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Still Waters

The risk of avatar and robot crime

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First it was the telephone, then web cameras and Skype, now remote "presence" is about to take another big step forward - raising some urgent legal and ethical questions.

"Beam me up Scotty" - that simple phrase reminds us of Captain Kirk, whisked from alien worlds back to the Starship Enterprise via the magic of "teleporting", in the cult TV series Star Trek.

Beaming, of a kind, is no longer pure science fiction. It is the name of an international project funded by the European Commission to investigate how a person can visit a remote location via the internet and feel fully immersed in the new environment.

The visitor may be embodied as an avatar or a robot, interacting with real people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-17905533

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the biggest Avatar related crime I can think of was the wholesale ripping off of Ferngully for tha turgid film by James Cameron.

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