It was a passing, throwaway moment shared by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, a footnote to the home automation talk, the Android updates and VR noise close to the end of last night s Google I/O 2016 keynote, that had the most profound impact for me.
Going Out On A Limb
Picking up a selected object is not a particularly difficult task for a robot these days, on the condition that an adept coder lays out the parameters, and the details of what object needs grabbing and where it is placed don t deviate from what the confines of the code dictate.
By virtue of being hooked up to a physical robotic arm analogous to our own fleshy ones, seeing the bot make a small gesture that was startlingly human in its execution, made me sit bolt upright – a little nudge of indifference towards the black stapler blocking its goal of moving the yellow brick.
The physical realisation of that meh feeling you have that leads you to push desk clutter to one side, searching for the one working biro in a sea of crap.
Google reckons that ll help you get hyped for whoever is calling down the line, giving a glimpse of what they re up to.
Sci-fi sceptics for decades have been warning us of the hubris associated with handing over too much responsibility to AI helpers, the disastrous, self preservation tactics that could worst case scenario, natch ensue if a sentient computer realised that these fleshy mortals have fingers hovering over its plug.