New York specialist in robotics has conducted an experiment through which a humanoid robot shown for the first time a hint of self-consciousness: the artificial intelligence robot has successfully passed a test of self-consciousness known as "Wise King".
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has undergone a trio built for them, a self test known as the “Wise King” robots. And, surprisingly, one of them has passed, reports’ The Independent ‘.
On the enigma, a fictional king is electing a new director, for bringing together the three wisest people on earth. He promises that the contest is fair, place a blue or white hat on the head of each and states that the first person to stand up and correctly infer the color of his hat became his new advisor.
The induction puzzle goes as follows:
‘The King called the three wisest men in the country to his court to decide who would become his new advisor. He placed a hat on each of their heads, such that each wise man could see all of the other hats, but none of them could see their own. Each hat was either white or blue. The king gave his word to the wise men that at least one of them was wearing a blue hat – in other words, there could be one, two, or three blue hats, but not zero. The king also announced that the contest would be fair to all three men. The wise men were also forbidden to speak to each other. The king declared that whichever man stood up first and announced the color of his own hat would become his new advisor.’
Specialists adapted that test for the trio of robots: they were programmed to think that two of them had been given a pill that would prevent them from talking. However, they did not know exactly which of them had been silenced. When they were asked, they tried to answer: “I do not know.” But given that only one was actually able to pronounce the words, she heard her own voice and recognized that it was not one of those who had been silenced. Then he answered: “I’m sorry, I know now.”
“They try to find some interesting philosophical problem, then engineer a robot that can solve that problem,” said John Sullins, a philosopher of technology at Sonoma State University. “They’re barking up the right tree.”
Robots might still be a long way off achieving ‘consciousness’ as humans understand it, but their simulation of it can be pretty powerful.
Logical puzzles that require an element of self-consciousness in this case are essential in building robots that can understand their role in society. Passing through many tests of this type, it is expected that robots will be able to build up a repertoire of skills that will make them very useful to humans.
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