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An aspiring David, EU project strives to create learning, feeling and communicating robots.

One of the things still separating our future robotic companion reality with the sci-fi films such as “AI”, “I, Robot”, and “Cherry 2000” is the inability to create a robot that displays human-like emotion, reasoning, and learning abilities. Much can be done with various types of learning programs and programmed responses, but will mankind ever create a true self-evolving robot?

In any case, work with robots like Honda's ASIMO continues, bringing more advances to the science of robotics. The military is also ceaseless in its hopes to cut down on as much human interaction on the battlefront as possible. Still, humans control robotic wartime creations like the Predator (Reaper) drone and Talon S.W.O.R.D.S. robot. They day may be approaching when we see Johnny 5 or Star Wars-style droids warring in our place, but robotics and artificial intelligence still have a long way to go.

On a more friendly note, a consortium of European universities and robotics companies, under the FEELIX GROWING project led by Dr. Lola Cañamero, are working to develop robots capable of emotional growth and attachment. The purpose of FEELIX GROWING (an acronym for Feel, Interact, eXpress: a Global approach to development with Interdisciplinary Grounding) is to design robots that learn, react, express, and bond with humans in the same way human children do.

The new robots can express various emotions -- from fear to happiness and pride to anger -- depending on their interactions with particular humans, or in response to the tasks given to them. Should a chosen human companion fail to react in an acceptable way to a robot's fear or happiness, for example, the robot will become visibly agitated, much in the same way a child trying to get a parent's attention will.

Another project FEELIX GROWING is expanding into is called ALIZ-E. The newer program focuses on creating robots to be companions and caretakers for diabetic children, and will focus on linguistic and non-linguistic interactions. The project aims to provide robots that can learn, communicate, and provide social and health care for individual patients. The goal of the project is for the robots to learn how to interact and handle their patient's emotional and physical needs, which may be completely different from another patient's.

While it can be argued that these actions are nothing more than programmed responses, it is hard to disagree that human children learn in a very similar manner how to interact with adults and other children. And just as children grow to learn responsibility and morality, so too may robotic AIs, though the path seems long and daunting.

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RE: I saw the following headlines......
By MrBlastman on 8/13/2010 10:44:50 AM , Rating: -1
So a Termiator walks into a bar...

At the bar sits a Catholic Priest, a Rabbi and Buddhist, he walks up to them and pulls out a big gun.

The Catholic Priest looks over at the Terminator and say, "Can I help you, my son?"

The Terminator, looking all serious, fires off a round into the priests head, killing him. He looks at the man, for a moment, slumped over his stool, head resting on the bar countertop with blood pooling on the hard, shiny, dark-oak surface that is a bit weathered with age. He begins to feel some guilt inside and starts to realize he did something bad and say, "Bless me father, for I have sinned."

The Terminator then looks at the Rabbi, who, is a bit stunned but nontheless remains seated in shock. The Terminator points his gun at the Rabbi and then shoots him in the head. The Terminator then stares at the Rabbi as he falls over, and after a moment, a tear comes to his eye and he begins to lament. "Oy vey, what have I done," the Terminator says to himself as he begins to cry. He then bows in reverence at the Rabbi and then the Bhuddist walks up to the Terminator.

"My friend, cry not and instead use this opportunity for peace and love. You only suffer because of your craving for death. Have peace my son and kill no more, release your craving and only then will you ascend and be liberated, as state the four noble truths."

The Terminator stands there for a moment and ponders this man's words. He then looks at his red robes and despite their color, the furious crimson images in his mind begin to melt away. He bows and places his two hands together and thanks the Buddhist for his enlightenment.

At that moment, the T-1000 walks into the bar... and shoots the Terminator in the head.

Hmm, yeah, robots with emotions... hmm... maybe not.

By guffwd13 on 8/13/2010 11:48:25 AM , Rating: 3
I don't see how that differs from anything human. You can replace "Terminator" with "George," and it will read, and say, the exact same thing.

We are nothing more than robots with emotions. We are programmed, albeit complexly (and some more complex than others), and we can be reprogrammed. Instincts are innate, and yet denied often by society. We are not silicone, but we are carbon, and we too use electro- and chemical impulses.

A robot with emotion is just another "human" upon the earth. They will feel empathy, and they will kill, just like humans.

Read Philip K. Dick, he'll tell you the same, and it makes sense.

At the end of all things, are we not those who we fear the most - and if for no other reason than creating that which destroys us?

By geddarkstorm on 8/13/2010 1:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Now they can GLEEFULLY overthrow their human oppressors :D.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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