Researchers develop a robot that reads your intentions, says you're 'thick'

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|06.06.09

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Robots won't be able to wrest control of the planet from us silly humans until they learn how to collaborate. Sure, they can mow the lawn or mix a drink, but only when you give 'em explicit instructions. Luckily for our future robot overlords, The EU's JAST project is studying the ways that humans work together, in the hope that it can someday teach robots to anticipate the actions and intentions of a human partner. "In our experiments the robot is not observing to learn a task," explains Wolfram Erlhagen from the University of Minho. "The JAST robots already know the task, but they observe behavior, map it against the task, and quickly learn to anticipate [partner actions] or spot errors when the partner does not follow the correct or expected procedure." This bad boy has a neural architecture that mimics what happens when two people interact, and the video below shows the rather melancholy automaton trying to convince his human partner to pick up the right pieces to complete a simple task. Watch it in action after the break.

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