A couple weeks ago I got to meet two interesting individuals: Feynman Jr. and his creator Scott Preston.
I also got to meet his beagle, Castle, who had one of those lamp shade things on his head because of some allergies. He also liked to jump a lot and so he had to go back in the house. Bad dog! Bad dog! Awwww... don't give me those eyes! What a good dog you are! Who's a good dog? Roos a rud rog? Roo a roo roo? Ahem...
OK, so that's an older puppy picture without the necklace. But using the latest in age-enhancing photo-technology, I have recreated for you what Castle looks like now and he's still cute:
But this Friday drivel isn't about beagles, at least not until all of the beagle owners of the world unite and take over this thread in the greatest drivel thread takeover ever since drivel came packaged in threads. No, this thread is about robots and world domination.
Feynman Jr was neato. Not only is he the size of a miniature coffee table (something I haven't been able to accomplish in years), he can find his way around pretty well (something I'm also still working on). He's got a compass, two webcams, and ultrasonic sensors - oh, not to mention a full server with wireless connectivity. Scott can remote into Feynman Jr through his laptop on the ol' wireless LAN and go to town sending all sorts of commands and diagnostics.
Most people would think that Scott's next logical step is to get his robot to do what man has dreamed of controlling for centuries: someone to bring him a beer. Personally, I think a true sign of AI is creating a robot that would truly pass the age-old Turing test. For example:
Q: Please write me a sonnet on the subject of the Forth Bridge. A: Move, you're blocking the television.
Q: Add 34957 to 70764 A: (Pause about 10 seconds and then give as answer) Isn't there a calculator on your iPhone?
Q: Do you play chess? A: No. You always beat me and it ain't no fun playing against you no more.
Q: I have K at my K1, and no other pieces. You have only K at K6 and R at R1. It is your move. What do you play? A: (After a pause, accompanied by a puzzled look, of 5 seconds) You're gonna be single all your life if you keep talkin' like that, bro. Bring me another beer. This time get a cold one from the back of the fridge!
Yes, the first sign of human intelligence is always the desire for someone to bring you a beer. When we finally create a robot that can convince us to bring it a beer, we'll have achieved the greatest accomplishment ever in the history of man. Then we'll look back at everything else our species has ever created like the Panama Canal, grilled cheese, and Britney Spears and wonder how our life could ever have held meaning before we served the robots.
Scott's next goal with Feynman Jr actually has nothing to do with beer. Feynman Jr is going to be shoveling Scott's driveway this winter. I told him good luck. My wife can't even get me to do that.
Oh, and Scott's looking at some languages other than Java now that Feynman runs as a web server. Kind of a Service Oriented Architecture that doesn't care what programming language mustered the strength to tell him what to do. If you're curious to learn more, Scott will be one of the many speakers at the CodeMash conference in January, which will be in northern Ohio in a very large indoor waterpark.
For good measure, I got a photo of me with Feynman Jr:
I wanted to make sure that when the robots take over I have proof that I was on their side all along.