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Man Builds A Robot Scarlett Johansson Because, Obviously.
Here's some breaking news in the realm of Earth's impending robot takeover. It seems that one Hong Kong robotics enthusiast has fulfilled his 'childhood dream' of designing a robot and his (probable) adult dream of being able to hit on Scarlett Johansson by creating Mark 1, his very first humanoid robot. Okay, so Ricky Ma, the man in question, will not flat-out admit that Mark 1 was designed to look like Scarlett Johansson, but he does say that he was 'inspired by a Hollywood actress' which is probably dodgy robotics dude speak for 'I made a Robo-ScarJo.' The entire project cost Ma roughly $51,000 to create the robot, who was made mostly of 3D-printed plastics, silicone, and various hardware. Mark 1 has the ability to talk, walk, and make natural facial expressions - including a smirk when you tell her she's pretty. Because, of course, he programmed her that way. Yo, Ricky, you might want to cool off on hitting on Artificial Life ScarJo. (We've all seen 'Her'. We know how that'll end.) But anyway... Ma intends to sell the prototype to a major investor and help develop more and more versions of Mark 1, a robot he sees as extremely useful as our technology capabilities only continue to evolve. Could you imagine a fleet of Robo-ScarJos built to help run our banks, medical offices, or even retail centers? How do you think Scarlett feels about this? Let me know what YOU think about Ricky Ma and his Robot Johansson below. And for more strange tech news, follow my Weird Science collection!
This Breakfast-Making Machine Is The Best Thing Ever.
One of my favorite movies growing up was 'Peewee's Big Adventure' - which, compared to its contemporary kids' movie equivalents, was quite the acid trip. One of the best scenes toward the beginning was when Peewee was getting ready for his day. He'd pick out one of his usual trademark suits and head down into the kitchen, where this very quirky Rube Goldberg machine would fix him his breakfast. However, I never thought it would be real someday. It took inventors Peter Browne and Mervyn Huggett over 1,000 hours to build, but the machine isn't even FOR them - it's actually for their wives! The machine, while definitely not as compact as other modern machinery, has a number of incredibly cool features, including: A toaster that will toast your sliced bread nice and evenly. A hot kettle that will not only pour tea or coffee, but brew it too! A beaker of boiling water that cooks eggs to a perfect soft boil. It also shoots out the morning newspaper and presents the cup of tea or coffee, boiled egg, and toast directly to the person about to enjoy their breakfast. Check out Peter's walk-through of this super amusing breakfast machine by clicking the embedded video clip above, and then let me know: If you were an inventor, what kind of machine would you build? Personally, I could use a machine that will help me get ready and out the door in the morning - maybe something with an iron, ironing board, blowdryer, flatiron, brush, and full make-up set all in one? Anyway, comment below with your thoughts, and for more strange tech news, follow my Weird Science collection!
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
So, I just read a staggering statistic that I think the rest of you would be equally WTF?! over. According to a study sponsored by the World Economic Forum, humans will be losing an approximate 5.1 million jobs to robots within the next five years. The study examined 15 different economies across the world, who combined make about 65% of the international workforce. Due to the upward trend of technology and service-oriented robotics, about 7 million jobs will be lost. However, 2 million will be gained due to the progress of technology in these different nations. As of right now, robots and machinery have begun taking over more general jobs, like cashiers. However, as they become more and more widespread, the World Economic Forum believes that these robots will become smarter and more specialized. "As entire industries adjust, most occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to do them." A Business Insider report backed up study, adding that the jobs they believe are most at risk are ones involving data entry or more clerical-style operations, including pharmacists, lawyers and paralegals, drivers, astronauts, store clerks, soldiers, babysitters, rescuers, and sportswriters. (The idea of astronauts being replaced by robots is seriously depressing to me. Space travel is so exciting because humans are doing it!) CNN also cited a Bank of America sponsored study that added more jobs to the list: bakers, butchers, tour guides, tax collectors, telemarketers, insurance sales agents, retail salespeople, clerks, accountants, and pharmacy technicians. It also added that the manufacturing industry will see a huge boom in robot workforce, increasing 35% by 2025. "To prevent a worst-case scenario – technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality – reskilling and upskilling of today's workers will be critical. It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation's workforce to become better prepared." The good news is that there are still plenty of jobs that are pretty unlikely to be replaced by robots any time soon. Anything involving the arts, empathy, or intuition - such as social work, teaching, or police work - require a type of human interaction that robots just can't replicate. (So next time you're teased about your 'worthless' liberal arts degree, feel free to let them know about the impending robot revolution.) So what do you guys think? Are robots really going to be taking over so much so quickly? Do you think the government should have any say over how much robotics is used? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow the WTF Street Journal collection.