Robot Lies

Devin Coldewey’s piece in Future of Tech describes a robot playing rock-paper-scissors with a human, but moving ever so slightly after the human, thus cheating.  The twist (as compared to the children I know) is that this cheater can do so in a few milliseconds, besting our human ability to perceive the fact that the robot is delaying.  The relationship between robots and humans is bound to become complex, but this is the tip of the iceberg on something of a strong inequality between our “species” – our perceptual systems and cognitive systems behave at massively different scales. How will any shared experience compensate and evolve for this in-built and intractable differences between us? Will robots one day race in the olympics? Just how will apples and oranges be compared?  The timing for such a serious discussion is early. Right now, we can applaud Oscar Pistorius’ outstandingly captivating achievements. He is man, and the blades he wears do not best the human musculo-skeletal lower leg system, yet. But it will be a fascinating ride to see what a decade hence may bring.

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