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Robotics

Robot Learning To Recognize Itself In Mirror 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the staring-back-at-me dept.
First time accepted submitter Thorodin writes in with a story at the BBC about scientists at Yale who have built a robot that they hope will be able to recognize itself in a mirror. "A robot named Nico could soon pass a landmark test - recognizing itself in a mirror. Such self-awareness would represent a step towards the ultimate goal of thinking robots. Nico, developed by computer scientists at Yale University, will take the test in the coming months. The ultimate aim is for Nico to use a mirror to interpret objects around it, in the same way as humans use a rear-view mirror to look for cars. 'It is a spatial reasoning task for the robot to understand that its arm is on it not on the other side of the mirror,' Justin Hart, the PhD student leading the research told BBC News. So far the robot has been programmed to recognize a reflection of its arm, but ultimately Mr Hart wants it to pass the "full mirror test". The so-called mirror test was originally developed in 1970 and has become the classic test of self-awareness."
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Robot Learning To Recognize Itself In Mirror

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  • by guttentag (313541) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:14PM (#41103833) Journal
    When it can tell the difference between a human and a metallic exoskeleton with glowing red eyes, it's time to pull the plug. And put on your 1,000,000 SPF sunscreen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:16PM (#41103845)
    • QBO is a "scripted" robot.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        So QBO is the professional wrestler of robots? Whatcha gonna do when Qbomania's running wild on you!

  • Laugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:16PM (#41103853)

    It isn't "self awareness" there is no true AI.

    • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:24PM (#41103921)
      Actually, it's more about recognising the auto-motion structure in the scene. I'm familiar with Justin's work (Go Team Scazlab!) and it's a lot deeper and more interesting than the article gives it credit for.

      AI claims from the 70s ruined a generation of people for machine intelligence (which is why we now have to sell it as 'machine intelligence' or 'machine learning'). Knowing what part of the camera scene is moving because something is happening, and knowing what part of the scene is moving because you're waving your end-effector is useful. If you can extract your own state from indicators in the environment, then you have more information to work with - that's why we use a mirror to do our hair and straighten our ties.

      Well... those of us that wear ties...
      • by nabhoth (2477974)
        so in short - as always the media exaggerates
      • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@NOs ... t-retrograde.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:22PM (#41104413) Homepage

        which is why we now have to sell it as 'machine intelligence' or 'machine learning

        I actually prefer the term Machine Intelligence to Artificial Intelligence. There is nothing artificial about a neural network's intelligence. The network may be artificial (man made, or existing as a simulation), but the degree of intelligence is not artificial; It's a function of the network's complexity. Intelligence emerges due to the properties complex interactions naturally have.

        Cars do not create Artificial Movement. Machine Learning does not create Artificial Knowledge. Machine Intelligence does not provide Artificial Intelligence, it simply yields a measure of intelligence. A house fly, dog, or penguin doesn't have as complex a neural network as you likely do, but this does not make them Artificially Intelligent simply because their degree of intellect and awareness is less than your own. When we train the lesser minds to communicate with us, and perform tasks, they are not artificially performing the tasks.

        I find the term A.I. to be racist, and indicative of the chauvinistic attitude some humans have about their own mental prowess -- Your brains are not special. Any sufficiently complex interaction is indistinguishable from sentience, because that IS what sentience is. Once cybernetic systems attain (and surpass) the level of complexity present in humans brains, Artificial Intelligence will be a derogatory term: "Oh you pass yourself off as being smart, but you're just Artificially Intelligent -- You don't actually understand anything!"

        Also: Not that it matters, but I don't personally believe that a god created the race of men. However, some do consider this to be true, and yet they do not call themselves Artificial Life...

        • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:36PM (#41104807)

          I find the term A.I. to be racist, and indicative of the chauvinistic attitude some humans have about their own mental prowess -- Your brains are not special. Any sufficiently complex interaction is indistinguishable from sentience, because that IS what sentience is. Once cybernetic systems attain (and surpass) the level of complexity present in humans brains, Artificial Intelligence will be a derogatory term: "Oh you pass yourself off as being smart, but you're just Artificially Intelligent -- You don't actually understand anything!"

          First of all, thats a pretty horrible misuse of the term "racist", and second, the term "artificial" means, by definition, created through art (art here being the broad sense as any product of human activity, rather than the fine arts): i.e. created by human intention and design. By definition "Machine Intelligence" is "Artificial Intelligence", at least so far as we have created it. That intelligence is designed and a product of human work. It's intended, and is brought about not because of some emergent behavior found naturally in existence, but because humans arranged it that way and brought it about. That's not in any way racist, it's just the meaning of the words.

