Robot Can Think and Learn, Act On Its Own

Someone needs to get on the horn to the Governator and let him know that Skynet is about to take over the world.  A new robot comes as close as exhibiting the traits as that evil program as any that have been seen

Over the course of the last six months we have certainly seen robots advance in ways that have seen them develop more humanistic behaviors and attributes such as the robot that actually has a sense of touch and the robot that actually likes to hug. Now there is a robot that surpasses those two in a way that is both really cool and quite a bit terrifying.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology has actually put together a robot that can not only use sensory input such as looking around, hearing and touching but it can actually problem solve and think and learn all by itself.  The researchers who put the robot together recently demonstrated what the robot could do by having it carry out what would be a pretty simple task for us, but one that illustrates a pretty big leap forward for robot kind.

While most robots can carry out tasks only if every step of the task is laid out step by step, the SOINN (Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network) robot is simply told what is expected of it and then the robot figures out a way to do it.  In this demonstration the robot was asked to give its “master” a cold glass of water.  Since the robot was holding a pitcher of room temperature water in one hand and a glass in the other, it knew it couldn’t get cold water unless it put down one or the other in order to get the ice.  It then figures out that putting the ice in the glass of water will allow it to complete its task.

Even better (or worse for humans and their continued existence) is that not only do the robots learn from actions and tasks they carry out themselves, but they can also learn things from other robots and from jacking into the internet.  It’s that last part that scares me the most.