The idea of a robot

Posted on September 7, 2009

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The idea of the robot: you have to look at the terms in which it is possible for the world to be transparent to us. What brings us into the world? What puts us in it? We are born into it – experience that initial moment (who knows stretched over weeks or months) – consciously or otherwise searching for its renewal. What this requires is that the medium of knowledge be transparent, that it not stand in our way in relation to it. Think of the forms of modern technology that show this; for example the mobile phone or global online networks like Facebook or Twitter. The world takes on a certain transparency when I have my mobile with me. It is like a window through which I can see it or contact it. Likewise Facebook gives me a window on the world. In other words, these things, this technology, for me, is the world’s transparency. They make it penetrable; just as a train on a particular route makes – say – central London available to me: creates this sort of transparency. Or just as satnav makes all of Europe into a simple transparent map. Thus, inevitably, is what the world is a question that is to be answered by the developement of technology. But of course there are other forms of transparency; and the question arises of whether we are prepared to engage with them too.

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