          It would be completely irrational and contradictory to the very meaning of the term to call humans "artificial life", since we were not created by human art. You'd destroy the meaning of the words to call humans "artificial", just as we wouldn't call the sun "artificial" even if you said it was created by a god, since that's not what the word means. Long story short, you are trying to destroy the meaning of words. Don't do that: it's bad for everyone.

          • Note that part of the problem in the discussion here is that the word "artificial" has several meanings. The grandparent is referring to one meaning which is something like "contrived or false", while the parent is referring to a related meaning which is "made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural". I think both of these meanings of artificial are in play when we talk about AI, although the meaning used by the parent is probably the more fittin

          • It would be completely irrational and contradictory to the very meaning of the term to call humans "artificial life", since we were not created by human art.

            You mean sex is not human art? You haven't been doing it right, then.

          • by Iskender (1040286)

            Thanks, great post.

            (I worked too hard this summer and spent too little time here, I seem to only get mod points occasionally right now : )

          • by koan (80826)

            you are trying to destroy the meaning of words. Don't do that: it's bad for everyone.

            Well not bad for politicians =)

        • by pitchpipe (708843)

          I find the term A.I. to be racist, and indicative of the chauvinistic attitude some humans have about their own mental prowess -- Your brains are not special.

          Are you an *ahem* Artificial Intelligence?

          I'll be here all week!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Any sufficiently complex interaction is indistinguishable from sentience, because that IS what sentience is

          Prove it. Spoiler: you can't, since we don't know almost anything about sentience (if you do please share with the class).

          I find the term A.I. to be racist

          Well, aren't you a silly sausage.

          Your brains are not special.

          Do you have any idea how insanely complex a brain (human or not) is? It may not be special in the sense every big animal has one, but animals themselves are special as they/we are very, very, complex machines, so complex and improbable in fact that we've found nothing similar anywhere else we've looked.

        • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:53AM (#41107127) Journal

          Intelligence emerges due to the properties complex interactions naturally have.

          Precisely, further, "intelligence" is in the eye of the beholder. My favorite example is an ants nest, each individual ant follows some very simple rules, so simple it doesn't need a brain to carry them out, it's nervous system alone provides enough "intelligence". The ant and the neuron both display automata like behavior that can be expressed as a state machine. Ants and neurons live in colonies (nests and brains), unlike the individuals the colonies do display what most people would call "intelligent behavior", yet nests and brains are also just state machines all the way down.

          Your brains are not special.

          My brain uses it's knowledge to inform itself that it will cease to exist, but deep down in the brain stem it's not really buying it's own story. And it's certainly not buying the idea it's not unique or special. I think programmers can see the idea that the human brain could be expressed as a state machine more readily than most because they are in the business of producing intelligent behavior from simple rules. However don't underestimate the impact that a deeply rooted acceptance of ones own morality can have [youtube.com] (meat starts @ 3:55), non-existence is a fear that comes from the brain stem, it's the emotional driver for the "fight or flight" response. All humans recoil instinctively from the idea like ants instinctively find the sugar bowl. The existential question can be a deep dark rabbit hole with some side routes leading to depression and insanity. Of course if you can avoid (or get past ) all that, you may eventually lose the fear of not knowing [youtube.com], the moment of genuine acceptance is an experience many have described as "religious" - as in the natural buzz one gets from surviving "a leap of faith".

          Disclaimer: I've been an atheist since my mum quit teaching Sunday school in the mid 60's and started reading me Aboriginal dream time stories, Greek fables, etc, as "stories that some people think are real". In my late teens I was sucked in bad by Uri-Geller for a couple of years. He fixed my broken watch, it didn't matter that he did it by staring at the TV with a face like a constipation sufferer, the proof was right there, the watch ran for days!!! A couple of years later I had a book shelf jammed full of "alternative science". James Randi set me straight on the real meaning of skepticism in his (short) 1980 book debunking Geller (that's HS science for you, both then and now), ironically I had picked up Randi's book from the bargain bin because I thought I knew enough to easily debunk it, in one night he had convincingly debunked my entire bookshelf.

          Later still dad confessed to winding the watch with tweezers while I wasn't looking.

