Scientists are trying to make new robots
more human. Such robots will exhibit adaptive learning behavior
and will learn things not pre-programmed into them. They will also
recognise humans as humans, instead of just "any other objects".
If humanization will include functions like "cutting a fart" and
"scratching a butt", I am all for making robots as human as possible.
And I like the idea that robots will "recognize humans as humans,
instead of just 'any other objects'".
This way you can tell a robot to shoot turkeys for Thanksgiving,
without worrying about human casualties. I am sorry, did I say "robot"?
I meant Dick Cheney.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Scientist Alan Schultz can be found playing a game of hide and seek with a robot called George. George hides behind a post until he is found. A bit later, the robot will take off to find a hidden Schultz. While this may sound a bit childish, Shultz actually is working on ways to teach the robot how to play Capture the Flag. In fact, for robots to play hide and seek is a new level of interaction between man and machine. The robot must take cues from another person or persons and than behave and respond accordingly. Some say this marks the beginning of a real robot revolution. Cynthia Breazeal, the robotic life group director at MIT, stated that robots need to understand people as people. Presently, she says, robots understand people like furniture, like a chair. By injecting humanity into robots, they are creating robots that can connect with humans in more thoughtful ways. They are in the process of building robot receptionists and robot physical therapists. Work is being wrapped on a robot called Huggable, a teddy bear robot that will assist in monitoring the physical and mental health of sick or ill children. Huggable will cost a few thousand dollars for each unit. There are also robots that are being used to coax autistic children from out of their shells. Finally, there is an adorable penguin robot called Mel that makes eye contact with people and nods while these people talk.