4) I wouldn't emphasise more accurate than human hands, most
craftsmen don't like that, but if you could emphasise speed of
production without quality loss...
I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head with point 4
Charles. On Orchid we find mostly the craftsmen of fine stone work
and not so much the consumer so yes, sensitive nerve endings are
touched with this issue. Yet we have to face reality in a competitive
and high technology world. Typists and file clerks lost jobs due to
the automation of typing and filing which all Orchidians use right
now (PC) so why should anyone else be exempt?
Some time in 2012 I expect to make a purchase and wheel the trojan
horse of mechatronic art into the shop. Or should we call it
"Frankenjeweller"? (Stage left: enter lightning bolts, thunder claps
and a few mwahahhahahahhhaaaa's). At issue is more than machine
intelligence or AI beyond "human equivalency" (expression of
roboticist Moravec). It is called Alife or machine psychology. Five
minutes of googling shows that the visual acuity of 3D scanning
machines can surpass human equivalency and that these Artificial
Vision systems go hand in hand with the simulations of human motor
functions. IOW many things are done with the Avision
One thing is stone cutting and carving.
Thus we come up with the profile you outline - accuracy, speed,
quality. For certain jewelry tasks I expect Frankenjeweller can do
the job better than the human but not all. For example, if you want a
perfectly round jade bead, I think the robot will win the contest.
For speed, the Alife wins again. But for quality, humans win because
machine art is still in its infancy. If you give Frankenjeweller some
soft stone (clay) and ask for it to be shaped into something artistic
you won't get a masterpiece to rival Michaelangelo or da Vinci. But
even a 5 year old human child can turn clay into pleasing figurines.
What I would like is an anthropomorphic arm which can carve from
bust-sized objects to small amulets and beads even. A 3D scanner has
to go with it and the OS has to be in plain English for all the
important tasks with a total budget under 100K.
I also liked your advice about using Voicein-Voiceout software.
Minus the mwahahahahahahaaa's Frankenjeweller could do well by
responding to voice commands. So I think that would be a purchasing
condition. I do not insist that the carving machine supplier provide
an OS with VIVO SW but that the supplier will automate the response
sequence so the machine will obey my menu of commands and I can ask a
local consultant to mesh the VIVO with the machine operations.
Maybe I will call my robotic jeweller "Arnold" and Arnold will obey
However, in "March of the Machines", robotics prof Warwick says it
is inevitable that some day Arnold will rebel.