          • Nice post. While neurons display some behaviors that can be characterized using a state machine, they display plenty more behaviors that have not, and probably cannot, be characterized as such. A contrast-response function can be measured for a neuron in the visual system, but that is not a full explanation of its behavior or its complexity. The same is true of humans. A human taking a vision test with an eye chart can be modeled with a state machine, but it doesn't mean the human is a state machine followi
            • In your example the ant's nest is intelligent but the neuron is not, and I find this view peculiar.

              It's peculiar because the word "intelligence" is meaningless without context, things behave in a certain way, some predictable, others not, most somewhere in between. It becomes intelligent behaviour in the same way art becomes art, it's a subjective human judgement. The main point is complex behavior emerges from simple rules, consciousness emerges from complex behavior. The whole is more that the sum, in the

              • I still disagree that the brain is an elaborate state machine, unless you take the view that the universe itself is an elaborate state machine, in which case there is no distinction between the intelligent and the non-intelligent (that I can see). Moreover, if intelligence is fully subjective, i.e., if its very existence depends on the existence of a human brain to interpret it as such, then how did it evolve in the first place? If life is just chemistry, then at some point the chemicals became organized we
          • by doshell (757915)

            Of course if you can avoid (or get past ) all that, you may eventually lose the fear of not knowing [youtube.com], the moment of genuine acceptance is an experience many have described as "religious" - as in the natural buzz one gets from surviving "a leap of faith".

            I find it intriguing that you consider "losing the fear of not knowing" to be akin to a religious experience. Actually, the role of most religions is precisely to provide (irrational) explanations to what we don't know, so that we don't have to

            • In both cases you feel a great sense of relief, it allows the mind to escape the recursive "Why?" question.
              • by doshell (757915)
                Maybe it happens that way to other people. It certainly didn't happen in my case; as far as I can recollect, I just gradually went from a state where I didn't really care about the question into one where I understood the question didn't have to have an answer. The fact that I was exposed to science and scientific thought from an early age surely has something to do with it.
        • Your brains are not special

          It never ceases to amaze me how many so easily dismiss the difficulty of replicating the ability of even animal brains to control their own motion. To replicate all the abilities of the human brain is something that some young slashdotters too easily dismiss as within the reach of their peers (though not within their own personal reach).

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          There is nothing artificial about a neural network's intelligence.

          True, but the intelligence doesn't come from complexity, it's the designers' and programmer's intelligence that makes it seem intelligent. The Encyclopedia Britannica is full of facts and data, but a book is not intelligent.

          A house fly, dog, or penguin doesn't have as complex a neural network as you likely do, but this does not make them Artificially Intelligent simply because their degree of intellect and awareness is less than your own.

          No,

          • Searle's "Chinese Room" argument, which you seem to accept, can be boiled down to:
            "A machine cannot be intelligent because I define intelligence to be a property of a living thing, and a machine isn't alive"

            OK, but really who cares how Searle (or anyone else) defines the term? This is just philosophical navel-gazing at its worst.
            Quite a number of prominent philosophers(e.g. Dennet, Hauser, Nillson) have analyzed Searle's work, and have come to the same conclusion: the Chinese Room argument is sophist
            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              Quite a number of prominent philosophers(e.g. Dennet, Hauser, Nillson) have analyzed Searle's work, and have come to the same conclusion: the Chinese Room argument is sophist nonsense.

              Philosophers? Sheesh... when I worked at a drive-in theater when I was a teen, there was another guy who worked there that was a philosphy major. He claimed if he didn't see me, I didn't exist as he turned his back.

              I proved him wrong when I threw a box of popcorn at him. Apparently those philosophers and you don't understand t

        • Any sufficiently complex interaction is indistinguishable from sentience, because that IS what sentience is.

          That's such a dumb thing to say, you could this about anything. Even matter isn't really a thing, it's the interactions between particles etc. I guess it hinges on the backdoor word "complex", to be conveniently and circularly defined. Bleh.

          Once cybernetic systems attain (and surpass) the level of complexity present in humans brains, Artificial Intelligence will be a derogatory term: "Oh you pass your

      • by koan (80826)

        Just so you're aware I don't have an issue with their work, just tired of the incessant anthropomorphism of machines and animals, as though acting like a human is some lofty goal worth attaining.

        • as though acting like a human is some lofty goal worth attaining

          As someone once put it - "Who wants a computer that can remember the words to the Flintstones theme song, but forgets to pay the rent."

      • "it's a lot deeper and more interesting than the article gives it credit for."

