Robots and Ignorance

For many people, a self-aware robot sounds like a dangerous thing. This might be true in movies, but in reality, researchers claim there are only positive sides to this. They claim a new training regime might make robots self-aware enough to avoid and not repeat dangerous mistakes made in the past.



The fact of the matter is that the AI programs used in robots or self-driving cars are often created in simulated environments. This means that the AI usually does not come into contact with real-life situations in which creative thinking or thinking on the spot is needed. An example of this might be when a delivery robot does not know that it needs to stop at a cross-walk when it hears emergency sirens approaching.

To create machines capable of this, a team from MIT has created a training program in which a human passes on information to the robot for areas where it encounters gaps in its education. This improves the overall functionality of the robots in the real world and makes them better at what they do. The AI blind spots found in this way are also of great help to engineers as they can then make more precise simulations by using the information gathered from the robots.

During the training, the robot records all the factors that influenced a change in the behavior of the human demonstrator. If the demonstrator hesitates at a cross-walk even though it seems that everything is as it needs to be, the AI scans the situation and takes note of unknown factors. If the AI detects any of these factors, it decides that the demonstrator is following some sort of safety protocol and makes a note to follow their judgment in these situations.

Initial testing has been done, but most of it has been performed in the virtual world. Real world testing is still needed if they are to be sure that robot AI is capable of adopting something like this.

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Henry has never been ashamed of describing himself as a science geek. He has loved the world of science ever since he made his first baking soda and vinegar volcano back in the 3rd grade. His love for science then developed into his love of all living creatures. As a botonist, he spends more of his time speaking to plants than he does talking to other people. He, however, has learned the art of balancing his love affair with his work with family time. Henry spends a lot of time camping with his loving wife and beautiful kids. Henry has found the key to getting the best of both worlds.

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