×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Science of Human-Robot Love

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-let-anyone-catch-you-loving-the-robot dept.

AI 137

An anonymous reader writes "By harnessing a new sphere of science called 'lovotics', Hooman Samani, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Social Robotics Lab at the National University of Singapore, believes it is possible to engineer love between humans and robots. Samani's robots have artificial psychological and biological systems that mimic the human brain and endocrine systems, and use movements, sounds, and lights to show their mood and level of affection for a human."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

137 comments

Movements and sounds of human/machine love? (4, Funny)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36624774)

Bzzzzzzz.....

find pix of human/nigger love allover the internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36624924)

niggers are obsolete farm equipment, so it's good that they're being repurposed

Love? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36624822)

Um, that's not called love. You can call it eccentric, kinky, quirky ... even obsessive and crazy. But love? No, that's not love.

Re:Love? (5, Interesting)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#36624918)

Neo: I just have never...
Rama-Kandra: ...heard a program speak of love?
Neo: It's a... human emotion.
Rama-Kandra: No, it is a word. What matters is the connection the word implies.

Re:Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36624946)

Why not? Who are you to dictate what the definition of love is other than a biomechanical process(simulated or otherwise)?

Re:Love? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36624986)

Let it be, this is not for you or me, its for the "forever alone" crowd...

Re:Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625108)

Whats the difference - our "love" is the result of biology. This is the result of electronics - but it takes you and the robot to the same place.

- sex bots are more common than you think "-)

Re:Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625222)

When it comes to AI, I think you're missing the point.

The idea is that at some time in the near future, it will be impractical NOT to consider robots capable of love because you will HAVE to interact with them as though they are capable because they will behave as though they are capable.

The question of whether the robot loves or not becomes completely moot because they will, in a quite verbal sense, love.

'Love' is a verb, by the way, unless you're referring to a concept that embodies the actions of 'love'. 'Love' is not an emotion.

Re:Love? (2)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625312)

'Love' is a verb, by the way, unless you're referring to a concept that embodies the actions of 'love'. 'Love' is not an emotion.

"To love" is a verb. "Love" is a noun.

Re:Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625946)

Like I said, 'love' is a verb *unless you're referring to a concept that embodies the actions of 'love'* - concepts ARE nouns.

If you think you can define the word "love" as a noun in any respect beyond that, you're fooling yourself.

When i say "I love you" there's a very simple subject-predicate-object structure in which the truth of the definition lies.

You can say it's an emotion, but again, "you feel emotions" yields that same subject-predicate-object structure. Those feelings of emotion can be embodied in the CONCEPT of love. But love is never manifest as a physical object. Only it's corollaries are, by virtue of the act of loving.

Re:Love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625396)

Don't talk shit about my mai waifu.

Re:Love? (3, Insightful)

NortySpock (1966236) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625518)

Um, that's not called love. You can call it eccentric, kinky, quirky ... even obsessive and crazy. But love? No, that's not love.

Who are you to determine who or what someone else falls in love with? Sure, you may not be interested, but maybe you should leave determining what feelings are to the person who is experiencing them.

What will you claim next? That homosexuals are not really in love? That their love is eccentric, kinky, quirky ... even obsessive and crazy? No? Then, by the same token, I say leave the robosexuals alone.

Re:Love? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626620)

Who are you to determine who or what someone else falls in love with? Sure, you may not be interested, but maybe you should leave determining what feelings are to the person who is experiencing them.

Because something which is neither sentient nor capable of actual emotions ... well, that's essentially just a dildo. (And, no, don't tell me about how your first wife wasn't capable of emotions. ;-)

I think if you're in "love" with the mechanical device you're humping, you likely have some serious social issues. I actually saw something on TV lately about some guys who claimed to be "in love" with his Real Doll -- that sounds like there is likely a clinical name for it. It's inanimate, get over it.

What will you claim next? That homosexuals are not really in love? That their love is eccentric, kinky, quirky ... even obsessive and crazy? No? Then, by the same token, I say leave the robosexuals alone.

Well, when they can pass a Turing test, I'll grant you the 'robosexuals' ... but until time it's deeper than falling in love with your refrigerator, I'm going to have to come down on the side of assuming that the described feelings can't really constitute "being in love".

I think we're a few years away from any machine which would even come close to the threshold I'd need to take this seriously. On the other hand, if it's sentient, old enough to consent, and anatomically compatible ... run wild. Have a whole harem of blue space goats from P'Trax-4 if you want to and the space goats are on board with it.

I actually find this article a little on the creepy side.

Re:Love? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627978)

I agree with you but one small nitpick: what does it matter if a robot is old enough to consent?

Also, I don't think passing the Turing test is enough. I think that's enough to trick someone to thinking they're in love, like in the case of a person who pretends to love another for the sake of using them, but with that level of dishonesty I wouldn't consider it true love because you're being lied to and what you think you love is actually something else. Regardless, I've always found the Turing test to be a poor metric for determining sentience. Not that I can think of a better way. That's a tough nut to crack.

Re:Love? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627880)

If only you were being sarcastic this comment would actually be funny.

Personally, I've never considered love a one-sided affair. If it's one-sided then it's an infatuation, not love. The robot is incapable of love, therefore the feeling cannot be mutual, so love cannot exist between human and robot.

btw, any argument that begins with 'who are you to determine. . .' is a bad one. The world isn't subjective. If you can't accept that fact then who are you to determine anything at all?