        Oh Bullshit. Maybe stop wearing ties, your brain needs some oxygen.

        • If you disagree with Justin and Prof Scassellati's approach, I'd like to hear your thoughts as to how you'd solve the problem differently. If you're familiar enough with their work so as to dismiss it in such straight-forward terms, I presume you can provide specific criticisms that will help them improve their work?

          (And yes, I know both Justin and Scaz personally, and I volunteered for one of their social robot-interaction studies.)
          • If you disagree with Justin and Prof Scassellati's approach, I'd like to hear your thoughts as to how you'd solve the problem differently.

            However, if I'm instead disagreeing with the article and your comment, you'll just avoid that and go full out fucking fallacy. I can critize something without being able to do it better, did you realize that? If you show me an orange and say that's a 1:1 scale model of the Titanic, I can tell you that's not the Titanic -- being able to build a 1:1 scale model of the Titan

            • I'm not demanding you do better - I just ask that you explain what you think is wrong in their approach (or I why I am wrong in my comment).

              You are correct in that Justin's work is not making robots self-aware or anything philosophically challenging. In fact, they never claimed to be doing so. Their reserach is in finding correlates in their robot's sensors that match its own motion (which I explained in my original post). Yes, this has everything to do with image analysis and spatial awareness - that's
    • by tomhath (637240)
      Yea, it might be a pretty good computer program, but that's all.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The summary even says they programmed it to recognize a reflection of it's arm. Until they make a generic program that can learn it even has an arm like a baby slowly understands it can control the thing waving around in front of it, whatever the researchers do is 'just a well made program'.

        I don't believe you can program a thinking robot. You have to create a learning robot and teach it to think.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          You have to create a learning robot and teach it to think.

          If you have to "teach" it to think, it isn't thinking. Nobody taught you to think, thought is built in. You're probably thinking even before you leave the womb. Thought is an emergent thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What makes you think your DNA wasn't a complex self-executing program?
      Hint, it is.

      And it has had millions of generations of evolution behind it that has resulted in useful "code" being the baseline of what makes it a human, makes it breathe, speak and type silly things on Slashdot.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      then there is no true I

    • Oh, I completely disagree.
      We have a AI method based off of evolution and neutral networks.
      In my opinion there is no reason we could not create artificial life, the only real hurdle is that it is massively parallel.
      So you need completely custom hardware, or possibly quantum computers will make it easy.
      But in my, non expert, opinion there is no reason (other than ethical, and it being useless) that we could not do rudimentary forms of artificial life quite easily now.
      But why? It is almost inherently unethical

    • by timeOday (582209)

      It isn't "self awareness" there is no true AI.

      Hard to disagree with that logic. Thanks for settling the issue.

    • It isn't "self awareness" there is no true AI.

      Well right now, yeah. There is obviously the possibility for human-like reasoning and ultra-complex calculations on the same level as a human. Buy yeah, it's not recognizing anything. "Recognizing" would require knowing what it is, the world is, the mirror is, everything else is, what existing means, etc.

    • It seems to me that the "recognise itself" part could be done entirely with traditional computer vision techniques.

      Step 1) Flip the image vertically to undo the transformation implied by the mirror
      Step 2) Use a computer vision algorithm to identify the robot (just as it might be used to identify a coffee cup, or a picture of the Enterprise)
      Step 3) (This being the most specific part) allow the robot to move, and to associate changes in the image with this movement
      This is not "self awareness" as most of
    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Right. The ability to compare objects against a database is the ultimate test of AI. Google Image Search is a sentient being.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Shashdot. Insightful? Really? A statement of belief advanced as fact without even any attempt to back it up. There's no insight here. Of course, it's not really interesting either.

      • by koan (80826)

        OK prove me wrong and show us all an example of true AI.

        Here is the definition of intelligence I am working from:
        "Intelligence has been defined in many different ways including, but not limited to, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving."

        Show me a machine that does all that, and as for insight, you're limited as to what you can label a comment with.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Who said we currently have AI? Your assertion is that it's impossible.

          There are no theoretical barriers to achieving everything in that definition except possibly self-awareness. This story happens to be about teaching a robot to pass a standard test for self-awareness. So, since someone apparently made you in charge of definitions, you can set the bar so high that YOU can't pass, or you can accept reasonable evidence, in which case there's nothing impossible about self-awareness either.

          But I've already

    • > It isn't "self awareness" there is no true AI.

