Will we build R2-D2s or C-3POs?

Interesting read by Rex Sorgatz on the future of robotics. Will we create R2-D2s, selfless robots that excel in areas where humans are deficient like deep computation and endurance in extreme conditions, or C-3POs, personified facsimiles of humans, complete with our foibles?

It’s simple:
R2-D2 aspires to be a great computer.
C-3PO aspires to be a mediocre human.
We need great computers, not mediocre humans.

Or as Sorgatz puts it in a nice info chart: R2-D2 is Wall-E, C-3PO is HAL. I think this debate will continue for a long time, with R2-D2 always the safe choice and C-3PO designs continuing to annoy us, or just plain creep us out – until we reach the Scarlett Johanson AI stage from Her. Then we’ll gleefully welcome our new robot overlords.

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