the March 25 article, “Programmed for combat or for pleasure,” the United States appears to be praised for using robots practically — as weapons of war — while Japan is chastised for “sitting on the sidelines.” We get the sense that Japan is being naive while the U.S. is the responsible trendsetter.
In Japan, we have robots that walk on two legs, balancing like humans. We have robots that climb stairs. We have robots that mimic realistic facial expressions. We have robots that can play the trumpet like human musicians.
In the U.S., we have robots that find military targets and destroy them with missiles. We have soldiers controlling unmanned machines that hunt down the enemy and destroy said enemy without putting an American soldier’s life at risk. We have robotic machines that can destroy enemy planes, which we can assume are flown by human pilots.
Is there a practical and economic purpose for Japan’s advancement in robotics? Perhaps not. But what I do see is a reverence for life. There is a sense of creation, of praising life in general. By creating more and more realistic humanoid robots, we can further examine humanity and what it is to be human. This is a celebration of the human animal.
With U.S. robotic advancements, all I see is destruction, killing and a supreme hatred of life. Call me naive — please — but I gladly choose the reverence for life displayed by Japan’s robotics industry over what its U.S. counterpart shows.