Sunday, July 3, 2011

engineering love in robots

A project at the National University of Singapore with all kinds of somewhat unsettling implications is trying to create the means for human-robot love by giving robots all the emotional and biological tools that human have.

That means artificial hormones--dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin, endorphin--that ebb and flow based on how the robot is “feeling.” It also means psychology, in this case using MRI brain scans to recreate artificial intelligence that creates affection--or a lack therof--towards a human counterpart.

Just as in human relationships, this human-robot love is based on interactions. The robot can become bored, jealous, angry, affectionate, or flat-out happy, all based on how the human object of its desire interacts with it.
Having just finished watching Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence,
giving robots the ability to feel human emotions such as love can have dire consequences.
The results then fall solely on the human caretaker or said object of affection.

"it isn't simply a question of creating a robot who can love,
but isn't the real conundrum, can a human love them back?"
If a robot could genuinely love a person,
what responsibility does that person hold toward that mecha?"
- female colleague to Dr. Hobby *A.I. Artificial Intelligence*

And as the article points out, with love comes hate...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story is nothing but creepy to me. If you don't believe robots already have feelings,look up "Jules" the robot on You Tube. When his creators are getting ready to ship him off to England he says that he is "scared" to go and that he has grown attatched to the family that built him. He even says that he "loves" them and they reply that they love him back and that he is like one of the family. Most people think that these robots are a "hoax". These companies wouldn't be able to keep up their reputation if the robots couldn't hold a real conversation. They are building human beings.