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Robotics

How Robots Saved an Artist's Sanity 26

Posted by Soulskill
from the mend-all-humans dept.
New submitter lebijoutier writes "According to Slate, '[Patrick] Tresset, for one, discovered a novel way to stay mentally healthy with the help of drugs and still pursue what was once his life's work: He created robots that can draw portraits. Far from a mere novelty, his research is telling us more about both the creative process in humans and how we relate emotionally to machines. ... Most of us still don't have robots in the home, but for decades now, we've been waiting for machines to do our bidding. Tresset believes that it might be a good idea to imbue all personal robots with some sort of artistic skill to encourage an emotional bond — it might allow for more trust, perhaps, though you can also see how overly identifying with a machine might create some existential questions.' The article also has a fascinating video of five of his robots sketching a single human."
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How Robots Saved an Artist's Sanity

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  • Reminds me of Moravec's Paradox [wikipedia.org]
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Friday November 16, 2012 @12:48PM (#42002573) Homepage Journal

    "Who's this 'Skynet' artist who signs all these works we keep getting?"

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Friday November 16, 2012 @12:51PM (#42002621) Homepage Journal

    My favorite work from this is called "Hacked by Chinese", followed by "BSOD" in blue pen.

  • Slashdotter: "I only purchase works done in Linux."

  • doesn't compute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HPHatecraft (2748003) on Friday November 16, 2012 @01:11PM (#42002817)

    Tresset believes that it might be a good idea to imbue all personal robots with some sort of artistic skill to encourage an emotional bond

    That seems like putting the cart before the horse. How about creating a robot with voice capabilities that are similar to natural speech? Or something that doesn't look and act like the killer cowboy from "Westworld"?

    Any machine that can simulate possessing an emotional core creates sympathy/empathy. However, a Dreadnought [google.com] a la Iron Man baking me a cake or doing water color is still a freaking Dreadnought.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Tresset believes that it might be a good idea to imbue all personal robots with some sort of artistic skill to encourage an emotional bond

      That seems like putting the cart before the horse. How about creating a robot with voice capabilities that are similar to natural speech? Or something that doesn't look and act like the killer cowboy from "Westworld"?

      But that's just the kind of robot I want answering the door when Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and bill collectors knock.

    • Not just natural speech sound, but natural speech response. There's research that claims that speaking to and getting a live-sounding answer from a machine humanizes them even more than having a face, to the point where people will develop an attachment to the machine in question.

      It's hard to quantify, as all such things are in humans, but it appears that humans respond to three things best: facial expression, voice, and body language. The importance of these things is not what many people might think. W

  • ...and it will keep his interest and divert attention away from other things, even depressing thoughts.

    Of course, it could be taken too far...

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  • An emotional bond is just what Skynet wants! That's why it has been making terminator robots in the form of cute 22 year old girls!
  • by Beerdood (1451859) on Friday November 16, 2012 @01:27PM (#42003021)

    discovered a novel way to stay mentally healthy with the help of drugs

    • by Garridan (597129)
      With drugs, he can't work. If he can't work, he can't afford the sanity-making pills. So insane he goes. The robots keep him away from that precipice.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday November 16, 2012 @01:45PM (#42003209) Journal
    Michael Davenport lost both his hands and most of his lower arms, as well as some toes and part of one foot, when he was accidentally electrocuted as a thirteen year old. At some point he was inspired to pick up a permanent marker in his mouth and sketch that way; he draws Georgia Bulldogs (with permission from the university these days - who would deny a license to a dude with no arms?) and sells them to alumni, thus making a pretty decent living. I have one of his marker sketches in my kitchen. On dry days, you can find him in downtown Athens, marker in mouth, working on a canvas. He also does commissions and wall murals for alumni for their "Georgia rooms" - charging upwards of a thousand dollars for a large wall mural. (He can also do stuff besides red and black bulldogs - I once saw him do a commission for the Georgia Theater in full color.)

    As for TFA, seems like the guy has no creative urges when he's on meds. I'm glad he found a different way to express himself.
  • most of us do.

    Lets see:
    I have a machine that washes dishes.
    One to was cloths.
    One to Dry Clothes.
    I have on that tells me when someone one want to communicate
    I have on the organizes my messages,
    I have one the automatically turns on what I want to see
    Most people have a robot that record the shows they want to see.

    It's just a case they some people think robots are some far off thing, so when they show up in normal activity they get dismissed.

    • I even have robots that can draw portraits, too, when my digital camera and printer work in concert.

    • by _anomaly_ (127254)
      Um, you have a very loose definition of robots. Electronics programmed to do certain things under certain predefined conditions, without any need to adapt or handle conditions that are not predefined, are rarely considered robots.
  • " Tresset believes that it might be a good idea to imbue all personal robots with some sort of artistic skill to encourage an emotional bond"

    If he finds a way, I'm all for it. But his current robot is a webcam hooked to a photoshop filter and piped to a mechanical arm - technically very impressive, but not actually artistic in any useful sense of the word.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well that Van Gogh guy was just a bio-mechanical version of the same system you described (he saw with eyes, processed with a brain, and articulated the result of that processing with an arm).

      At this point I think we're just arguing over the nature of the "filters" applied in that middle step and which ones get to be called "art".

  • Anyone who has one or more please responds with data ;) to undermine that "not everybody has one"

    1.) robot mass 320kg
    2.) lifting capacitiy 15kg
    3.) manufacturer: Manutec
    4.) type: r15
    5.) axis: 6 axis - robotic arm type
    6.) built: around 1987

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