We shouldn’t anthropomorphize robots, but I can’t help it


It’s that same hyperactive agency detector. InSight has sent back her first selfie. Did anyone happen to mention to her what happened to the last robots we sent to Mars? We work ’em for years, and they don’t get to come back home.

She’s going to be staring at that same landscape for a loooong time.

Comments

  1. says

    At least they haven’t turned her out for prostitution. [sun] I’m not saying there’s anything bad about sex work, but InSight got some pretty good frequent flier miles… (Unfortunately, cannot cash them in)

  2. Becca Stareyes says

    Careful PZ, a lot of the Mars scientists think of the probes we send as ‘going home’ when they go to Mars. (Anthropomorphization, influenced by weight concerns that mean some parts of the probes (like arms) don’t work well on Earth gravity if only building for Mars gravity + margin of error saves weight.)

  3. says

    Did anyone happen to mention to her what happened to the last robots we sent to Mars? We work ’em for years, and they don’t get to come back home.

    They are home.

  4. Ed Seedhouse says

    “Nooo! Don’t make me go back to that horrible cesspool I finally escaped!! Just send me some friends.”

  5. robro says

    InSight has passed its “next” big hurdle: the solar panels are deployed. It’s made the journey, got on the ground, and now it has juice.

    Ed Seedhouse @ #6 — “Just send me some friends.” Wonder how it feels by Elon Musk?

  6. zoniedude says

    Oh yeah? When that penetrator thingy pokes a hole and lets the air out Mars will deflate and fly all around the solar system.

  7. says

    In 40 years she will have graffiti all over her, in 60 years get a fence around her to stop her being further vandalised and in 80 years she’ll be an exhibit at the Beijing museum of quaint colonial artifacts.

  8. chrislawson says

    robro@9–

    My prediction: probes will only have to share Mars with Musk for a maximum of 6 months.

  9. robert79 says

    @7 drksky

    As far as I read it, it’s staring down, at different depths, using ‘eyes’ we don’t have. Enough to see there.

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