BY: STEFANIE AWRONSKI
The 20th and 21st centuries have been deemed the innovative technological centuries. From the invention of the World Wide Web to smartphones, the depths that technology has reached have been absolutely endless. Artificial Intelligence (AI), or simply put, robots have been around in thought since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Artificial Intelligence was formally founded in 1956, at a conference at Dartmouth College in the United States. Fast forward to the present and some new, exciting news seems to be on the forefront in the world of robots.
Robots in the not too distant future may be able to possess downloadable personalities, including those of dead people. Sounds spooky? This very possible development is thanks to internet juggernaut Google securing a patent for robot personality development. Finally someone to laugh at my jokes. But should we, the human race, be preparing for an eventual all out humans vs. robots war?
In the possible near future robots will be able to download personalities, including the personalities of the dead.
Last April, the news that Google had secured a patent for robot personality development flooded the news waves. It seemed to be a contender for the best April Fools’ joke ever, but no, as of this February the possibility of having a fully functional, wise cracking, sassy robot maid like Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons is much more attainable.
This new patent ascertains that a user of the robot would be able to download a personality in the same way that we would download an app for our smartphones. We could download our own personalities, perhaps a friend’s, or even more shockingly, one of a deceased individual.
Personalities could even become swappable between robots through the good ol’, reliable cloud. Even cooler or maybe spookier is that, “A robot may access a user device to determine or identify information about a user, and the robot may be configured to tailor a personality for interaction with the user based on identified information.” The robot may, “further receive data associated with the user through speech and facial recognition.”
You will be able to download personalities just like downloading an app, and the robot may tailor interactions to the user.
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy surmises, “It’s both creepy yet very usable. For elder care or a personal assistant, this could be big to the user, enabling sarcasm, humor and expressions. It all comes into play. I believe that when done right, a robot with a personality will make humans more comfortable with them.” Perhaps this is the angle that Google will employ to market their robots with. A customizable robotic caregiver or assistant could absolutely revolutionize the world as we know it. Think of an even more impressive, hard working, customizable robot than Pepper the Robot, or Google’s own Atlas. Who needs humans when we can program a robot to be our best friend and personal assistant? Will they be as cute as Pepper though?
Google seems to be super serious about being the leaders of developing the coolest robots around, as they currently have eight robotic companies under their belts. Boston Dynamics, who designed Atlas, are also designing robots for the U.S. military with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Are Terminator-style robotic soldiers a cool yet terrifying possibility? It is important to note that Google has not currently commented on the importance of their new robotic personality development patent. So when all of this will happen, is really anyone’s guess.
The development of a customizable robot can potentially revolutionize the world.
For as many researchers, scientists and regular folk like us that praise and are just plain as excited as a little kid in a candy store about the further developments of AI, there are those that are far more rational. World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, with the help of renowned physicists Max Tegmark and Frank Wilczek of MIT, and computer scientist Stuart Russell of the University of California, Berkeley surmised in an op-ed for the Huffington Post, “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”
The greatest achievements in life are never without risk.