ROBOTS ROBOTS ROBOTS AND MIRROR NEURONS jack kutilek week 3

Robots are becoming more and more prevalent in modern day life. That is just the facts. Almost everything has a computer chip in it for some sort of task, and every year those tasks get more and more complicated. They keep getting more and more complicated until eventually computeres will be able to do everything humans can. I am really excited for the day when humans and robots are not discernable, like in blade runner. but i am also really excited, almost more excited, for the day when the movie robots becomes real because i think seeing robot do human things is way cooler than seeing a robot that looks like a human do things. BUt that is just preferance. When you start to think about what the world will be like when there are robots with personalities walking around, doing everythind that humans do, you can’t really come up with a definite future. It’s always in the air and you can’t really predict what will happen, or I can’t at least. And it also depends on the course that robot development takes. Because the last thing that robots get to make them like humans will probably become a stereotype for robots. For example, if feelings are the last thing that robots get, people will assume that all robots don’t have any feelings, but they will, and those will be the only ones who will care and be hurt by those stereotypes. Thats kind of a neat thing to think about.
Scientists are already working on making robots humanlike. Michael Arbib is researching what is called mirror neurons in monkey brains and human brains, and finding ways that we can give robots these mirror neurons so that they can be closer to humans. Mirror neurons are what allow people and monkeys to recognize actions and do those actions, and it also lets people share emotions. So if you see someone sad, you might feel sad as you mirror their emotion. Or if you see someone do something, you can recognize that they are doing somethign you know how to do, but they are doing it differently and in a better way, so you copy them. This is all made possible by mirror neurons. And so scientists are taking the process of recreating the brain in a robot one step at a time. When scientists discover how small parts of the brain work, they start working on how they can recreate it in a robot. More info can be found in this podcast that has an interview with Michael Arbib: http://lis.epfl.ch/resources/podcast/mp3/TalkingRobots-MichaelArbib.mp3. One interesting application of this discovery is in the microsoft word paper clip helper. Arbib talks about how the paperclip is annoying because it is always smiling even when it is giving you bad advice. He says it would be less annoying if the paperclip could see/learn when it is giving bad advice and then turn sad instead of continuing to smile. I thought this was interesting because never really understood what annoyed me about the paperclip but i think that is it, and i think it would be less annoying if it reacted when it gave bad advice.
anyway, heres a picture of a robot or two:

https://i1.wp.com/www.persianstudents.org/archives/robots.jpg

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