Marynel Vázquez – Hard parts

by Marynel Vázquez @ 8:24 am 13 April 2011

Robots and the future?

I would like to collect opinions about robots in the future (what they will be doing and what they should do). I decided to try Amazon Mechanical Turk, and started paying little cents for people to give ideas about robots.

I had to use different strategies to get responses from people. I started with a very descriptive task with more than 20 lines of descriptions and examples about how to complete it. The task consisted in completing 6 sentences: “In X years, some robots will …”; and “In X years, robots should …” with X = {10,20,30}. Not many people filled the survey, and so I had the impression that too much description at the beginning of a task might make people think it’s too hard and not worth the effort. I simplified my description over time, and changed how much I was paying many times. At some point seemed like paying too much was also counterproductive, as people started thinking that they had to do more than simply filling the short sentences. After several trials, I concluded that paying $0.03 for the 6 sentences was the more effective strategy.

There is always the possibility that people will cheat in MTurk. To try to reduce the amount of rejected tasks I was getting with my 3 cents, I decided to change the task to rather write two 30-words paragraphs about about what robots will and should do. I started paying 6 cents for the paragraphs without much luck; not many people was completing the task. I raised the incentive to $0.11, but just a few people reacted to the new price.

My last test consisted in asking about “robotics” instead of “robots”, as suggested by a few people in the class. During the past data collection, I realized that too many people was thinking about robots killing us, controlling us, etc.. and wanted to see if I could get some more diverse set of answers. I got just a few responses this time as well.

The unprocessed list of valid ideas I got about robots is presented at the end of this post.  Probably I ended up getting ~600 different ideas, though I still need to count the repetitions. I would like to be able to visualize the data in different formats (year, will/should, topic, agreement), so I started clustering the ideas by topic or by a single word description. Also, as soon as I organize a little better the data, I want to ask people to judge the ideas. Meaning, say how much you agree that robots will be doing this or that robots should be doing this other thing.

I would like to collect drawings about robots capable of doing what the people described. For this task I plan to ask people to draw by hand, take a picture, and upload it to MTurk. I expect price calibration to be an issue again :S

Finally, here’s the list of ideas (each sentence either starts with “In X years, some robots will…” or “In X years, robots should…”, but this is omitted to simplify the reading of the post),

