Yale Creates First Self-Aware Robot?

by JQuinton 1 min read28th Sep 201221 comments

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Apparently a PhD candidate at the Social Robotics Lab at Yale created a self-aware robot

In the mirror test, developed by Gordon Gallup in 1970, a mirror is placed in an animal’s enclosure, allowing the animal to acclimatize to it. At first, the animal will behave socially with the mirror, assuming its reflection to be another animal, but eventually most animals recognize the image to be their own reflections. After this, researchers remove the mirror, sedate the animal and place an ink dot on its frontal region, and then replace the mirror. If the animal inspects the ink dot on itself, it is said to have self-awareness, because it recognized the change in its physical appearance.

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To adapt the traditional mirror test to a robot subject, computer science Ph.D. candidate Justin Hart said he would run a program that would have Nico, a robot that looks less like R2D2 and more like a jumble of wires with eyes and a smile, learn a three-dimensional model of its body and coloring. He would then change an aspect of the robot’s physical appearance and have Nico, by looking at a reflective surface, “identify where [his body] is different.”

 What do Less Wrongians think? Is this "cheating" traditional concepts of self-awareness, or is self-awareness "self-awareness" regardless of the path taken to get there?