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  • محمدعلی مقامی ( جمعه 88/7/10 :: ساعت 7:10 عصر)

  • In the Name of God

    Robot Helps Scientists Understand Humans

    Source:Iran Daily,Mon,Sep 14,2009 

    Robots that can make their own decisions have so far been confined to science fiction movies, but a child-sized figure with big eyes and a white face is trying hard to turn fiction into reality.
    Its name is iCub and scientists are hoping it will learn how to adapt its behavior to changing circumstances, offering new insights into the development of human consciousness, Economic Times reported.
    Six versions of iCub exist in laboratories across Europe, where scientists are painstakingly tweaking its electronic brain to make it capable of learning, just like a human child.
    “Our goal is to really understand something that is very human: the ability to cooperate, to understand what somebody else wants us to do, to be able to get aligned with them and work together,“ said research director, Peter Ford Dominey.
    Alignment
    iCub is about 1 meter (3.2 feet) high, with an articulated trunk, arms and legs made up of intricate electronic circuits. It has a white face with the hint of a nose and big round eyes that can see and follow moving s.
    “Shall we play the old game or play a new one?“ iCub asked Dominey during a recent experiment at a laboratory in Lyon, in southeastern France. Its voice was robotic, unsurprisingly, though it did have the intonation of a person asking a question. The ’game’ consisted of one person picking up a box, revealing a toy that was placed underneath. Then another person picked up the toy, before putting it down again. Finally, the first person put the box back down, on top of the toy.
    Having watched two humans perform this action, iCub was able to join in the fun.
    “The robot is demonstrating that it can change roles. It can play the role of either the first person in the interaction or the second,“ said Dominey, who receives European Union funding for his work with iCub.

    Mother’s Little Helper
    While such simple pastimes may seem disappointing to fans of C-3PO, the robot in Star Wars movies who boasts he is fluent in more than six million forms of communication, they are at the cutting edge of robotics and of clear interest to science.
    “These robots will be a huge tool for analytical philosophy and philosophy of mind,“ said Dominey, whose background is in computational neuroscience--in layman’s terms, building computer models for different brain functions. Dominey said after years of research he had understood that such models needed to be “unleashed into the world“ and given vision and motor-control in order to interact with humans.
    “Is perception consciousness? The ability to understand that somebody has a goal, is that consciousness?“ he asked.
    “These kinds of questions, we will be able to ask with much more precision because we can have a test bed, this robot, or zombie, that we can use to implement things,“ he said, describing working with iCub as “an outstanding pleasure
    “.





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