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posted by hubie on Monday March 20 2023, @05:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-dated-a-robot dept.

Human-shaped robots with dexterous hands will be staffing warehouses and retail stores, tending to the elderly and performing household chores within a decade or so, according to a Silicon Valley startup working toward that vision:

Demographic trends — such as a persistent labor shortage and the growing elder care crisis — make fully-functioning, AI-driven humanoid robots look tantalizingly appealing.

Companies such as Amazon are reportedly worried about running out of warehouse workers, whose jobs are physically and mentally demanding with high attrition.

A heavy-hitting startup called Figure, which just emerged from stealth mode, is building a prototype of a humanoid robot that the company says will eventually be able to walk, climb stairs, open doors, use tools and lift boxes — perhaps even make dinner.

[...] It will take decades for humanoid robots to be able to replicate the sophisticated things our bodies can do, but visionaries are hard at work trying to make it happen.

Previously: Elon Musk Reveals Plans to Unleash a Humanoid Tesla Bot

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by istartedi on Monday March 20 2023, @08:52PM (3 children)

    by istartedi (123) on Monday March 20 2023, @08:52PM (#1297274) Journal

    When I was a kid back in the pre-Internet, pre-cable days I always ended up seeing some "daytime TV" after school before the cartoons started. There was this one thing that was sponsored by the Catholic Church I think, but it wasn't traditional stuff--it was actually kind of new age. Anyway, it was fiction that was all over the map. In one episode they focused on an old man in a future old folks home, and this boy about 10 comes to visit him but he can't believe it's a real boy because he's been tended by robots in his later years. So there's the whole show was this discussion between the old man and the "boy", him trying to figure out if it's real or just something the robots cooked up to make him feel like a grampa. The whole vibe was very sad, surreal, and spooky. They used that "soap opera lighting" that always made soap operas look like diffused boredom to me. Anyway, hopefully that's not the future. I think they also referred to him being one of the last humans alive because real humans were a dying species, so there was the added dimension of him thinking it must be false hope that humans were still reproducing.

    Oh wow, glad I decided to google it. The show was called Insight []. YouTube got my hopes up a bit, but the Insight "full episodes" there are for an Australian debate program, unrelated. It might still be out there somewhere, but I've got other things to do...

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by istartedi on Monday March 20 2023, @09:27PM

    by istartedi (123) on Monday March 20 2023, @09:27PM (#1297282) Journal

    I can't believe I found it []. Episode no. 316, 1969. And yes, it looks like most if not all of Insight actually is available on YouTube []. Apparently Rod Serling and a lot of other famous people including Martin Sheen were involved, so somebody thought it was worth preserving and did. Awesome.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @03:55AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2023, @03:55AM (#1297338)

    OK I'm not one of those who believed the Catholic Church was antiscience[1] but sponsoring this sort of Science Fiction is a surprise to me.

    [1] They actually sponsored a fair bit of science: []

    What happened with Galileo was he made the Pope look bad by having "Simplicio" say the same stuff the Pope did.

    Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which was published in 1632 to great popularity,[53] was an account of conversations between a Copernican scientist, Salviati, an impartial and witty scholar named Sagredo, and a ponderous Aristotelian named Simplicio, who employed stock arguments in support of geocentricity, and was depicted in the book as being an intellectually inept fool. Simplicio's arguments are systematically refuted and ridiculed by the other two characters

    the name "Simplicio" in Italian also had the connotation of "simpleton."

    • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:11PM

      by istartedi (123) on Tuesday March 21 2023, @07:11PM (#1297442) Journal

      I've been told that the Catholic church is so large that it tends to form "orders" and various other organizations under its umbrella, and that those organizations have widely different missions which might even be somewhat in conflict. Those conflicts are either mitigated by the Pope or Bishops if they become an issue, or by regionalism. e.g., you could have something like Opus Dei flourishing in a conservative country while a Catholic Workers organization is active in left-leaning areas. There seems to be wide latitude under the Catholic umbrella as long as they subscribe to the basic creed and follow specific orders from the hierarchy.

      Hollywood Sci-fi priest is really not that big a leap!

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