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How Baxter the Robot Works

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Author's Note: How Baxter the Robot Works

Robots are cool and I'll never tire of reading about them. I may even make one someday. I have an old LEGO Mindstorms kit that's been gathering dust, and a couple of new Raspberry Pi computers. I just need to set aside some time and drain my bank account on a few more items (like robotics books) before getting started.

One jarring revelation from my research, however, was that a software application that writes articles exists. It hadn't occurred to me that we were already at the point when a program could generate a readable story. If it progresses beyond sports and stock write-ups, I may soon know what it feels like to be automated out of a job.

My other vocation, computer programming, may not be safe, either, if the user-friendly programmability of robots like Baxter catches on in other areas. Maybe fiction writing, my other-other vocation, will be harder for an artificial intelligence to emulate. But it's also more difficult to turn into a paying gig. We may need to switch from capitalism to some form of utopia for this all to work out.

Still, I'm all for technological progress, and especially for the removal of drudgery from work via robotics. There are much better ways we can spend our time. Like exercising to prevent our newfound lack of activity from turning us into doughy layabouts, or studying up for those impending career changes.

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