View Full Version : Google acquires Boston Dynamics

12-15-2013, 08:58 AM
Amazing and terrifying (

12-15-2013, 09:03 AM
Yeah. It's just that reflexive Luddite part of me that was way too freaked out by Terminator as a kid lol.

12-15-2013, 09:54 AM
I haven't retreated to the shed in woods just yet lol. I don't quite share the cynicism of the dystopian scenario. Humans are pretty adaptable creatures, I think we will adjust to whatever technological environment we happen to create for ourselves.

12-15-2013, 10:08 AM
Have you read this article? Wired 8.04: Why the future doesn't need us. (

It's from 2000 but if you are part Luddite, you'll probably enjoy it a lot.

The future needs us - we are going to be the power source remember?

12-15-2013, 03:15 PM
Yeah. It's just that reflexive Luddite part of me that was way too freaked out by Terminator as a kid lol.

Ironically, my anti-Luddite prescription is actually Finagle's Law. It is invoked usually to support the dystopian pov, but in the future, even menacing species of tech will fail. If you invoke Finagle against us, you've also got to invoke it to our benefit.

I think any out-of-control tech species would eventually break and if we aren't there to fix it, it will die a swift death. No server bank has stayed live forever.

In fact, that brings me to another interesting point about the future. We aim to achieve significant uptimes. I'm interested in how we are pursuing the reverse of that. How long can we go without a specific technology service and achieve similar outcomes. In this way, I think the goal of technology should be to discover new ways of surviving with less of it.

I'm designing a future city with this in mind. Using technology as a barometer to understand when we are over-dependent on systems. It's a fun thought experiment anyway.

As a programmer I can pretty much assure anyone that no computer systems are going to become self aware anytime soon, to do so from the way we develop software now it would be roughly the equivalent of your toaster spontaneous transform into a luxury yacht. Even though there are some circles that want to try to make a computer think like a person; there is much better analysis to indicate we do not even have enough understanding of how we think to do it, then even if we did massive advances in hardware and programming tools would need to be made, there is no one really willing to fund all the cost, and bugs would be incredibly hard to remove from such a non deterministic system.

More realistically software is good at working on tasks that are known, have expected outcomes and are highly repetitive. Part of why manufacturing job numbers will probably never come back to the numbers of years gone by. Probably more jobs will have increases in automation of the support of there tasks. Though things like planning, managing people/resources, marketing, art/design, research, compliance with regulations, legal council and quality assurance may adjust over time but almost certain to never be automated entirely.

12-15-2013, 03:47 PM
A friend who worked at Raytheon up here (now at Lockheed Martin Polar Services) did have some work a project called Skynet.....maybe they sold it off to Cyberdyne Systems.