, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 195-205

Of Robots and Believing

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Discussion about the application of scientific knowledge in robotics in order to build people helpers is widespread. The issue herein addressed is philosophically poignant, that of robots that are “people”. It is currently popular to speak about robots and the image of Man. Behind this lurks the dialogical mind and the questions about the significance of an artificial version of it. Without intending to defend or refute the discourse in favour of ‘recreating’ Man, a lesser familiar question is brought forth: “and what if we were capable of creating a very convincible replica of man (constructing a robot-person), what would the consequences of this be and would we be satisfied with such technology?” Thorny topic; it questions the entire knowledge foundation upon which strong AI/Robotics is positioned. The author argues for improved monitoring of technological progress and thus favours implementing weaker techniques.

A very early draft of this work entitled “Evolutionary Creatures in the Library? Questioning Possible Tomorrows” was orally presented at the Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology/European Chapter (ASIST/EC) on May 26-30 2003 in Dubrovnik (Mjlet), Croatia.