Cognitive Artifact

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 11, 2008 by lizjac

A good example of a cognitive artifact that I use regularly and has been increasinly popular are GPS navigation units. You use it by entering your destination, and it will provide you with a map and directions on how to get there. It will read the directions out loud as you drive and reach the appropriate places to change direction. Also, if you want to remember how to get some place that you already are, you just need to only press a button to “save the location.” It stores the location in its memory, so the next time you want to go to that place, all you need to do is find it in your directory of saved locations, and it will tell you how to get to that place.

This is a cognitive artifact, and not just a tool, because it supplements your memory and sense of direction by 1) remembering where all of your “saved locations” are located, 2) figuring out for you how to get there, and the best routes as well as alternative routes, and 3) telling you where you are if you are lost. Many people often internalize these functions. You do not NEED a GPS unit in order to get around or go on trips. Many people themselves after being a place once can remember where it is and how to get there. However, this is useful for people with bad senses of direction, or people about to go on trips to places they’ve never been. The combination of being able to “save locations” to reference in the future, and its direction giving capabilities aids cognition and can give many drivers confidence that they might not had previously had on the road. It could be disadvantageous in the fact that some drivers might get too dependent on a GPS. They might not feel as confident without one, and if theirs breaks or they are forced to drive without one, they may have increased anxieties about driving.

Thoughts on Love Machines

Posted in Weekly Assignments on May 4, 2008 by crodan2

I found Love Machines to be an entertaining, as well as thought provoking piece on the subject of future human sexuality. I thought some of the most interesting comments were based on the perceptions of current human sexuality, such as the “outsourcing of sex” (namely the fact that there are fewer people than ever having sex who are being watched by a much larger number – something you might not normally think of, but is interesting to contemplate). I also thought that Daniel Dennet’s statement that “a robot is in a better position to report its own mental states than researchers with mounds of data” was profound, even if it was not the first time this claim has been made. Nevertheless it was the first time I heard it, and professor Asaro’s response to my challenge about it after the film has got me re-thinking about robots and the problem of other minds – I must say I agree with Dennet now, but do so reluctantly because I think that a robot reporting about its own mental state is not evidence enough of actual thinking (ex. Smarter Child, ALICE).

One other philosophical statement I found interesting was made by Moravec later in the film – essentially that there is no difference between geniuenly loving robots and robots programmed to love because robots will be geniuenly programmed! He goes on by saying that after all, humans are programmed to love! (and that the evolutionary logic might be different but the kind that were used to [love] is manufactured to meet a survivial need, which may be similar for robots). I have no response to this statement because I have not yet finished processing the thought!

Oh yeah, the latino character with the fancy glove added a nice bit of comic relief, as well as the inventor who mounted his own sex machine for demonstration (which was not only hilarious, but gave the audience a hint of how sad it would be for a human to engage with a machine to fufill its sexual needs, as opposed to an organic option such as finding a mate).

Moral Robot soldiers: A daring possibility

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2008 by aayoubi

Should robot soldiers be given the ability to detect emotion?

Should robot solders have emotions of their own?

What is the major difference between human soldiers and robots?

            Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

            Humans have to live with what they’ve done

            Robots’ memories can be erased, won’t affect their judgment anyway

Can we even program robots to feel other peoples’ emotions?

            We often find it difficult to feel what others are feeling so how do we program robots to sense other peoples’ anger, fear or surrender and tell it apart from a fake if humans are at times wrong at their guesses.

Love Machine

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2008 by jeisemann

The best part about Love Machine was the mix of characters being interviewed.  The guy speaking with Mr. Asaro at the end (I forget his name) made the distinctions clear: the philosophers, the artists, the moralists, and the sexologists.  The documentary did a great job of pitting opposing views against one another without having the monsignor meet the artist with the claw fetish, or the proper older women meeting the two aging swingers-turned-inventors.

I think Love Machine serves as a frame through which to view the question of whether robots will ever love or be loved.  There is a lot of hypotheticals and speculation, but Love Robot focussed on the parts of robot love that are currently tangible topics: sexual pleasure and aesthetics.  

