If you’ve ever had the fear that robots will take over the world and eradicate humanity then, for your own sanity, you’d better not watch this video! Scientists from the Rensselaer Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning (RAIR) Laboratory have conducted new research which suggests that robots can now finally be capable of self-awareness. Surely that’s just one step away from being human, right?
RAIR used Nao robots and programmed them to think that two of them had received a ‘dumbing’ pill which would stop them from speaking. When the robots were all asked ‘which pill did you receive?’ only one answered with ‘I don’t know’. This little robot was then able to recognise that he had just spoken so was able to reason that he was not the one that had received the dumbing pill. Pretty cool, huh?
Before you get too worried, this experiment clearly has it’s limitations. Although the robot is able to reason this specific riddle and almost appear to recognise his place in the world, he’s a long way off from the level of self awareness that we humans possess. But it’s one small leap for mankind, and perhaps one huge leap for robots… Watch this space. And put the pitchforks down, people.