269 - Robots Rules

Os robôs ocuparão nosso lugar em todo trabalho doméstico, nos servirão de companhia e irão à guerra por nós. Mas a apreensão com a máquina que se rebela contra o homem também é cada vez maior...
by William Sutton.

From Greek mythology through the industrial revolution to Hollywood films, we’ve dreamt of metal androids working for us. The word robot became famous through Karel Capek’s 1921 play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), in which a mad scientist creates an automaton factory.

Non-humanoid robots already assemble our cars and {yootooltip title=[vacuum our floors]} vacuum our floors - aspiram nossos pisos {/yootooltip}. But {yootooltip title=[it is the life-like ones that capture our imagination]} it is the life-like ones that capture our imagination - são os de aspecto humano que capturam nossa imaginação {/yootooltip}. Kids are {yootooltip title=[ enthralled ]} enthralled - fascinados {/yootooltip} by a new generation of toys. RoboSapien not only walks, talks and fights, {yootooltip title=[it even burps and farts]} it even burps and farts - arrotam e peidam {/yootooltip}. Wrex the Dawg and Pleo the Dino-bot make great pets for kids – and {yootooltip title=[they never pee on the carpet]} they never pee on the carpet - eles nunca fazem xixi no tapete {/yootooltip}.

{yootooltip title=[SOUNDS FUN]} sounds fun - parece divertido {/yootooltip}. BUT CAN ROBOTS ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING {yootooltip title=[USEFUL]} useful - útil {/yootooltip}?
“Robots can’t do much now,” says technician Ed Williams, “but airplanes couldn’t do much in 1910.”
Commander Data and C3PO are still science fiction, but current developments may change that. First, biomimicry: robots that imitate human abilities. Honda’s ASIMO can run, {yootooltip title=[ climb stairs ]} climb stairs - subir escadas {/yootooltip} and recognise faces. Anybot’s Monty can serve drinks, while Dexter can do what few robots dream of: {yootooltip title=[jump]} jump - pular, saltar {/yootooltip}. The FIRA RoboWorld Cup should show how fast robots are improving; scientists hope a robot team will beat the human World Cup winners by 2050.
Meanwhile, other robots improve our understanding of psychology. MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal makes robots with emotions, which respond to facial expressions and {yootooltip title=[take turns in conversation]} take turns in conversation - falam quando é sua vez numa conversa {/yootooltip}.
Finally, industrial robots do work too dangerous for humans. Ariel {yootooltip title=[walks underwater like a crab]} walks underwater like a crab - caminha embaixo d’água como um caranguejo {/yootooltip}; {yootooltip title=[eventually, it will detect and clear mines]} eventually, it will detect and clear mines - um dia será capaz de detectar minas (bombas enterradas) e eliminá-las {/yootooltip}. Rosie is {yootooltip title=[a crane to work on nuclear meltdowns]} a crane to work on nuclear meltdowns - um guindaste que trabalha nos locais de acidentes em centrais nucleares {/yootooltip}. US military robots already {yootooltip title=[deliver supplies to front lines]} deliver supplies to front lines - levam suprimentos até a linha de frente nas batalhas {/yootooltip}; the next generation will be equipped with {yootooltip title=[weapons]} weapons - armas {/yootooltip}.

Don’t worry: the US Army, advised by British philosophers, hopes their robots will follow the Geneva Convention better than real soldiers.
{yootooltip title=[It’s a recurring fear that robots will become smart and take over]} it’s a recurring fear that robots will become smart and take over - é um temor recorrente que robôs tornados inteligentes assumam o comando {/yootooltip}. Like the Terminator story, the robots in Capek’s R.U.R. were designed to free humans from {yootooltip title=[drudgery]} drudgery - trabalhos de rotina {/yootooltip}, but instead they {yootooltip title=[stage a revolution]} stage a revolution - organizam uma revolução {/yootooltip}. Why? Because they are {yootooltip title=[slaves]} slaves - escravos {/yootooltip}.

It would be crazy to talk about {yootooltip title=[a washing machine’s rights]} a washing machine’s rights - os direitos de uma máquina de lavar {/yootooltip}. But if your {yootooltip title=[ household robots ]} household robots - robôs de trabalhos domésticos {/yootooltip} were so sophisticated they seemed human, would you give them {yootooltip title=[holiday pay]} holiday pay - férias remuneradas {/yootooltip}? We want robots clever enough to work, but stupid enough not to care. The {yootooltip title=[ Trilobite hoover ]} Trilobite hoover - aspirador de pó automático (que passa pelo piso orientando-se por um radar acústico) {/yootooltip} is designed only to vacuum: yet many housewives {yootooltip title=[ give it time off ]} give it time off - lhe dão intervalos de folga {/yootooltip} to “relax.” Is forcing a robot to work slavery? Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy takes this to comic extremes, with Marvin the superintelligent android depressed by making tea and opening doors.
The questions posed by Frankenstein, R.U.R., I Robot and Bladerunner are urgent. Can robots have emotions? Might we consider them people? Who has the right to own them? Or to destroy them? And can we trust them to do what we want?

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Complete the sentences after reading Futurology: Robots Rule.