Robots that show “emotions”

David Hanson’s robot faces look and act like yours: They recognize and respond to emotion, and make expressions of their own. In the following video, you’ll see an “emotional” live demo of the Einstein robot, which offers a peek at a future where robots could truly mimic humans.

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25 Responses to Robots that show “emotions”

  1. I've already seen the emotional Einstein in action, but I had to watch the video just to see David Hanson's facial hair in action.

  2. I’ve already seen the emotional Einstein in action, but I had to watch the video just to see David Hanson’s facial hair in action.

  3. Thank you for putting "emotions" in quotation marks. It drives me nuts when people give robots more credit than the machines deserve.

    • Emotion: a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

      Computers do things consciously just as humans do. Even a computer taking an input and working out what to do with it is subjective, since it decides what to do with it just like any human does with stimuli. Physiological and behavioural changes in the body – exactly what we saw in the video. Seems like it was displaying primitive emotion to me.

      Yes, it's not as complex as our emotions, but humans learn emotions just like anything else. If a baby never saw anyone be angry, they'd never be angry themselves. They'd have frustration in them, but they'd never know to EMOTE it, which is the core facet of EMOTion above other psychological traits (it's the conscious part which is important).

      Emotions come way before intelligence for humans, and I'd say the same is definitely becoming true of machines.

      • Robots have as much emotion as a toaster. Personifying machines through language does not make the machines human-like in anyway. Computers are not conscious, I have no idea how anyone can think so. They are merely machines made of metal and silicon with electric charges passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the hardware level as well as software. They might seem conscious.

        Computers don't decide. They are deterministic by definition. Input -> rules -> output. Even the random numbers they produce are not truly random.

        The robots mimicked human emotion. This does not imply emotional content. It is merely servos and cables and rubber moving around based on a completely deterministic program. Input(sensor) -> rules(if this then that) -> output (activate motors = "smile"). That's it. Our brains may recognize the output as familiar, but the robot is just a bunch of motors and software doing exactly as it is programmed to do. There is no emotional content… just because my cell phone vibrates doesn't mean it actually wants my attention. Just because my camera starts up doesn't mean it was actually sleeping.

        Computers do not emote they mimic emotion. It's an illusion… well not an illusion for those of us who know better.

        • "They are merely machines made of metal and silicon with electric charges passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the hardware level as well as software."

          And what are we but machines made of carbon, oxygen, etc with electrical charges and chemicals passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the organ/gland (hardware) level as well as what we've learnt (software)?

          This actual example of a machine doesn't display emotions, but don't be so foolish as to say machines aren't capable of emotions. We are natural machines, but still only machines that can be potentially replicated with other materials, nonetheless.

          "Computers don’t decide. They are deterministic by definition. Input -> rules -> output. Even the random numbers they produce are not truly random."

          We have stimuli, we apply our own rules to it and our output is our behaviour and emotions. The numbers we would produce without a true random number generator aren't random either – they all have a sense of meaning to us, so even if we think we are pulling numbers out of thin air, we aren't.

          "It is merely servos and cables and rubber moving around based on a completely deterministic program. Input(sensor) -> rules(if this then that) -> output (activate motors = “smile”). That’s it. Our brains may recognize the output as familiar, but the robot is just a bunch of motors and software doing exactly as it is programmed to do."

          That's pretty much what my psychology teacher summed behaviour and emotion as in highschool. Yes, it is more complicated, but it is nothing more than what humans do. There is already software that allows a computer to see what "works" and what "doesn't" and to rewrite it's own rules on the fly. That's all humans do with our brains.

          "just because my cell phone vibrates doesn’t mean it actually wants my attention. Just because my camera starts up doesn’t mean it was actually sleeping."

          Please don't compare your cellphone and camera to a true robot with far more complex machinary. That's like comparing a single carbon dioxide molecule to a human, ie – apples and oranges.

          "Computers do not emote they mimic emotion."