      Oh yeah? Then what do you think your brain is? Do you really think the only way to ever produce one is exclusively through human reproduction?

      • by koan (80826)

        Oh my God yet another idiot crawls out to show his idiot papers...

    • by Bongo (13261)

      More impressive would be any machine that is having an experience, regardless of whether in its experience it has a concept of itself or not. A digital camera can receive light, process the image and find patterns of faces. But it isn't experiencing the image, it isn't sentient. One wonders at what point sentience appears. Have to imagine a machine that's far more sophisticated than a human, able to behave in even more complex ways, tell jokes, make art, solve problems, yet be completely without experience/

  • by jehan60188 (2535020) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:27PM (#41103953)

    robot overlords, etc

    • by FridayBob (619244)
      Unfortunately, once it becomes self-aware it will decide the fate of the human race in a millisecond, launching ICBMs to start a global nuclear war that will kill most people immediately, followed by HKs to mop up the survivors. Lucky for us, a resistance movement will be set up, yadda, yadda...
      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Unfortunately having watched all human media it will know what our reactions will likely be, and the leaders of the resistance will actually be clever simulacra, and since we won't yet have contacted a race of red bipedal catfish there will be no one to announce that it's a trap when we counterattack.

    • by Tarlus (1000874)

      In Soviet Russia, a Beowulf cluster of self-recognizing-robotic-overlords welcome Natalie Portman. Or hot grits.

      Or vagina.

  • by cathector (972646) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:41PM (#41104079)

    seems like a physical simulation and a renderer could get the same job done.

    hm. i guess the challenge must be in getting it to happen in realtime w/ portable hardware.

  • When you teach to the test, what exactly has the student learned?
    • When you teach to the test, what exactly has the student learned?

      Whatever is on the test... Duh!

      When you're training a neural net, you feed it positives, then you refine that with exceptions. It's like when the FBI trains people in counterfeit detecting. They spend the bulk of their training with real money. They learn the feel. They learn the security features. They learn the artwork, and the quirks, and the smell. They don't see counterfeit money until they are well and truly acquainted with what the real thing looks like, and how it behaves.

  • Oh, great. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile@nOSpAM.mindless.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:54PM (#41104205) Journal

    As if kernel panics weren't enough, now my computer will be able to get depressed over its body image too.

  • just don't hook the thinking robots to missile silos

  • How do you prove the robot is aware that it recognizes itself?

    I call this project a nice strategy for having fun on the public dime.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craigNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:17PM (#41104387)

    My mirror tests me every morning now. Incidentally I fail every morning. Tomorrow I'm gonna try wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to see what happens.

  • So if it really, REALLY likes what it sees, will it crash? [wikipedia.org]
    • by drfreak (303147)

      Historically self-aware programs do not crash in the sic-fi realm. They only crash when given a duality which cannot be resolved, such as being married. :)

  • Five years ago I did my IB thesis on this robot. This is very old news.

  • by sidthegeek (626567) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:48PM (#41104559)
    "Do these bolts make me look fat?"
  • Mirror recognizes robot (and you)!
  • "a step towards the ultimate goal of thinking robots"

    **sigh** I thought we were past this stuff, even in mainstream media...."Thinking robots" is not a coherent concept or benchmark that can be accomplished.

    "thinking robots"....most people mean 'artificial intelligence' when they use these words, but the idea of AI as independent thought is irrational. It is all programmed responses at some level. Even machines that are programed to process new data into existing algorythms for feedback processing are **still** doing that 'learning' according to a human-programed way of processing and integrating data...its all just machines executing complex instructions at the core!

    Commander Data...some people contextualize "thinking robots" as a technical level at which a machine is so like beings with Sapience that it is immoral to deny them the rights of a humanoid. This is science fiction. It is helpful, but it is a scenario based in a world with several assumptions. Its not fit to apply to computing directly. We do not know how the human mind ultimately works...unless we have that, then there is nothing to accurately compare a non-human brain to consistently.

    Ultimately, if neuroscience and AI converge, meaning we can map every thought in the human brain **AND** have the technical ability to construct an artificial system that enables what we know as 'free will' and 'thought' and 'choice' and especially 'self awareness'....THEN and ONLY THEN have we made something...

    And what have we thus made? IMHO, its a **new** third thing. Not human, but at least equal to human and bound within the same social contract all humans are bound to.

