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From: William and Melissa Johns <gizmology-at-gizmology.net>
Subject: Re: AFV of the Month for May 2004
Date: Tue, 04 May 2004 19:41:47 -0400
Reply-To: tanks-at-rctankcombat.com

At 08:48 AM 5/3/2004, you wrote:

>I was thinking of building a trooper based on this guy:
>Sony QRIO
>Just imagine having a humanoid at scale 1/6 running around with an
>anti-tank rocket!!!

   What an amazing coincidence.  Just this afternoon I heard of QRIO for 
the first time, in an article on 
"roboethics".  http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.05/view.html?pg=4

>Sony created a major success with its dog-shaped Aibo, but the follow-up 
>may never reach consumers. The new product, known as the Qrio, is 
>technically good to go and would be hopping off shelves in the Akihabara 
>district right now - except for one hitch. The Qrio is a human-shaped, 
>self-propelled puppet that can walk, talk, pinch, and take pictures, and 
>it has no more ethics than a tire iron.
>In his 1950 classic, I, Robot, Isaac Asimov first conceived of machines as 
>moral actors. His robots enjoy nothing better than to sit and analyze the 
>ethical implications of their actions. Qrio, on the other hand, knows 
>nothing, cares nothing, and reasons not one whit. Improperly programmed, 
>it could shoot handguns, set fire to buildings, and even slit your throat 
>as you sleep before capering into a crowded mall to detonate itself while 
>screaming political slogans. The upshot is that you're unlikely to be able 
>to buy one anytime soon.

   I don't see what the big deal is.  Most of the people I know have no 
more ethics than a tire iron.  (A lot less, usually.)



"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. 
Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers 
come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of 
ideas that could provoke such a question." -- Charles Babbage