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HUMAVIPS project could lead to humanoids with social skills, humans being tricked

Darren Murph

You don't think the Robot Apocalypse is upon us, but we assure you, it is. The HUMAVIPS project, which will span three years and hopefully result in robots being developed with "social skills," may seem innocent -- even beneficial -- at first blush, but let's think about it. Will "humanoids with auditory and visual abilities in populated spaces" have more power than you, as an Earthling, would like? If all goes well, these robotic dudes and dudettes will be able to mimic what's known as the "cocktail party effect," which is better explained as "the human ability to focus attention on just one person in the midst of other people, voices and background noise." So yeah, this definitely goes two ways -- on one hand, you could finally have a live-in robot that pays attention to your feelings as the world around you crumbles, but on the other, these guys won't have any issue overlooking your wailing when it's them bringing everything down. Yikes.

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