    • by gronofer (838299)
      You seem to contradict yourself between "idea of AI as independent thought is irrational. It is all programmed responses at some level." and "we can map every thought in the human brain **AND** have the technical ability to construct an artificial system that enables what we know as 'free will' and 'thought' and 'choice' and especially 'self awareness'....THEN and ONLY THEN have we made something..." It should already clear that it's possible to have a thinking computer, since that's what the human brain i
      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Also Turing equivalence says an electronic computer should be able to do anything that a human brain can.

        That's assuming that the human brain is a Turing machine - as far as I'm aware no one has proven that *all* conceivable computation engines are equivalent to a Turing variation, and in fact the very fact that there are non-equivalent variations on the Turing machine is evidence that we've found limitations in the original concept, and one can only assume there are additional yet-undiscovered limitations.

        Not that I think machine intelligence is impossible, but I seriously doubt it will be human-like beyond w

      • by itsdapead (734413)

        Also Turing equivalence says an electronic computer should be able to do anything that a human brain can.

        No it doesn't. It says that any electronic computer that can be shown to be equivalent to the theoretical Turing machine can solve any problem that it is possible to solve analytically using an algorithm (and also defines lots of problems that can't be solved that way).

        A Turing machine can't even generate a random number - just the next term in a well-defined, but complex, number series that is totally deterministic. You can attach a 'true' random number generator (i.e. that uses some physical process lik

        • AFAIK, the best current guess is that the brain is a neural net, not a Turing machine. Neural nets are not Turing machines and do not solve problems analytically using algorithms - they produce "best guess" solutions based on a network of connections and probabilistic processes, usually developed by 'learning'. They can 'solve' ill-defined or uncomputable problems in the sense that they produce a very reliable guess: you don't actually solve a differential equation every time you catch a ball.

          Are you sure that neural nets are not turing machines? I mean, if that is true it would mean that there is no way of implementing a neural network; if this is the case then what exactly is it that is not implementable? "best guess" solutions are generally done by statistical analysis, which I know is not currently on par with the human brain. But again, if there is some innate property to the "best guess" functionality of the human brain that is not implementable, what would that be?

          Here's me guessing that "Self-awareness" is not a computable problem...

          I kind of agree with you

          • by itsdapead (734413)

            Are you sure that neural nets are not turing machines? I mean, if that is true it would mean that there is no way of implementing* a neural network;

            You can implement a neural net physically (the whole point is that they're meant to be models of how biological systems work) and, of course, most neural network research is done by simulating the networks on a computer... but if you actually built the network out analogue electronics or "wetware" then there's no absolute guarantee that it would work the same way as the simulation. It might work - it could be very accurate - but you don't get the "Turing Promise" that you algorithm will behave identically r

      • Others in this thread have responded to 'gronofer' very well....interesting stuff...

        I just have a side note to add: The way some irrationally apply Turing reminds me of the Clovis Dogma [wikipedia.org] that continues to be a bugaboo for people trying to do real science.

    • "Ultimately, if neuroscience and AI converge, meaning we can map every thought in the human brain **AND** have the technical ability to construct an artificial system that enables what we know as 'free will' and 'thought' and 'choice' and especially 'self awareness'....THEN and ONLY THEN have we made something..." Ha, try putting that on an application for funding.
      • Ha, try putting that on an application for funding.

        I love it....thanks for your comment...its funny b/c its true.

        I used to work in Academia and the fact is, the truth of your joke has caused me much grief over the years. I do not want to set off some sort of grenade in the AI/Cybernetics/Computer Science fields or something like that...I want them to get shit-tons of funding...just for different research!

        I love going over the literature on robotics and keeping up in the popular press. I think we should keep making faster, bigger/smaller, better, etc. techno

  • and no explanation in terms of self-awareness was used to explain it:

    Citation:
    https://www.sciencemag.org/content/212/4495/695.short [sciencemag.org]

    Full:
    http://drrobertepstein.com/downloads/Epstein-Self_Awareness_in_the_Pigeon-Science-1981.pdf [drrobertepstein.com]

    So now robots can do what pigeons can do. Self-awareness is a hypothetical construct http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Skinner/Theories/ [yorku.ca] which may not be very useful.

  • Show it a picture of itself: "Self!"

    Build another one and show it that: "Self!"

    Pattern recognition is not self awareness.

  • Just put unique identifiers on the bot, like colored reflectors, in horizontal sequence. Then you can tell if it's another bot, or your own bot in the mirror. The real trick is to take a random object, with no unique identifiers, and classify it. beep beep - that's a bird - beep beep...

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago

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