Tufts University Develops Robots That Can Learn How To Trust

25 November 2015, 5:22 pm EST By J.E. Reich Tech Times
Have any of Blade Runner's predictions come true?
Researchers at Tufts University are developing robots that can defy orders, depending on the perceived level of authority of the person giving the command, or it it puts the robot in a dangerous situation — which, in a way, helps it to develop a sense of trust.  ( Tufts University )

Researchers at Tufts University's Human-Robot Interaction Lab are programming robots that would give sci-fi author Dr. Isaac Asimov a bit of concern, according to his fictive Three Laws of Robotics: the Tufts engineers are "teaching" their robots the ability to say "no," or at least how to question what they are ordered to do, based on a certain list of criteria that they have been wired to consider before following a command.

The bipedal bots, which move with the eerily-precise mannerisms of a full-grown human being, use felicity conditions (i.e., the conditions that make a directee follow an order) to determine which commands are optimal for the robot to follow, as reported by the IEEE Spectrum:

  1. Knowledge: Do I know how to do X?
  2. Capacity: Am I physically able to do X now? Am I normally physically able to do X?
  3. Goal priority and timing: Am I able to do X right now?
  4. Social role and obligation: Am I obligated based on my social role to do X?
  5. Normative permissibility: Does it violate any normative principle to do X?

While it wouldn't be completely accurate to say that these robots have anything close to free will — at least how humans define it — they can supposedly use the latter felicity conditions to assess whether they will follow a given order, namely if the commander has the authority to have a directive carried out, and whether it will put the robot in any danger. So, while the bot might not have any sentience in a way that is entirely understandable to the average layman, it can develop, in a way, a level of trust — a very human characteristic, indeed.

Check out the rabble-rousing robots in the videos below.



Via: The Next Web

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