build houses
go on space missions
do housework
make dinner
fly planes
act as a personal assistant
be independent beings who can make decisions and act as citizens of the world
be able to express some sort of feeling
be free-thinking and helpful beings
be able to take on any physical job that is needed by the workforce
have feelings
take over jobs that are usually about manual labor
ruin a country
do the biological things
be appearing in all stages of life
control all man made activity
enter politics
do all things that a computer programmer can do
help rule the world
mingle in our life
conquer the world
work in most of the industries
start to work in governmental organizations
start to think like humans
have households of their own
be involved in the government
be driving
be able to fly people around
cook for families
be in all households
be competent enough to challenge humans
be independent thinkers faciliitating all aspects of humans life
try to overcome humans
bring complete change in travel and tourism
be at par with humans
be a part of our daily life
be able to communicate without humans knowing they are robots
be everywhere
be able to bake
do all the housework
complete complex original tasks
be able to navigate across a room without stepping on pets
be more advance than we could ever imagine
be destroyed
begin to have artificial intelligence
be slightly feared
take over the world
be a part of every day life
be so commonplace to humans that they do not give them a second thought, such as the way we look at automobiles today
become commonplace in medical treatment
serve as police and soldiers to perform dangerous tasks
be able to help human beings in daily life activities
perform surgeries without the aid of human control
drive our cars without need for human control
be roaming this earth
be able to extraordinary things to protect humans from danger
not exist because people won’t trust them
be able to be of good service for the world (should only be used for wars or other necessary actions of protection)
more advanced
only be invented if they are strictly used to fight in wars (this is the only use for something that can potentially be harmful)
be serving many of our needs
provide both services and companionship, and health and medical needs
become more integrated into our daily lives
be able to read our gestures and anticipate what we want
be fully integrated into our lives
be nearly invisible, part of the background, like a microwave or a couch
be designed to make sure they are not harmful to humans
be a common sight in everyone’s home
have taken over human kind
have advanced dramatically in capabilities from today
be used for hard labor jobs and tasks
be able to adequately serve human beings
be used for doing certain works for which humans take a lot of time
be used to earn money
be used for major operations
be used as fighting machines
have emotions in them
be used for jobs like cooking, driving, gardening, etc.
be sent for space expeditions and they will actually be able to think like we, humans
be used as a means of social entertainment
overcome the huge problems
take most of the human brain
predict the needs of humans
believe in life
carry humans
follow the crowd
be in most households in some form or another (ex: smart vacuum cleaner)
be commonplace
be able to self improve/diagnose
be able to accomplish a lot more than we can imagine right now (technology is growing exponentially)
be rapidly taking jobs previously done by people, like self serve at the grocery store but large scale
know what we need before we even tell them. They will analyze, remember, and predict behavior
be equals to humans for the law
help humans with complex tasks
want to have rights
serve the humans for domestic tasks
be a common property
improve its human aspect
be professors
be watchman at night and also local police
be a doctor
be in anti terrorist forces
be friends with people
be in the military
take rest in their depressed mode
be thoughtful like wise people
become famous for their outstanding contribution
think as human beings can
take part in scientific researches
be able to do our household activities
help human beings
be equal to humans
dominate human beings
occupy the whole world
do all work without following human instructions
have baby robots
be assistants
work like most managers
work in companies
replace some humans
be more like humans
be already spread as commercial goods
be helpful to men
rule the world
think and analyze
be able to do things independently
be able to reason out good and bad commands
be able to talk
be everywhere
be cheap enough for humans to purchase and use in their houses
be doing all jobs that human can
be cheaper and more available
be doing house work in homes
be able to serve people at restaurants
be able to drive cars
be able to have conversations with people
replace 90% of the human workforce
no longer be considered our friends
attain consciousness
be more widely used than they are today
be used for running elevators in shopping malls
be free
be self aware
be able to think freely an have basic emotions
be nearly indistinguishable from humans
be able to understand many languages
be able to express emotion and feelings
be able to communicate with us
not do anything more advanced
do the dishes and put them away
help protect rich people from poor people
do the laundry and put it away
replace some doctors for poor people
replace some caregivers for disabled people
bring back the greenary
replace all fuel
be there to help humans from all natural calamity
learn how to grow trees
be functioning only on solar energy
be using sun screen lotions due to UV rays
be more or less human in many aspects, able to have real conversations and interactions and act very human
dress and mimic humans in many ways
be visible all over the country to the point of being normal and accepted as something to interact with
be babysitting our children and working as communicative maids and domestic help
be working in offices, doing clerical and customer service type of positions, thereby lessening the number of humans performing these functions
be able to do household chores for those who can afford one
take care of basic house work
be smaller than the eye can see
be able to think for themselves
be self aware
be able to anticipate the needs of their owners
be doing jobs that require learning and quick thinking
as a human..
do autonomous work but it should not control the human
be in all hazardous applications
be like humans (we can’t identify humans from robots)
think as like a man automatically
do automatic work
destroy the entire world
be capable of going to space and work there by themselves
rule human
be capable of doing risky works in battle fields, atomic plants, etc.
overcome human beings in some field
work with man in every fields
still be our slaves
clean the environment
clean your house
fight wars
be able to act, think and learn on their own
be able to sort and fold your laundry
conduct a polling collections
destroy everything
increase workplace safety (workers are moved to supervisory roles, so they no longer have to perform dangerous applications in hazardous settings)
