Thursday, May 15, 2008

Robots may not rule the world yet . . .

. . . but they seem to have conquered Detroit.

Well, not all of Detroit - just the symphony. Watch Asimo, the robot built by Honda, command his (or is it her?) glassy-eyed minions to perform "The Impossible Dream" in a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert last night. Pretty soon I'm sure we'll all be taking orders from Asimo's kind.

Is it just me, or is it an odd choice that a Japanese company primarily known for building cars would have a robot direct a symphony in Motor City? After all, lots of displaced auto workers point to Japanese competition and robots on the assembly line as reasons for their financial troubles.

Personally, I think those grumbling auto workers are wrong - economically speaking, we all benefit from labor-saving technology and global competition. Still, Asimo in Detroit seems like a risky decision.

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