Words matter. These are the best Rodney Brooks Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I moved to MIT from Stanford in 1984 to teach, and became the founding director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.
The benefits of having robots could vastly outweigh the problems.
It’s reasonable to say that certain things we understand should perhaps have limits on how they’re used and how certain technologies are deployed. That’s very much what we should do as a society.
In the future, I’m sure there will be a lot more robots in every aspect of life. If you told people in 1985 that in 25 years they would have computers in their kitchen, it would have made no sense to them.
Are those ‘terrible’ machines really putting those people out of work? Or are they getting rid of a really dull job that we shouldn’t be torturing people with?
I grew up in Adelaide, Australia. No one in my family had finished high school, and I was smart at mathematics, so I became an academic and got my Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford. I didn’t set out to be a businessperson.
If we are machines, then in principle at least, we should be able to build machines out of other stuff, which are just as alive as we are.
The most important thing for building a robot that you can interact with socially is its visual attention system. Because what it pays attention to is what it’s seeing and interacting with, and what you’re understanding what it’s doing.
I won some genetic lottery. I always happened to be strangely good at mathematics in my head. I just popped out weird.
With the revolution around 1980 of PCs, the spreadsheet programs were tuned for office workers – not to replace office workers, but it respected office workers as being capable of being programmers. So office workers became programmers of spreadsheets. It increased their capabilities.
So maybe with the research robots that are out there, people will come up with ways to use them to take care of the elderly. And that can help me someday. Because, you know what? I’m heading in that direction.
In 2008, I decided I wanted to begin a new venture, so I started Rethink Robotics. We build factory robots that a person can learn to train in just a few minutes. In May 2011, I stepped off the iRobot board.
Every technology, every science that tells us more about ourselves, is scary at the time.
People don’t say, ‘I just had a kid and I hope it turns out to be a factory worker.’
I see robotic technology getting rid of the dangerous, the dirty, and the just plain boring jobs. Some people say, ‘You can’t. People won’t have anything to do.’ But we found things that were a lot easier than backbreaking labor in the sun and the fields. Let people rise to better things.
Anything that’s living is a machine. I’m a machine; my children are machines. I can step back and see them as being a bag of skin full of biomolecules that are interacting according to some laws.
Robotics is very interdisciplinary, and so, except at a very few colleges, there is not a major that is exactly fitted to robotics.
We have to accept that we are just machines. That’s certainly what modern molecular biology says about us.
The question is, you know, will someone accidentally build a robot that takes over from us? And that’s sort of like this lone guy in the backyard, you know – ‘I accidentally built a 747.’ I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Two big questions that people ask me are: if we make these robots more and more human-like, will we accept them – will they need rights eventually? And the other question people ask me is, will they want to take over?
You can make the assumption that most human drivers are not out to kill pedestrians. Well, maybe in some parts of Boston they are. But with a person at the wheel who you can see, you behave accordingly. With the robotic car, how do you know what assumption to make?
Computers sort of came around through games and toys. And you know, the first computer most people had in the house may have been a computer to play ‘Pong,’ a little microprocessor embedded, and then other games that came after that.