be God
rule the World
be masters and peoples should be slaves
rule the world
drive the cars
replace all the workers
engage in wars
drive the cars
start doing some menial office jobs
be personal tutors
have valuable places in industry and the military
wash dishes
have the ability to perform household tasks
take the place of infantry
have more tasks to perform in industry
behave like man
drive cars
be our parents
have their own brains
be our partners
be our friends
be able to speak exactly like humans
take over the planet so humans can watch TV all day
be able to speak with human voices
go to work instead of humans
be replacing humans in the work force
start driving cars
improve quality of life for humans
be able to take over the world
be able replace soldiers
be able to talk like a human
become a part of human life
do all the work of human beings
become more helpful to human beings
be the new generation or kingdom of human life
become the leaders of human beings
progress their growth
be ruling the humans
realize earth is going to be destroyed and go to the moon
be as intelligent as humans
be able to form a government
land on the moon
be able to do all mechanical tasks
save the human race
be more energy efficient
evolve into life and reproduce
become cheaper
do jobs a human will do, like be a receptionist
perform surgery
do some work in a factory
be equal to human in doing anything
assist us and help us in house keeping
share the work burden of humans
do a lot of work and drive a car or even a flight
be very much helpful to human
be on par with human intelligence
go thru gravity tests
learn how to fly airplanes
be sent to other planets for exploration
be on board in a space shuttle
fly an airplane
be considered very dangerous!
be able to be considered ‘companions’
be virtually indistinguishable from humans
be able to provide emotional comfort
be able to adapt mentally and emotionally to a situation
feel human-like emotions
go to a different galaxy
go back to where they came from
be extremely successful on Earth
prepare to dominate the world
be renewed
die out
start doing cooking
dispense fuel at fuel stations
do the job of a chauffeur
be a car mechanic
be a gun man
start doing the job of a watch man
refill ATMs
wash cars
be a prestigious thing for humans like TVs in the olden days
start robots rights commission
start to blame human beings
start to create a robot language and speak accordingly
think like human beings and have the capacity to verify the thinks
be used for protection purposes
should be protected from their vigorous activities
should be reduced in number
start to control men
be controlled
kill other robots
create other robots for themselves
begin to do things like being your personal assistant
become more commonplace for routine chores
be available to people who are hugely wealthy and eccentric
be limited so they don’t infringe on our rights
be available to many different households
be making life somewhat easier but in limited ways
perform surgery
pick up garbage
drive cars
assist with medical procedures
clean house
do housework
reproduce without human interaction
take the place of stupid people
be smarter that Earthlings
have brains
rule the world
be readily available to do housework and chores
be able to do all kind of things
be strictly supervised
affect the society
work the same like us
be part of our life
be able to help the peoples
be more efficient than most people
be surpassing our expectations in most areas
be breaking new ground
be able to fly planes
be able to drive cars
be able to prepare meals
a common household item
able to be ordered off the internet
work better and cost less
be able to perform surgery in an operating room from a doctor’s office
be able to cut the grass
wake you up in the morning, make your coffee and make your bed
kill all humans
be able to *think*
be capable of performing various tasks reliably
program humans to work for them
be way more advanced than humans
work instead of humans
be doing more involved tasks such as driving our cars
look more human and blend into society
be able to assist with domestic chores
be more advanced and able to handle more tasks that minimum wage people would handle previously
take over simple tasks in society
be more evolved with better technology
be the leaders of the world
give advises to the rulers of the country
be the rulers of the country
acquire the ability to have emotional life
be the soldiers in the boarder areas of the country
be able to grasp human language
look like humans
perform like a person
takeover all forms of government and run them efficiently
become human companions
takeover humanity and create a peaceful world
take the place of humans in dangerous jobs
learn how to reproduce
be capable of performing surgery
be able to prepare food and drinks
move heavy items from different places
fix things that are broken
be able to clean a house without making a mess of their own
take the place of some actors in movies
be able to drive a car.
become more useful in our everyday lives
completely eliminate humans working as cashiers
be humanlike and in every home
make homeowner’s lives easier (they should be commonplace)
replace humans in many facets
be used within every home to complete various household tasks
start destroying nature
do social service for free
start killing
start planting trees
rule the world
help people
be carefully monitored by actual humans
be useful to professionals in many fields
perform surgeries
be intuitive
recognize human speech
be available for average people to purchase
drive cars for us
serve as our military
go food shopping for us
be able to have emotions and converse with humans perfectly
become common household items
serve as janitors
guide the world
decrease the amount of green house effect
participate in social affairs
heal the world
take part in several invention widely
be able to communicate
fully run our home automatically
be considered a higher life form
take over our working factories
be more highly advance an more intelligent
run the world more or less
be advanced for assistance in the medical field
be readily available to carry out care taking work in day care, elder care and other types of facilities
be widely used in businesses for routine tasks
be companions to handicapped and elderly people
be readily available at reasonable prices for individuals and families
be able to do routine mechanics, such as repairing automobiles and completing some home construction tasks
be able to complete simple household chores
overtake human beings
not allowed to be so
start thinking like human beings
be the competitive to the human beings
not be allowed to think, they should always obey human orders
replace the jobs of many construction workers
exist in the classrooms as assistant teachers
assist in more homes as housekeepers
environmentally friendly
exist in more homes
be voice activated
be building buildings and developing land
be working in airports as baggage handlers
be more innovative in completing aesthetic tasks, like cut the grass of homes and companies
be able analyze personalities
be commonplace in our lives