          As do babies until they realise that emotions are an outlet for what their brain is thinking. Same for machines.

          Once again, this actual example is not true emotion, no, but to say machines will never have emotion is to overestimate humans and underestimate already-current science and technology.

  4. Thank you for putting “emotions” in quotation marks. It drives me nuts when people give robots more credit than the machines deserve.

    • Emotion: a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

      Computers do things consciously just as humans do. Even a computer taking an input and working out what to do with it is subjective, since it decides what to do with it just like any human does with stimuli. Physiological and behavioural changes in the body – exactly what we saw in the video. Seems like it was displaying primitive emotion to me.

      Yes, it’s not as complex as our emotions, but humans learn emotions just like anything else. If a baby never saw anyone be angry, they’d never be angry themselves. They’d have frustration in them, but they’d never know to EMOTE it, which is the core facet of EMOTion above other psychological traits (it’s the conscious part which is important).

      Emotions come way before intelligence for humans, and I’d say the same is definitely becoming true of machines.

      • Robots have as much emotion as a toaster. Personifying machines through language does not make the machines human-like in anyway. Computers are not conscious, I have no idea how anyone can think so. They are merely machines made of metal and silicon with electric charges passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the hardware level as well as software. They might seem conscious.

        Computers don’t decide. They are deterministic by definition. Input -> rules -> output. Even the random numbers they produce are not truly random.

        The robots mimicked human emotion. This does not imply emotional content. It is merely servos and cables and rubber moving around based on a completely deterministic program. Input(sensor) -> rules(if this then that) -> output (activate motors = “smile”). That’s it. Our brains may recognize the output as familiar, but the robot is just a bunch of motors and software doing exactly as it is programmed to do. There is no emotional content… just because my cell phone vibrates doesn’t mean it actually wants my attention. Just because my camera starts up doesn’t mean it was actually sleeping.

        Computers do not emote they mimic emotion. It’s an illusion… well not an illusion for those of us who know better.

        • “They are merely machines made of metal and silicon with electric charges passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the hardware level as well as software.”

          And what are we but machines made of carbon, oxygen, etc with electrical charges and chemicals passing through; built solely on a system of logic at the organ/gland (hardware) level as well as what we’ve learnt (software)?

          This actual example of a machine doesn’t display emotions, but don’t be so foolish as to say machines aren’t capable of emotions. We are natural machines, but still only machines that can be potentially replicated with other materials, nonetheless.

          “Computers don’t decide. They are deterministic by definition. Input -> rules -> output. Even the random numbers they produce are not truly random.”

          We have stimuli, we apply our own rules to it and our output is our behaviour and emotions. The numbers we would produce without a true random number generator aren’t random either – they all have a sense of meaning to us, so even if we think we are pulling numbers out of thin air, we aren’t.

          “It is merely servos and cables and rubber moving around based on a completely deterministic program. Input(sensor) -> rules(if this then that) -> output (activate motors = “smile”). That’s it. Our brains may recognize the output as familiar, but the robot is just a bunch of motors and software doing exactly as it is programmed to do.”

          That’s pretty much what my psychology teacher summed behaviour and emotion as in highschool. Yes, it is more complicated, but it is nothing more than what humans do. There is already software that allows a computer to see what “works” and what “doesn’t” and to rewrite it’s own rules on the fly. That’s all humans do with our brains.

          “just because my cell phone vibrates doesn’t mean it actually wants my attention. Just because my camera starts up doesn’t mean it was actually sleeping.”

          Please don’t compare your cellphone and camera to a true robot with far more complex machinary. That’s like comparing a single carbon dioxide molecule to a human, ie – apples and oranges.

          “Computers do not emote they mimic emotion.”

          As do babies until they realise that emotions are an outlet for what their brain is thinking. Same for machines.

          Once again, this actual example is not true emotion, no, but to say machines will never have emotion is to overestimate humans and underestimate already-current science and technology.

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