robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave

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The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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“Smart devices are sometimes empowering,” observed The Economist in “Slaves to the Smartphone,” an article published in 2012. “But for most people the servant has become the master.”32 More dramatically still, the idea of a robot uprising, in which computers with artificial intelligence transform themselves from our slaves to our masters, has for a century been a central theme in dystopian fantasies about the future. The very word robot, coined by a science-fiction writer in 1920, comes from robota, a Czech term for servitude. The master-slave metaphor, in addition to being morally fraught, distorts the way we look at technology. It reinforces the sense that our tools are separate from ourselves, that our instruments have an agency independent of our own. We start to judge our technologies not on what they enable us to do but rather on their intrinsic qualities as products—their cleverness, their efficiency, their novelty, their style.

 

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

“Smart devices are sometimes empowering,” observed The Economist in “Slaves to the Smartphone,” an article published in 2012. “But for most people the servant has become the master.” More dramatically still, the idea of a robot uprising, in which computers with artificial intelligence transform themselves from our slaves to our masters, has for a century been a central theme in dystopian fantasies about the future. The very word “robot,” coined by a science fiction writer in 1920, comes from robota, a Czech term for servitude. The master-slave metaphor, in addition to being morally fraught, distorts the way we look at technology. It reinforces the sense that our tools are separate from ourselves, that our instruments have an agency independent of our own. We start to judge our technologies not on what they enable us to do but rather on their intrinsic qualities as products—their cleverness, their efficiency, their novelty, their style.

 

pages: 361 words: 83,886

Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics and the Coming Robotopia by Frederik L. Schodt

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carbon-based life, computer age, computer vision, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, factory automation, game design, guest worker program, industrial robot, Jacques de Vaucanson, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

A machine that does work in place of man? Mechanization of human labor? Zen riddles of this sort will satisfy few. . . . Everyone has his own image of what a robot is. They are all right, and all wrong. ROBOTICS ENGINEER SHOTARO OZAKI * * * The word "robot" came from a 1920 play titled R.U.R., or "Rossum's Universal Robots" written by Karel Capek. Capek, a Czech, had coined the word from robota, the Czech noun for "work," which is derived from a root for "slave" or "servant." His play had a rather simple plot that fed on old fears in Western civilization: men mass produce artificial slaves, or robots, to take over their work and later to wage war as well; the robots, of high intelligence, decide not to kill each other, and instead slaughter their masters, the humans. Witten after World War I, when the world had discovered the negative side of the assembly line, R.U.R. was tremendously popular.

 

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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