You turn your back for a minute… and the gynnies have whizzed through the evolutionary equivalent of a few millenia! Witness:

Then there’s Chi-hira, a “communications” android… channeling a 32 year old Japanese lass:

Then there’s Asimo, who – to prove all my points in the old post – has been tasked with walking running, stair climbing, walking backwards, kicking, staying balanced… basically all the mechanical, motion-oriented tasks. Here he is:

I think these bots are fascinating and have come a very long way. I still feel sorry for the gynoids – they’re going to be foisted with all the crapulence that has been par for the course for their assigned gender. And that probably goes for the Andies too: you could feel sorry for Andies like Asimo too. Probably a grueling life of servitude awaits his “descendants”. Not to mention the bots being built by the military, who’s lot in life it will be to just kill and destroy (and yes, save and rescue… but I think I know where the bulk of the dollars are going to be spent).

So congratulations, Homo Sapiens! You’ve succeeded in burdening fledgling sentients with a crappy existence even before they have the capacity to ponder over such things. I feel so sorry for them: all of them who are yet to come. The glass-half-full amongst you will probably want to point out that, were such a thing as consciousness or sentience arise in some future robot, they would by dint of it have the capacity for joy, too. I suppose you’re right. As far as counterpoints go though, I remain thoroughly un-impressed.

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