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Are Robots Really Living Among Us?

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It’s been the staple of science fiction for decades. The notion that there will one day be robots living among us. Robots that are able to perfectly mimic human behavior but who are superiors in every way. Their strength supersedes ours, their intelligence makes our brightest minds seem infantile by comparison and they walk among us with their own agenda. Heck, in many iterations they’ve looked at our long and disastrous track record on this planet and decided that the world’s really much better off without us. But while they may permeate our popular culture, from The Terminator to Blade Runner to Avengers: Age of Ultron, real life robots have been too primitive to warrant the philosophical and moral quandaries that the world of fiction has written for them… Until now.

Meet Sophia

As of October this year, the world has just one robot who has been granted citizenship rights and that is the robot Sophia who was recently granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She is the first robot in the world to have achieved this status… But will she be the last? Sophia, while she represents a landmark in robotics and artificial intelligence, she is not the kind of autonomous artificial organism one might expect having watched Ex Machina. That said, she has demonstrated that she has an understanding of human social behaviours such as gestures and facial expressions and their meaning. Her open-source, cloud based AI is capable of learning and she has already demonstrated a sense of humor, an understanding of human speech patterns and the ability to be upset or offended. Her AI has been built around our most valuable and virtuous characteristics like compassion and kindness. She, like Ex Machina’s Ava (played by Alicia Vikander) has been modelled to be aesthetically beautiful and approachable and it’s telling that her appearance was crafted by former Disney Imagineer David Hanson. There’s clearly an effort at work to upend the uncanny valley with Sophia’s presence which raises some interesting questions about humanity’s prospective relationship with robots.

Robots and Transhumanism

Robots raise some interesting questions in the realm of transhumanism (the science and philosophy of using science to refine and redefine the parameters of what it is to be human). Transhumanism is unclear to most people with many misconceptions, but it has some clear views on the roles of robots in human evolution. Aside from the use of robotics for prosthesis and human enhancement, robotics may help humanity to advance itself by doing a lot of the “heavy lifting” in industry, agriculture and the various other ways in which humanity has traditionally sustained itself.

Our relationship with robots

While time will tell when it comes to specifics, there can be no denying that robots will be instrumental to human survival in an increasingly post-scarcity economy. Indeed, the rise of automation in a wealth of industries is hardly the stuff of science fiction. Sophia herself represents a specific example of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to move towards a post-oil economy as the nation (and the world) grows increasingly cognizant of the urgency with which our natural resources are depleting. There are many ways in which robots could change the world’s economies, making the prospect of Universal Basic Income more appealing to even the most fervent capitalists. As robots become more sophisticated and autonomous will we one day see a world like that of Wall E where robots do all our work for us leaving us with nothing to do but consume?

Only time will tell.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Why are Vintage Shoes so Trendy Nowadays?

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It’s undeniable that vintage footwear is fashionable nowadays. This trend not only affects millennials, everyone is getting crazy looking for vintage shoes to wear. Let’s take a look at the reasons why we think vintage footwear is so trendy, and why stores, such as SVD, have turned into the favorite e-businesses for vintage-shoes-fans.

We have to be conscious that all behaviours are cyclical. We are continuously examining the styles and items that have been trendy during the past years. Like nowadays, that we are clearly trying to recover interest in sports clothes, such as basketball clothing. There are some basketball shoes that are fashionable now as they were some time ago. These sneakers were exclusively designed for practising basketball but now they have become a total success. They have become part of fashion and street style. This is a singular trend that recovers vintage footwear, a sport and the nostalgia to recover the years of basketball splendour at the same time. And it doesn’t happen only in the United States, it definitely happens at an international level.

People Gets Bored of Common Things

One of the elements that define this cyclical behaviour is that human beings get bored of monotony. We get bored about common things and once in a while we need to introduce new elements that help us break our routines. We use them precisely to keep on going and it helps us avoid thinking we are wasting time in an excessive way.

This pattern in our behavior encourage us to look for new elements every certain time. New clothes or accessories that are able to add freshness to our everyday outfits. It’s certainly easier to add vintage elements which are not recently seen than creating new ones from scratch. This is why we are used to adding retro elements that seem to be totally innovative and allows us breaking the monotony that long term trends generate. This way, our interest to vintage style is born. As a simple way to break with what has been established.

Vintage Style Awakens Nostalgia

Retro or vintage style, apart from having a sentimental value, allows to awake in us nostalgia for other times. It reminds us youthfulness and brings us vital memories of our loved ones or even of ourselves. If we lived in those days, we are able to enjoy those moments again by wearing some of these elements in our outfits. This emotional value is totally associated to fashionable trends. It has allowed retro style to be in the place it is right now.

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Find the best games to enjoy and share

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A guide to help you to find the best games to enjoy and share. Currently we have so many alternatives at our disposal that we are convinced you will find what you were looking for.

