Gas Pumping Robot

Hey there’s a new robot in town (well, if you live in the Netherlands that is) and it’s pumping your gas:

Here’s a Youtube Video of “TankPitStop” in action:

The moral of the story is that we will be replaced by robots and computers, and this is all a good thing. 

4 thoughts on “Gas Pumping Robot

  1. The moral of the story is that we will be replaced by robots and computers, and this is all a good thing.

    We will likely be replaced, but whether that thing will be so good is another issue. Reading about some recent LAPD upgrades (like their high-powered online GPS tracking system), one might be reminded of various dystopian sci-fi scenarios (PK Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, say). Few citizens care to have violent criminals roaming around, but there is something slightly alarming about a system which ID’s a suspect in a matter of seconds, isolates the perp on a grid from space, transmits the data nearly instantaneously, and the cyber-cops show up as the crime is being committed. So far it is only violent criminals who have the GPS monitored bracelets: imagine a few years when the GPS implant’s are mandatory, and some great J-Edgar-in-orbit (probably supported by the police unions and their democratic bosses–and by the military of course), might track the activities of about anyone: that is, unless they are housed in one of the massive CDC gulags. That might sound bit far-fetched or paranoid now, but a rather plausible scenario.

  2. the cyber-cops show up as the crime is being committed

    Horatiox I take it you were rooting for Tom Cruise in “Minority Report”?

    The downside of the new technologies is substantial, and frankly I don’t think you need to exaggerate much at all to be concerned about your scenario above. However it’s more likely to crop up in China or other centralized governments than here in the land of the mostly free and somewhat brave.

    My take is basically most things in moderation, including how aggressively we use the new crime technologies. To me it’s best to look at it as simply as possible in terms of the ROI on life and limb. In Florida they put up a bunch of cameras in crime-ridden public areas and crime dropped hugely. UK is now covered with surveillance cams and I don’t think it’s harmed them and probably has saved lives and money. There will be abuses of these technologies but I’d expect them to pale compared to the benefits of fewer robberies, rapes and murders. It’s a testable hypothesis so I say let’s take, say, $1,000,000,000 of the $35,000,000,000 global warming research budget and find the best way to proceed.

  3. Pre-crime! Tom’s hand-protocols or whatever were pretty cool as well (though the flick was great, it did not resemble the PKD story I recall from years back: neither did Blade Runner). The Feds will probably get something like a pre-crime system going as well eventually, based on genetics or some bell-curve like behaviorist “profile.”

    I agree actually with the surveillance techniques, especially in regards to LA South Central (there are places in SC you simply do not want to drive through, even during day time), yet there’s obviously dangers to civil liberties.

    An Orwellian (or Dickian if you will) sort of police state could be rather easily implemented right now, and indeed has been for certain criminals. Hard-core sex-offenders are generally vile, nasty creatures, but the entire sex-offender policing program is quite bizarre, even beyond PKD and somewhat Burroughsian: their entire lives are exposed to the public (via the net, and other places), and posted in papers, etc. The real creeps should be kept down and monitored, if not imprisoned for decades: but what if…… they aren’t really guilty, or there was malicious prosecution, etc.? That does happen more frequently than one might imagine–similarly for the Amber Alert signs and so forth. Some paranoid housewife can easily make a bogus accusation regarding some nasty abduction or something, and, bada bing, your name and pic are all over the Net, on the Amber Alert (itself sort of classic Dickian visual—), evening news, etc. The same happened for that Benet suspect. The Net does seem to facilitate this sort of hyper-suspicious mindstate, at least for some.

    While I agree with you that the potential for prevention is great (and cost-effective), Im not sure that plus always outweighs the possible negatives.

  4. Horatiox I think it’s so complex that we need to experiment with small programs in a few cities, see if they create unacceptable abuses or are helpful, and then move on from there.

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