Académie des technologies

“10 Questions about Robots”, addressed by Philippe Coiffet

“10 Questions about Robots”, addressed by Philippe COIFFET, Ed. Le Manuscrit,Paris, Sept. 2009

This booklet gives a rapid overview to the questions that the public at large raises most frequently when referring to Robots. It is a popular theme, in films, novels and even documentary reports … but we never actually meet a Robot. Why are they “absent”?, what is their specific ”intelligence”?, and what relationship do they have with human beings? – three questions that form the backdrop to most of those we hear and read.

Given the rapid evolution of technologies, one question often relegated to science fiction emerges today and is becoming a serious thematic, viz., are we on the verge of being able to create an artificial Man? The author sets out a strictly technological answer but does not avoid the serious ethical and metaphysical problems that would arise and that cannot be separated from the scientific and technical questions. Given also that the future is not yet written, the author proposes his personal vision of what might indeed happen in this field.

Philippe COIFFET is a Founder Member of the National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF). Most of his career was conducted as senior research scientist with the CNRS, specialist in both design and control processes for robots, especially through applications of the concepts known as “virtual reality”.. He has studied the field and associate questions in 21 differents countries.