Career advice for robots
What makes a human human? Does a robot deserve human rights? The visually compelling documentary Sophia offers interesting answers to these questions. Accompanying this screening, robotics professor David Abbink (TU Delft) gives career advice for robots, together with an opera choir, led by musical theatre director Isabel Schröder.
The initiator of the program is Joost van de Loo, programmer and communication specialist at RoboHouse, a TU Delft department specialized in robotics. Van de Loo says: ‘Why career advice for robots? Because technology should start listening better, and especially otherwise, to working people.’
‘In daily practice, robotics is mainly about the world of work. And that is where the voice of professionals must become much louder. That’s what you’re going to experience in this performance, with an opera choir singing on behalf of all working people in the world.’ Abbink, who will speak during the performance, adds: ‘Thanks to science fiction we are used to the image of human-looking robots that are funny or frightening, but the reality is that prototypes of cognitive robotics are more like a kind of multiform animal kingdom. These “robotic animals” are now increasingly working among people, and they don’t have to be humanoid, self-aware or romantic at all.’
‘Current robots and their designers are often limited to production improvement of sub-processes, without understanding what is essential for working people and how people adapt to these limited robots. That has to change. We listen to working people and pass this on to robots in the form of tips. But how can you succeed as a robot in the workplace? How can you ensure that work improves?’
This will be a musical program, directed by music theater director Isabel Schröder. ‘The choir reports on the needs and annoyances of people who work with robots.’ Science and music go hand in hand, she says: ‘Music opens a door to another world, where you can understand things in a different way. Inventors were often also musicians, their worlds are not far apart.’
This program is a collaboration with the Vision Team Robotics of TU Delft