Robots Show Self Awareness, Pass Wise-men Puzzle


Artificial intelligence is the future. While geniuses like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk including many other theorists suggest humans to be wary of the robots, some like Linux creator Linus Torvalds rebukes the thought.

In an experiment to test the self-awareness in robotics, a trio of Nao robots was subjected to the modern version of the classic “wise men puzzle.” These robots are unlike the giant warrior bots KURATAS and MEGABOT from Japan and America respectively, which will soon meet on the battleground, but the wise thinking robots that understand what is happening around them.

The “wise men puzzle” is an ingenious test for self-awareness, and goes like this: A king is in search for a new wise man in his counsel. So, he put up three of the wisest men for a test to decide. He places a hat on each one’s head from behind and tells them the hat is either blue or white and the contest is being fairly held. The first man to correctly tell the color of his hat would be declared the winner. Now, it should be noted that the contest could be fairly held only if all the hats were similar. So, the person to deduce that first and tell his hat’s color by seeing the other two would be the wisest.

Similar, but an improvised version of the test was held by the scientists for their humanoid robots. The bots were made to “believe” that the two of them were given “dumbing pill” (they were actually muted pressing a button on their head) so they wouldn’t speak. The robots were then asked to deduce which one amongst them has not been given the dumbing pill. All three robots tried to respond with “I don’t know” but only one could say out loud and it did. As soon as it heard itself speak, it immediately changed the answer to “Sorry, I Know Now.”

Check out the video:

The experiment by the team of researchers was led by Selmer Bringsjord and demonstrated at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York to the media. The team will further present their robots and study on AI at the IEEE Ro-MAN 2015 convention in Japan from Aug 31 to Sep 4.

This is a great achievement for the researchers’ team. Remember a few days back when Google’s Chatbot was asked about Morality.

This little experiment have showed that robots are capable of conscience behavior and self-awareness. It may not be long that we get to see fully aware robots in our workplace.

Wait, does that mean there will be an uprising?

Also Read: Nature Inspired Robotic Materials Developed That Can Think

Source: RAIR

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Aashish Sharma

Aashish Sharma

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