Scientists Teach Robots Anger And Fear In Well-Thought-Out Plan

08.17.10 8 years ago 11 Comments

A group of European scientists have developed the first prototype robot capable of developing emotions from interacting with humans. In the same way a child bonds with adults around it, the robots are able to develop and feel happiness, excitement, pride, sadness, fear and anger…but it’s the last two that have us meatbags shitting our pants in terror.

From the website of the University of Hertfordshire website:

Developed as part of the interdisciplinary project Feelix Growing (Feel, Interact, eXpress: a Global approach to development with Interdisciplinary Grounding), funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Dr. [Lola] Cañamero, the robots have been developed so that they learn to interact with and respond to humans in a similar way as children learn to do it, and use the same types of expressive and behavioural cues that babies use to learn to interact socially and emotionally with others.

The robots have been created through modelling the early attachment process that human and chimpanzee infants undergo with their caregivers when they develop a preference for a primary caregiver.

They are programmed to learn to adapt to the actions and mood of their human caregivers, and to become particularly attached to an individual who interacts with the robot in a way that is particularly suited to its personality profile and learning needs. The more they interact, and are given the appropriate feedback and level of engagement from the human caregiver, the stronger the bond developed and the amount learned.

The robots are capable of expressing anger, fear, sadness, happiness, excitement and pride and will demonstrate very visible distress if the caregiver fails to provide them comfort when confronted by a stressful situation that they cannot cope with or to interact with them when they need it.

You may be asking yourself, “But, why give robots the emotions that will allow them to destroy us?” Well, the team, headed by Dr. Lola Cañamero at the University of Hertfordshire and including a “consortium of universities and robotic companies across Europe,” developed the robots to be companions for diabetic kids in hospitals. Which is the sweetest reason we’ve ever heard for dooming the human race.

The prototype robots, are made from the Nao Robot body by European design firm Aldebaran Robots and are just under two feet tall, but don’t let that make you feel safe. After all, they’re programming to resent people just like kids and kids these days are nothing but hate. Let’s face it, every postapocalyptic robot story has robots coming to resent us like neglected kids…and we’ve finally made robots that can do that.

Get ready to be part of a burned out pile of skulls, people!

[University of Hertfordshire via Engadget]

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