Robots Will Be More Polite Than Humans

Scientists all over the world are all building smarter robots for different tasks. But what every bot seems to have in common is a sense of manners. Science fiction seems obsessed with the idea of artificial intelligence—the singularity—taking its first metaphorical breath and immediately becoming evil. It’s understandable: it’s both a worrisome thought and an entertaining one. It’s on everyone’s minds, too, from Isaac Asimov, to Steven Spielberg, to the folks at Google, are thinking seriously about ways to stop an artificial intelligence in just such a situation. Perhaps it’s because of these fears that all of the robotic projects we’ve heard of recently are so obsessed with making a mannered, deferential machine that observes manners and rules equally. And as we begin to see more robots walking and driving…


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