Well, the concept could make quite a sci-fi episode, but bioengineers in the US are developing a ‘psychic robot’ for real. The engineers have created a robot that based on our past activity could predict our future pursuits. The algorithm would foretell by looking into our actions even if they are interrupted.
Now, this might not the technical definition of a being psychic, the ability to read minds, but it definitely falls in the category of a prognosticator, predictions based on the current events. This sounds really good if the person is a weather reporter, but for a robot to be able to do that; it is bound to make people uncomfortable.
To test the state of the art technology, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago took a scenario where a person reaching to grab something on his desk would get obstructed. We all could make out of the motion but can a robot do that? Well, reportedly yes, as published in the study. The software was able to analyze the movement and figured the subject’s intent!
But, everything is not scary about the technology. This algorithm of predicting intent could be a life savour when you are on the roads. As Justin Horowitz, a research assistant explains, “If we hit a patch of ice and the car starts swerving, we want the car to know where we meant to go. It needs to correct the car’s course not to where I am now pointed, but where I meant to go.”
This could be applied to healthcare as well. For a stroke patient, for example, the technology could help the person when his own body corrupts its actions due to spasms or tremors.
So, the scientists and engineers actually work for the benefit of the humanity (well, most of the time), but the development should be monitored as the last thing humans would want is the slaves becoming the masters.
Now, it would take some more time by to make something that could read human minds, but with the unprecedented pace of developments in Artificial Intelligence, it should not be very far.
And as for regular people like us, the ‘psychic robot’ could be the best tech for guys- helping you to predict your girlfriend’s intentions, duh!
What would you do if you had a psychic robot? Tell us in comments below.