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The Robotic Kindness Of Strangers

Publication Date: 
November 18, 2009
The Volokh Conspiracy
Kenneth Anderson

Ryan Calo, a residential fellow at the Center for Internet & Society, is mentioned in this Volokh Conspiracy post for moderating the panel discussion "Legal Challenges in An Age of Robotics":

One small nugget I took away from the (absolutely terrific) Stanford Law School robotics panel last week was a much better appreciation of how robotics will interact with advanced societies aging — elder-care, health care for the old and infirm, and so on. Japan leads the way.

Paul Saffo (Stanford professor, futurist, and technology journalist, and very smart guy) remarked that the last ten years had seen an important technological shift, crucial to robotics, in the development of cheap sensor devices. Sensor devices that could harness the computational power of the chip and make it possible to interface with the real world and, combined with improvements in elements of motion and locomotion, gives the world genuine robots. It is movement, sensing, and computational power in combination that makes it possible for robots to do things, and do things for us.


(There are several topics raised by the Stanford discussion on robotics and I’ll try to get to several of them over the next few posts. But I wanted to thank Ryan Calo and all the folks who put the discussion together — it was a great set of discussions for me and I hope for everyone who attended. I realized, sitting and listening, that there are not that many places in the US where you could hold that kind of discussion, with an audience including engineers and technologists and scientists sitting in the office who actually work in the field, not just in academic departments, but in commercial firms and ventures, trying to make it real.)