Sex or War, the future of Robots?

Left:National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology's HRP-4C, a "cybernetic human courtesy The Japan Times

In an article published on March 25th 2009 in the Japan Times, 3 time author and writer of ¨Wired for War¨, P.W. Singer, has stated that Japan´s robotics industry has been meticulously developing cutesy android femmebots, since, well.. forever and equipping them with knowledge of puzzlingly lame domestic tasks such as ¨Receptionist¨ duties or the ability to walk awkwardly up and down stairs.

Meanwhile the US have been concentrating on developing robotics with really sharp edges that are ¨changing the nature of combat.¨

Left, the cover of ¨Wired for War¨ by P.W Singer

Basically Singer suggests that the robots from Japan are perfect candidates for the booming Japanese sex industry, one which has exploded (´scuse the pun) to an estimated to 1 trillion yen by Japan Times newspaper.

While the femmebots may be a great cash cow for the Japanese robotics and porn industries, Singer says that Japan is on the sidelines of the thriving robotic revolution in national defense strategies,"Military robots are an even more revolutionary technology than the atomic bomb," prompting your truly to quietly crap myself.

Singer says that in Middle eastern war zones such as Iran and Afganistan, there are already Unmanned Automated Vehicles (UAVs) that are being operated remotely by soldiers who, only yesterday were playing video games till 4 am ...only now they´re using their excellent hand- eye co-ordination for remote reconnaissance operations and deploying bombs.

The US clearly has its eye on larger goals, according to the author, ¨pouring a massive $230 billion into the Future Combat Systems program, brigades will have more unmanned vehicles than manned vehicles by 2015¨.

"It sounds like sci-fi, yet it's very real already. People say it'll never happen, but for some reason we're already building it."

Bear in mind, this is no guy off the street talking, he´s a Harvard Ph. D. in Government, all round media commentator and coordinator of the Defense Policy Task Force during Obama´s election campaign.

Although he writes with a wary tone, his soundbites scare the HECK out of me. Maybe I´m conjuring up nightmarish Terminator / Clone war doomsday scenarios and not the cool transformeresque images i usually like to associate with robots. Thoughts?

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