– Paul Granjon – View on the co-evolution of humans and machines

Where are we going in the world of robotics? This was a humorous session as watching all the videos of failing robots falling over reminding me of how I ended up on crutches. Paul spoke about the fear we have in regards to AI (artificial intelligence). He talks of Stephen Hawkins warnings on the subject. He points out that we are not there yet by showing the poor falling robots.

He discuses what he feels are the 4 possible scenarios:

– The Terminators

Drone or deployable robots sent out to reek havoc on mankind.

– The Pripyat

Reactor destruction – pollution – ecological and environmental disaster – Nature reclaiming the world after the human demise?

– The Amped

Cyborgs – Hybrids – Exoskeletons and bionic limbs

– The Teddy

Non-threatening – helpful – caring robots

Paul talked about current technology and then his own work within robotics. Looking at Analogue to Digital to Analogue and to Digital again. It is the way humans interact with technology. He also talked about the gap widening in our knowledge into how things work. The example he used was how do you make a common object such as a toaster? Right down to how to make the plastic etc. Paul also did a piece where he spent the duration trying to make fire in a traditional way using a stick, wood, a cord and kindling. It took him many attempts to get it going but it did look difficult.

I found this session very interesting as it addressed a lot of my own fears in regards to advancing technology. What happens if everything stopped working? Would we know how to survive without society descending into mayhem? It also compounds my suspicions that children need to spend more time outdoors learning to improvise.