First robot that can convey emotions

It’s not often that I have cause for patriotism as most of the innovations in technology seem to be in the USA but this is an exception. A team of highly talented British computer scientists at Hertfordshire university lead by Lola Cañamero  have developed Nao, an artificially intelligent robot utilizing hierarchical temporal memory technology meaning the robot is running a learning software that is aimed at emulating the human neo cortex. Nao uses sensors and cameras to read proximity and visual feedback and is aimed at emulating human development up to 5 years.

Nao can memorize faces and respond accordingly for example responding positively to a smile or a pat on the head. Nao has built in emotional responses that, although he cannot control he can choose a time that he deems appropriate to convey them. The emotional responses are programmed based on data collected from chimpanzee behaviors. If nao feels sad then he may lower his head to the floor and appear introspective whereas if he is sad he is programmed to cower in a corner until the object of fear is removed or he is comforted. Nao also has face recognition technology and can group emotions and faces accordingly so that if one person gives a friendly greeting and on person gives a hostile impression then Nao will be able to distinguish between the two and respond accordingly.

I personally think this is a fantastic technical development but it opens up all kinds of ethical issues. Programming a robot to have emotions makes the gap between what is artificially intelligent and biologically intelligent more blurred. There is no doubt that we will soon be able to create a robot that’s intelligence is on a par with humans and this will open up lots of legal issues as to how robots should be treated.

Feel free to share your opinion on this article and leave a comment below.

To contact the author of this article you can do so at: tom@unitedtechguys.com

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About Tom (Tommy)
My name is Tom I'm 22 and currently living in the UK. I'm a software engineer. In my free time I blog, take photographs, watch movies and hang out with friends.

One Response to First robot that can convey emotions

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