If you could have or make your own robot, what would you want it to do?

If you could either have and / or make a robot for yourself, what would you most want it to do for you and what would you call it ?
When answering, pretend you have access to robot and A.I. technology that you expect will be available in 2 - 4 hundred years time (instead of current primitive robot technology) and also refrain from saying anything relating to having a robot do your mundane household chores (like cooking and cleaning, which is great and all, but that's what everyone tends nominating).
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Sab wrote:

I'd want a robot that was capable of self-replication. With near-term technology it'd be rather large, but you're allowing for quite a lot of technological advancement so in this case it wouldn't need to be. Maybe even something as flexible as Stargate's Replicators.
With such a system it would be straightforward to industrialize the whole solar system. As much habitat as we want, as much energy as we want, whatever megastructures suit our fancy. And, presumably, they could vacuum and clean the dishes as well. Just make sure to program them better than the typical SF robot-run-amuck.

If it's something as modular as the Replicators it probably wouldn't make sense to give names to particular conglomerations, since they'd form and disperse as needed.
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Ah, there's the rub. Being without such a limitation would be a survival advantage and once started could take over the entire system.
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Walter Bushell wrote:

Which is why you program it well. Perhaps we can't make it mathematically impossible for such a system to run amuck, but you can make it arbitrarily unlikely. Add as many bits of error-correction to the genome as you like, and if one family of robots does run amuck have the billions of other loyal robots that replicated correctly help to destroy it. That'll turn such mutations into a serious survival _dis_advantage.
We've managed to keep many other species of self-replicating organisms domesticated without any of them rising up in revolt yet, I don't see any reason why robots would be different in principle.
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Mostly by close watching. If a Scottish Collie is found to have killed a sheep, all his or her get (all descendants) are killed. This has been going on for many years.
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Walter Bushell wrote:

Yup. And some supervision is probably going to be needed for responsible husbandry of self-replicating machines, too. We'll have some major advantages though. The machines will be designed by us initially, not domesticated from existing species, so we won't have to worry about dealing with undesirable 'wild' traits. The machines themselves can help with their own supervision - for example the scenario I mentioned earlier where loyal machines could be ordered to help destroy any disloyal ones that crop up. Putting in lots of redundant kill switches would help too. And so on.
The Jurassic Park scenario where life forms are seemingly directed by some invisible hand to instantly take advantage of any chance at 'revolt', no matter how unlikely, is just fantasy. I see no fundamental reason why we couldn't get along perfectly well with self-replicating robot servants.
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Bryan Derksen wrote:

Then again, they don't have to revolt to take over. Cats have been silently controlling us for thousands of years. Robots will be taught to do the same.
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Probably (will be taught) by the cats. Then the cats will teach them to open cat food packages and it's all over for domesticated humans.
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trag wrote:

Robot dogs. Definitely need some robot dogs.
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 14:20:29 -0400, Bryan Derksen wrote

unleash the Cylon hordes upon poster erupts. And the toasters, not the blonde ones. </Baltar>
--
email to oshea dot j dot j at gmail dot com.


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J.J. O'Shea wrote:

    Soothe yourself with memories of K-9.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
  Click to see the full signature.
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to

blonde

    Change but your mind on what you want to see,     And all the world must change accordingly. >
Or Sleeper.
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