Currently, a robot is already capable of performing the most varied tasks. However, they are all designed by people who program them for certain specific purposes. In fact, we are clearly witnessing a technological advance in this direction.
Surprisingly, a robot was able to predict the intentions of another, without having been programmed to do so.
Human behavior in a robot
As we know, it is humanly possible that, as people get to know each other, some behaviors and reactions become predictable. This is because the habit helps us to perceive, both the person and their consequent attitudes.
In the robotics world this has never been a reality. Furthermore, robots perform what they were designed and trained for. Behind this, there is always, somehow, a human intention.
That is why this event surprised the engineers involved. Apparently, a robot was able to correctly predict the intentions of another robot. The prodigy was a machine of the Columbia Engineering and the findings were published in Nature Scientific Reports.
“It is perhaps a primitive form of empathy”
In an unprecedented way, engineers from Creative Machines Laboratory from Columbia Engineering developed a robot capable of predicting the intentions of another robot. For this, the machine was learned, in a very primary way, to sympathize.
First, the robot was placed in a playground setting. This, after being configured to always walk towards some, then placed, green circles. Sometimes, a red box was placed in the robot’s path that interrupted its normal circulation to the green circles.
In another perspective was another robot that, after observing the process for a few hours, realized how to predict the path of the first. Of course, it surprised all the engineers who didn’t expect it to be capable.
Then, without receiving any additional information about the path it should take, the robot predicted the intentions of the first 98 of the 100 times tested.
The observer’s ability to put himself in his partner’s shoes, so to speak, and to understand, without being guided, whether or not his partner could see the green circle from his point of view, is perhaps a primitive form of empathy.
Said Boyuan Chen, lead author of the study.
Despite the long way to go, for robots to have this human aspect, this was indeed an exciting result, in the opinion of those involved.
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