Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. - Laurence J. Peter

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Singularity Summit - Cynthia Brazeal

Cynthia Brazeal is talking about robots, particularly companion robot in the home for social purposes (like pets). She works on Kismet at MIT, a robot that emulates human emotions and can interact with humans on an emotional level in a somewhat realistic way.

She's showing a video of a virtual robot watching a human. The human moves his face and the robot imitates the face shape (specifically, the shape of the mouth). In this way, a robot can learn to display emotions in a human way without being programmed for specific actions.

Now she's showing a Leo (a robot in the real world - not a virtual robot) that forms beliefs about the beliefs of others. They set up a situation where the robot watches two humans see a snack put into one of two boxes. One human leaves and the snack is moved to the other box. The other human returns and tries to open the box that he believes has the snack. Leo infers that the human's purpose is to get the snack, and he helps the human get the snack from the correct box.


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