneasy people become about them. According to some experts, possibly this merging of something strange with something familiar makes the machines so unnerving.
Many find the above-mentioned contradiction absolutely nightmarish. However, it’s unlikely that robots will get rid of that contradiction completely. This gives birth to a valid question: will we keep on feeling uneasy about the unnatural appearances of robots?