guide our interactions with others
be familiar to many people
be used to further medical research
be able to do things we have never imagined
damage someone
entertain the world
create some problem
be the nuisance of the world
rule the world
be considered very dangerous!
be able to adapt physically and emotionally, just as humans do
be virtually indistinguishable from humans
be able to feel emotions and react accordingly
mimic human beings and possibly substitute as ‘companions’
be kept as pets
perform chores
take on more complex tasks
be dependable
be stewardesses/stewards
be friendly
have a place in society
be smaller in size, but bigger in the amount of abilities they have
be driving cars and flying airplanes
be more advanced
be interacting with you in public
be doing the jobs that others do today
build the perfect human
take over the world
rule the Earth
have a reset button
be human
take over human jobs
be used wisely
have to be controlled
demolish the human life
be a part of human life
take the place of humans in the defense forces
take up the place of human in factories
resemble the human
replace humans in some work fields
undergo slight changes
be more in activities
talk like human
make a statement
be one of the working members in most of families
be the General Manager of multinational companies
become the familiar faces in industry
become an employee in all departments and industries
become just like a man
be able to manage some of the work done by human beings
be able to think
be in every household
be very life like
be available for industrial use
be performing everyday duties
be able to communicate
travel to mars
fly airplanes
fight in wars
help in home making
perform heart surgery
drive cars
be ubiquitous in the home, the office, and industry
perform many useful functions just existing as a box
be capable of performing any human function
have undergone a major shift in the workforce as robots take over most jobs
assume most routine lab duties
ease out many jobs
do most of the work
be very very special
do most of the work that humans do in an organization
rule the world
replace managers and high post officers
make humans dependable
do all mankind works
walk along the streets
take over the world
cook food
be in all offices
be available in the market
conquer the world
be able to do our homework
be so advanced that they can do anything
be able to know what we are thinking
be really advanced
be able to drive
be able to do some of our daily duties
be able to translate from one language to another
remain subservient to their human owners
wear clothes
remain quiet while completing their tasks
try to write books
have specific warranties for their parts
be used in rescue situations
be used in place of humans to explore deep space
dominate assembly line factory work
be able to clean our ovens, just as the Roomba vacuums our floors now
be performing remote construction work
be used to assist physicians as microscopic robot-cameras in exploratory surgery
be defunct
should be as sophisticate and as close to human functioning as possible
be moving around the world
be able to help the elderly live a normal life as much as possible
be treated as obsolete
be useful medically
blend in with society
take away a lot of jobs
live in most homes
gain emotions
make it so humans have to do no work whatsoever
take anthropomorphic forms
drive cars
replace children
be unplugged
be going to work in place of their human owners
be able to take over the world
be able to play the violin well
be indistinguishable from humans
be able to hold a conversation with a human
get older like humans
take decisions
look like human
understand nature
play guitar
achieve success
not talk to you but will get everything of you if you come in front
judge music and dance shows
check the intelligence of humans by their face, movement, etc.
anchor dance and music shows
be getting on the judge seat
be used in war
be more intelligent then humans
be functioning with humans
not be utilized for negative purposes
be obsolete
be friend of the environment
marry people
improvise with dancers in popular concerts all around the world
prepare each and every thing in this world without the help of humans
drive the flight and do the unimaginable things itself
rule the World
influence humans and persuade them to think that they cannot live without robots
make another robots
become more powerful
become very smart, find us useless and take over the world
learn and think
walk and talk like real humans
be humanoid and perform actions like human beings
have emotions and feelings
be able to express
perform heart surgeries
land on Mars
be cab drivers
perform surgery
run the government
start a war
provide better personal assistance with greater mobility capabilities
have full artificial intelligence and unlimited battery usage
communicate better
process paper work
determine what’s wrong with someone at a hospital
drive cars
be brain controlled artificial limbs
be a high resolution artificial eye implant for humans
do voice recognition in houses and commonplaces
be flying cars
be taxis
function as lost limbs in a fully functional manner with a person’s motor skills
replace humans that operate public transportation (busses, trains, and taxi cabs)
do basic surgeries revolutionizing the health care industry
be able to work
be able to think
react agains opposition
become merge with humans
help in homes
drive our vehicles
control all vehicles (no need for drivers)
turn agains the human race
surrogates representing humans
replace blood cells with thousands of times higher efficiency of work
be able to work as replacement for most of the vital organs of human beings
provide companionship to their owners
work in architecture-related tasks, doing the most repeating jobs like drilling or checking the stability of buildings
help doctors and surgeons
support everything from rescue teams to spaceships to hospitals
build a building
automate all easy tasks inside our homes
work as implants in human bodies
eliminate the need for human soldiers
do simple, non-invasive surgery
drive vehicles to their destination without human intervention
perform surgery on a human being with little assistance from humans
drive city buses down city streets shared by passenger vehicles, pick up passengers from bus stops and collect fare
be able to move cargo from docked ships to trucks without constant supervision from humans
be a fully functioning and true to life imitation of an actual human being, making it difficult to differentiate human and robot apart
be able to work as fully functional limbs, stronger than their organic counterparts
be capable of advanced thought processes, such as technical problem solving skills, on their own
be humanoid and suitable for companionship
be tiny and go in the bloodstream performing tasks like delivering medicine and attacking cancer cells
be a bionic arm that can be attached to nerves in the body, so that a person can control it and feel it like a normal hand
make the world dependable upon them
be like human beings
will rock
be very intelligent
help humans without any commands


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