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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.