Through this frame, it seems unlikely that a robot will ever be able to love.  Kismet reacts only the way it has been programmed to.  It is not appropriate to replace the word programmed with trained, even in quotes.  “Training” implies actual inference and learning, which Kismet (as I understand it) is not capable of.

I do see potential in the possibility of misinformed people loving robots in the near future.  With a realistic cover and full mobility, Kismet could easily evoke affection a person ignorant to its insides.  If you told me the woman interviewed about Kismet was in love with it, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2008 by bdchu

Love Machine was a good film that showcased a lot of opinions on robots and love. I feel personally what we know about emotions and love are not set in stone. They are still up in the air topics which make the topic of robots taboo. Until we can have some universal view on these topics robot love will always be divided. I feel like part of what made love machine so great was that it was part satirical. It focused on so many characters that definitely do not seem inclined to be speaking on behalf of love, but maybe thats the point. The people thinking about these topics of robot love are only those inetrested. And though qualified to talk about robots they are unqualified to talk about love in some cases. This shoudl be a signal that more then the select few interested should be thinking about this. The whole world will use robots soon. The whole world should be thinking about robot love. I think robot love may be a good thing. Humans have so many bad qualities that are built into them from society. Robots may be programmed witha bigger picture and judge better for themselves.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2008 by pdennis

Love machine was a very interesting movie. It didn’t do much to address what I consider to be the root questions. This is acceptable, however, because I have no idea how a documentary could effectively address questions such as ‘What is love?’, etc.

I think that the question of weather or not robots will ever to be genuinely able to experience love depends on several things. First of all, it depends on your definition of love. There are many ways to explain love that would imply that the emotion is limited to humans, and is the direct result of the evolutionary path that humans have followed. A more open definition of love could be: An individual P is experiencing love with Q when P’s has more concern for then the wellbeing of Q than for P’s own wellbeing. This definition could easily include robots.

Love Machine

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2008 by wkoller

I the interplay of the various philosophers, sexologists, writers, a religous figure’s points of view to be a very interesting way to explore the idea of “love machines”. While in the beginning of the film the focus was simpler, I believe starting with the sexologist’s views on human sexuality, this ultimately expanded by the end of the movie with the question of a machine that can love. The philosopher from Tufts had an interesting point that he believed a (very foolish) person someday will in fact fall in love with a robot, but this love could not be reciprocated.

After watching this movie I started to talk about it with my girlfriend. I asked how can a person know love? Her response was that she knew that she loved me, but then I asked how she could know that I loved her. Ultimately I think there is no real way to truly know if love outside myself (or herself) is reciprocated, and that ultimately what matter’s is that I truly believe that it is. In reference to a machine, while I do not think they will ever be able to really love naturally and spontaneously, I think a person could in fact believe that they are in love with a machine and that it is reciprocated. If that is all we have to go on to prove love (our own point of view) then who is to say that a machine and person are not in love.

Whether or not this love is real likely would not matter to whomever was in love. For example I had dated a girl that was lying about our relationship from the start a few years ago. I genuinely believed that I was in love, and that she loved me, however she had been cheating on me so my love was not returned (at least not as strongly). Still people had told me that something was weird about our relationship and yet I would not listen until I found out for myself. I think this might be the case for a human-machine relationship. I think people may find themselves in love with a machine (far in the future), and no matter what will not be convinced otherwise. I find this to be disturbing however, because if something man made can simulate love to the point where we feel that it is a balanced relationship what then is the motivation for any human-human interaction. One of the main problems with my generation is that we are so isolated from other people due to technology. Sure we can keep in touch much easier because of the internet, however this also tends to reduce the overall time we spend around other people in person. I think “love machines” would reduce human interaction even more, and this is a negative outcome in my viewpoint. Perhaps the machine will satisfy the human need for interaction, likely it would have to for a person to be convinced that they are in love with it, however the idea of a future where a person’s only interaction is with machines is unsettling to me.