Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Robot Contemplates 'Self' and 'Others'

Do you hear or fear or
Do I smash the mirror?

By Tracy Staedter, Discovery News
— A new robot can recognize the difference between a mirror image of itself and another robot that looks just like it.

This so-called mirror image cognition is based on artificial nerve cell groups built into the robot's computer brain that give it the ability to recognize itself and acknowledge others.

Under development by Junichi Takeno and a team of researchers at Meiji University in Japan, the robot represents a big step toward developing self-aware robots and in understanding and modeling human self-consciousness.

For example, two red diodes illuminate when the robot is performing behavior it considers its own, two green bulbs light up when the robot acknowledges behavior being performed by the other.

One blue LED flashes when the robot is both recognizing behavior in another robot and imitating it.

Imitation, said Takeno, is an act that requires both seeing a behavior in another and instantly transferring it to oneself and is the best evidence of consciousness.
Does this blinking light make me look fat?

When the self robot moved forward, stopped or backed up, the other robot did the same. The pattern of neurons firing and the subsequent flashes of blue light indicated that the self robot understood that the other robot was imitating its behavior.

via The Raw Feed
Discovery Channel :: News :: Robot Demonstrates Self Awareness


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