Space Robotics

Cyborgs Solve the Manned vs Robotic Space Debate

Posted 8 Apr 2008 at 18:30 UTC (updated 8 Apr 2008 at 18:30 UTC) by steve Share This

For years, scientists as well as the general population have argued about manned space flight versus robotic exploration. Robots are cheaper goes the argument from one side. But since the goal is survival of the human race through colonization of other planets, what's the point of sending robots if humans can't follow, counters the other side. The accepted wisdom these days seems to be that robots go first and humans follow when the budget allows. A new article from Space.com puts some interesting spins on the idea, quoting Agent Smith from the Matrix: "never send a human to do a machine's job". The article also notes that most current robot space probes are being sent on what amounts to suicide missions; something we might want to take into account when we consider the possibility of conscious robots in the future. None other than Ray Kurzweil has suggested a solution that combines the best of both methods: humans and machines should merge into space faring cyborgs.

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