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Robots manage to pass self-awareness test


Posted on Sunday, 19 July, 2015 | Comment icon 22 comments

Three Nao robots were used for the experiment. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Jiuguang Wang
Three polite robots have taken the first tentative steps towards exhibiting a sense of self-awareness.
While they might not possess intelligence on the level of Data from Star Trek, three Nao robots have managed to impress researchers this month by relying on their own sense of self-awareness to solve a modern version of an age-old philosophical conundrum.

For the experiment the robots were programmed so that two of them had been given a 'dumbing pill' and were unable to speak. None of them were told which could speak and which couldn't however so the robots were tasked with figuring this out for themselves.

To begin with all three attempted to state "I don't know" when asked which one could still speak, but when the one that hadn't been given the dumbing pill heard its own voice it realized this fact and followed that up by stating that it was the one that was still able to speak.

While the test represents only a very small step towards developing an artificial intelligence it does demonstrate that robots can be programmed with at least some measure of self-awareness.

A video of the three robots taking part in the experiment can be viewed below.


Source: Popular Science | Comments (22)

Tags: Robot, Artificial Intelligence

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by FlyingAngel on 20 July, 2015, 19:33
All I know is that after I win the lottery I'm getting at least two or three of those little robots. They can bring me beer and watch science fiction movies with me and we will live happily ever after. Looks like someone need a real girl here
Comment icon #14 Posted by BeastieRunner on 20 July, 2015, 20:43
The end is nigh ...
Comment icon #15 Posted by Dark_Grey on 20 July, 2015, 21:00
What is it that drives or compels human beings to relentlessly pursue innovations that are at best dubious and uncertain? We had no idea what the atom bomb was capable of, but theories included blowing a hole in the atmosphere or even destroying the planet. So what did we do? Detonated one anyways. Are we just slaves to primitive monkey DNA? Armed with brilliant minds but short-term reward systems? It's proving to be a dangerous combination. IMO we are obsessed with the idea of bringing machines to life as though this was always the plan. Like giving life to machines is the reason we exist at ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by OverSword on 20 July, 2015, 21:43
LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. A little robot being able to tell it's audio functions are not activated is a far cry from our machine overlords sending us to death camps because we are illogical.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Dark_Grey on 20 July, 2015, 21:54
LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. A little robot being able to tell it's audio functions are not activated is a far cry from our machine overlords sending us to death camps because we are illogical. LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Splitting the atom is a far cry from bombs that level cities. LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Shooting fire into the sky with gunpowder is a far cry from automatic weapons with armor piercing rounds. LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Inventing the wheel is a far cry from 2... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by OverSword on 20 July, 2015, 22:56
LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Splitting the atom is a far cry from bombs that level cities. LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Shooting fire into the sky with gunpowder is a far cry from automatic weapons with armor piercing rounds. LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Inventing the wheel is a far cry from 200MPH sports cars. Did any great innovation ever spring out of the ground fully functional? I'm not saying we should stop development but for God's sake let's pump the brakes a little bit and take all scenarios in to accou... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by woopypooky on 22 July, 2015, 11:19
why robots need to be made self aware?
Comment icon #20 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 22 July, 2015, 20:58
So I guess that with the crime, wars, terrorism, child abuse, pollution, corruption, human trafficking, and drugs should be enough to demonstrate that one should not fear or have any concern with the nature of humans beings that any new advancement of technology will be used wisely and responsibly with reflection to consequences of abuse, misuse ot mishandling. LOL LOL LOL
Comment icon #21 Posted by bison on 26 July, 2015, 16:21
I don't think that the robot's action demonstrated self awareness. It could be programmed to say it hadn't had its voice turned off, as soon as it was able to speak. That doesn't establish that it is aware of itself or of its vocal ability. If such a robot were given the classical self awareness test, it would presumably fail. Put a spot on its forehead, then place it before a mirror. Will it take notice of the spot, touch it, or try to remove it, if it hasn't been specifically programmed to do so, in a mechanical and non-conscious way? I very much doubt it. If it can't recognize itself in a m... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by FlyingAngel on 27 July, 2015, 19:35
LOL! All the panicky doomsayers here are cracking me up. Were you also worried when they taught them to play soccer? or dance? So now they can tell if they're vocal functions are operating. God help us. It's all ok if they stop at that level. There's always some kind of private organization who wants this technology to make a self-aware killing machine with auto-aim and super AI why robots need to be made self aware? Because human is lazy and they want something to replace them to think.


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