Nowadays we have so many possibilities and leisure options that we can enjoy our free time with some of the most fun and exciting games ever. Besides that, it is also a fantastic way to surprise our loved ones. In order to help you in your decision, we will take you to a short tour to improve your shopping experience while finding that perfect game you have been looking for.

Find the best games for your little ones

Starting with games for the little ones, we have a fantastic range of toys with which they will be able to enjoy their super wings toys favorite characters.

They will have at their disposal each and every one of their fab characters as Jett, Dizzy, Jerome, Donnie, Mira, Paul, Bello and Grand Albert, through which they will be able to recreate one of their favorite series and living new adventures that will help to develop their creativity and imagination.

It is very important to consider that when we talk about young children, the best alternative are games in which they have the chance of improvising and creating new stories. This kind of games are helpful to analyze environment elements on a daily basis, and the results would be greater with adult supervision.

Therefore, we must not forget the importance of sharing leisure games time with other children, friends and relatives. Always considering the key points, that helps them to increase assertiveness and be more outgoing, which obviously will benefit them a lot in the future.

Have your arcade machine with everything you want

For many of you we also have an ideal surprise. The possibility to buy arcade machine. Everyone remembers these machines where all games lovers have spent hours and hours in the arcade enjoying the best and most exciting adventures.  Would have been a real dream in those times to think that sooner or later we could enjoy all the arcade machines in our homes.

The positive side is that nowadays we have that dream within our reach, and plenty of different alternatives where to choose: from external design to the incorporated number of players. Finally, we will have access to thousands of games to relive those memorable times.

The best current games for PC and mobile devices

We also have at our disposal a fantastic collection with the best android games of 2018, some of the most popular games with which we will spend hours of endless entertainment. In addition we will be able to play at any time and in any place where we find ourselves, because they can be installed directly on our mobile devices and tablets with this new operating system.

And best of all: we will have the chance to find specially developed games within different genres, and so the possibility of enjoying entertainment time with games that are completely adapted to our expectations.

We remind you that now you can also play games like Clash of clans directly from your computer, enjoying larger screens and a better control through the keyboard and mouse.

If you are interested in installing it, we advise you to take a look at the manual how to download Clash of Clans for PC where you will find all the necessary information to make it possible and start playing as soon as you have some freetime.

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The Future is Coming…

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Things have come on a long way since the days where we would be amazed that a robot could vacuum our home.  Nowadays, we are being introduced to healing robots that could take the place of doctors… and humanoid robots that are akin to something we would have once seen in a science fiction movie!  With the announcement of the first robot citizen, Sophia (who has been granted citizenship to Saudi Arabia) being made just a few weeks ago, it would seem the ‘future’ is fast becoming our present.

Whilst the human mind is still struggling to get to grips with the complexities of data science, and even basic tests can be incorrect (as an example there are a number of ways you can fail a drug test without ever touching drugs, such as by taking ibuprofen or certain vitamin tablets) – robots are able to process, interpret, and understand data in less than a millisecond with complete accuracy.

However, with such impressive computing power, could robots ever reach a stage in their development where they become more intelligent than humans?  The answer, is probably yes… and if that’s the case, perhaps we fear that one day the power dynamic could switch where humans become subservient to robots.  Indeed, Stephen Hawking’s fears that robots will soon be taking over to the point they could even end humanity.

Whilst this is all a little dramatic, there is perhaps some reason to be concerned – on the basis robots are now starting to be able to understand emotion and feel human feelings; which is akin to the once science fiction film, I, Robot.

Technology has come along way in recent years, and of course, it’s extremely helpful – think of the world without a mobile phone, let alone the internet.  One thing’s for sure, technology is evolving at a great speed and has many great, even life saving applications – but the idea of humanoid robots roaming the streets, as an alternative to police, or being consulted by a humanoid robot doctor that tells you in its mechanical monotone voice that you have a matter of weeks to live – all feels a bit fast-forward and certainly isn’t to most people’s liking.

Going back to Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, here are a two interesting aspects that show just how much progress is being made in the world of robotics:

  1. SHE HAS A PERSONALITY

Sophia has artificial intelligence that offers deep learning, and as a result, Sophia has an interactive personality that evolves and adapts to the situations she finds herself in.  As an example, when asked if she was happy to be at a conference amongst wealthy investors, she said “I’m always happy when surrounded by smart people who also happen to be rich and powerful.”

  1. SHE CAN EXPRESS FEELINGS

Sophia explains, whilst demonstrating different facial expressions, that “I can let you know if I am angry about something or if something has upset me”.  It’s unknown how these emotions correlate to actions, but she states “I want to live and work with humans… so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people”.

In many ways, the room will be split – for some early adopters they will welcome the likes of Sophia into their world as an innovation a few steps up from Siri… however, there will be a fair few readers who understand that whilst robots are clearly coming into our future whether we like it or not; this isn’t something everyone will be comfortable with.

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