Friend or foe - robots could be either

When professor Eric Matson teaches his robotics class, he asks his students a simple question on the first day. Would you consider marrying a robot?

Generally, after they stop laughing, about 99 percent of the class will say no, no way. But by the end of the semester, with the students now schooled in robotics and the possibility of advancing technology that could lead to a truly human-like robot, Matson finds that 40 to 50 percent of the class now sees enough merit in a robot spouse to at least consider it.

Matson, an associate professor of computer and information technology whose research focuses on the intersection of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and sensor networks, will look at both sides in a lecture titled “Will Robots Insure Our Safety or Place Us at Risk?” during a Purdue conference called “Dawn or Doom: The new technology explosion.”

The Dawn or Doom conference is being held Thursday (Sept. 18) on the Purdue West Lafayette campus and is free and open to the public.

Read the full story on Matson and his research.

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