Monday, September 24, 2012

A Robot Rosh Hashanah

What better way to observe the Jewish New Year than with Israeli robots? It's no secret that the State of Israel is a leader in technological innovation. So let's all say, Shana Tova, Mr. Robota!

Here's the write-up for this video from YouTube:

May 5,773 be a wonderful year for all of the Jewish people throughout the world!
We at the R&D Institute for Intelligent Robotic Systems wish you all,
A year of peace, security and advancement!
The Computer Science Department
The College of Management Academic Studies
Rishon Le-Zion Israel
This Institute was founded by the parents of the three IDF soldiers, in memory of their sons, Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan, and Omer Souad, kidnapped and murdered by Hezbollah in 2000, in the battle for the northern border in October 2000. The soldiers' bodies were returned to their homeland more than three years later, in January 2004. The Institute was inaugurated in June 2008, and is currently engaged in developing patrol autonomous robotic systems for guarding, identifying and handling suspicious objects and events as well as in developing autonomous robotic systems for mapping and delivery.

Background music: Shana Tova; Lyrics by Levin Kipnis, Music by Nahum Vardi.
הָפַכְתָּ מִסְפְּדִי לְמָחוֹל לִי (תהילים ל', י"ב)
You have turned my lament into dancing for me; you loosened my sackcloth and girded me with joy. Tehilim 30:12
The Sons' Hora Folkdance was produced by the R&D Institute for Intelligent Robotic Systems, at the Department of Computer Science, College of Management Academic Studies, in memory of Benny, Adi and Omar, who, in sacrificing their lives, have made us determined to make every effort to overcome the enemy and especially, to prevent the circumstances that led to their murder from happening again.
Performed by: GVANIM FOLKDANCE GROUP, Rishon Lezion
Artistic Direction and Choreography: Ilana Segev
Art and Heritage Production Management: Gilad Weiss
Choreography: Eli Ronen
Music: Efi Netzer
We would like to thank those who devoted their time to this dance project:
GVANIM GROUP, Ilana Segev, Gilad Weiss and Eli Ronen.

And not to be outdone, here's a robotic greeting from the Technion:

And here again is the write-up from YouTube:

Geeks are boring? NO way. Nobel Laureates live in ivory towers? University presidents are inaccessible? Perhaps you should ask Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie for some Hip Hop lessons. Join the entire Technion family and the world community of lovers of education, science and technology with some of the hottest robots from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology as they strut their stuff to a hip-hop cover of the traditional Jewish song, Shana Tova, or happy new year for the Jewish New Year 5773. Save it and share it with children and loved ones everywhere as a special new year's greeting!
Bonne année
З Новим роком
نیا سال مبارک ہو
Yeni iliniz mübarək
Buon anno
Hamingjusamur Nýtt Ár
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh
Gëzuar Vitin e Riv Head uut aastat
Bonan Novjaron
Честита Нова Година
З Новым годам
გილოცავთ ახალ წელს
હેપ્પી ન્યુ યર
Feliz ano
Glückliches neues Jahr
Godt Nytår
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
नया साल मुबारक
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Chúc mừng năm mới
Yeni Yılınız Kutlu Olsun
Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος
מזל ניו יאָר
Laimīgu Jauno gadu
Felix Novus Annus
Naujųjų Metų
Selamat Tahun Baru
Godt Nyttår
Heri ya Mwaka Mpya
Srečno novo leto
Šťastný Nový Rok
Feliz Año Nuevo
Срећна Нова Година
سنة جديدة سعيدة
Manigong Bagong Taon
Onnellista uutta vuotta
سال نو مبارک
Šťastný Nový Rok
Bonne année
새해 복 많이 받으세요
Feliç Any Nou
La mulți ani
С Новым годом
Gott Nytt År

And finally, a reminder that robots are not just for Rosh Hashanah, a scene from Woody Allen's science fiction comedy from the sixties, Sleeper:

In case you were wondering where the word robot came from, it was introduced by the Czech writer and playwright Karel Čapek in a 1920 play entitled Rossum's Universal Robots.   The word robot comes from the Czech work for labor, and the play told the story of artificially created workers rising up against their human masters.  A righteous gentile who vehemently opposed Nazi Germany, the Gestapo declared him Public Enemy Number Two in Czechoslovakia, before he died of pneumonia in 1938. His brother Josef, a painter, died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The first film image of a robot appeared in 1927 in the German film, Metropolis. The director, Fritz Lang, was raised Catholic, but his mother was a convert from Judaism, and while Hitler loved Metropolis so much that he wanted Lang to take charge of the German film industry, Lang wisely chose to flee instead, making his way from Paris to Hollywood, where he made movies for every major film studio for over two decades.

The Jewish-American writer Isaac Asimov, who is the most prolific writer in the history of the United States with more than 500 books to his credit, was particularly well known for his science fiction stories about robots.  Asimov established the Three Laws of Robotics, otherwise known as Robot's Rules of Order, which are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

With this, Asimov established an ethical basis for the science of robotics that is taken seriously by computer scientists working on artificial intelligence programming.

Be that as it may, there is nothing robotic about our celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at Congregation Adas Emuno, or our wish to you for a happy and healthy 5773!

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