Re:Love? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626866)

People claim to love pets. Dogs, in particular, seem to have co-evolved (or been selected... semantics) with humans to "press our buttons". Just about any other living creature comes into the average American house, it gets stomped, poisoned, or trapped.

So I guess it depends on how you define "love". I have no doubt that AI will progress to "dog" in my lifetime. It may or may not get to "human".

Re:Love? (1)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627760)

Um, that's not called love. You can call it eccentric, kinky, quirky ... even obsessive and crazy. But love? No, that's not love.

Love is just projection anyways. This seems to qualify.

I AM DILDOTRON (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36624854)

I AM HERE FOR THE PLEASURE EXPERIMENT MADAM. Please ignore my cardboard body, I am merely a prototype.

But can I.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36624886)

F$*& it?!

Only a New Generation of Neo-Pet. A Neo-Neo-Pet. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625006)

What is this neuro-babble? They misspelled Serotonin in the video, they mention Endorphin in that list as if it's a single compound and not an entire class of neurotransmitters, and they think that specific mixes of these chemicals can elicit exact feelings and emotions. "Well Jim, this human has a 1:3:2.8:6 ratio of Oxytocin, Dopamine, Secrotonin [sic], and Endorphin, it must clearly be Tired." I really don't expect there to be even an outline of an algorithm for a current personality based on hormone level since there haven't been concrete neuronal correlates of applying hormones to specific parts of the brain (since they're transmitted through the bloodstream and therefore are whole-body modifiers, making that stupid brain scan animation moot). Why not just call this a Furbie with a different casing? Unless they can show me the underlying algorithm of how the robot decides its emotions, then I can't put it past a simple Tomagotchi program.

Re:Only a New Generation of Neo-Pet. A Neo-Neo-Pet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625100)

It is a complex Tamagochi program. As are we, just yet a little more complex. Whether or not the complexity is the same as human emotion is not what decides whether or not something is an emotion in and of itself. In fact, you have human beings with varying emotional capabilities as well, so where do you set the bottom line for what is and what isn't called an emotion?

Cherry 2000 (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625014)

Until scientists create a hot sex bot we can fsck, all other steps towards this ultimate goal are of no consequence.

Re:Cherry 2000 (2)

black soap (2201626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625718)

We don't want love robots, we want lust robots. Love is what we have time to work on, when our lust is sated.

Robosexuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625016)

What's next? GAY Robosexuals? :-D

http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Proposition_Infinity

...or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625024)

So you've created a device capable of displaying a behavior in response to a pre-programmed set of stimuli... and you're calling that "love". Isn't it more likely that the unit is simply displaying a signal that the human is supposed to *interpret* as love, so that the unit can be properly anthropormorphized? In reality, you've created an emotional masturbatory toy. I'm sure this will be a big deal to those who think that the real thing is just "too hard" to do.

Re:...or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625580)

So you've created a device capable of displaying a behavior in response to a pre-programmed set of stimuli... and you're calling that "love".

The same could be said about us, we just have more variables. Stop thinking you're anything other than a fleshy machine. Your feelings and actions are not magical or divine, nor are you. It's all a matter of buttons being pushed and an output created, just in a complex manner.

Oblig Futurama (1)

efudddd (312615) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625038)

"Oh, Fry, I love you more than the moon, the stars, the..."
[monotone] "POETIC IMAGE #36 NOT FOUND."

Obligatory Star Trek:TNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36627102)

Data: "I'm fully functional and programmed in multiple techniques"

It's Sinful! (1)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625074)

I wonder which U.S. State will be the first to legalize Robosexual Marriage. [wikia.com]

Re:It's Sinful! (0)

martinux (1742570) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625378)

As far as I'm aware our omnipotent god didn't have the imagination to cover robotic sexuality and love in any of his good books.

The various mainstream christian and islamic groups of the world will probably stick to the decree that marriage requires one man and one woman.

How long until we prefer a machine? (4, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625086)

Al joking aside about "robot girlfriends", an untiring, on-demand machine will become ideal. You only need to fill it with lube occasionally. It'll never object, it'll never come home drunk. It'll never interrupt your xbox time. It'll never reject you because you got fat or wrinkly. It'll make hedonists of today look silly having to deal with another human being and their schedule.

And that will be the end... when we stay home because we prefer a machine. We'll give up on loving our own kind not because it is superior, but just because it is less "work".

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (2)

TigerPlish (174064) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625256)

And that will be the end... when we stay home because we prefer a machine. We'll give up on loving our own kind not because it is superior, but just because it is less "work".

That's part of the setup of CLAMP's "Chobits" comic and anime. There was this side-story of Chi finding this series of children's books -- dealing with exactly that -- people had stopped hanging out with people, preferring the PersoCom bots.. droids.. whatever Chi and her kind are.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625408)

It'll never object, it'll never come home drunk. It'll never interrupt your xbox time. It'll never reject you because you got fat or wrinkly. It'll make hedonists of today look silly having to deal with another human being and their schedule.

2 things:

1. Dude, you got sudoed from your xbox by a drunk chic?

2. Yes, actually it WILL interrupt your xbox-time. Get used to playing analog games again 'cos this one wont have you looking at the competition.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625426)

Eh, depends on the person. Maybe if we're really lucky, we'll filter the most selfish and superficial humans from the gene pool within a few short generations. Let the androids and gynoids fuck em so the rest of us can get on with life.

Of course, that does bring up the interesting question of what happens when they build a droid that's fully human, mentally speaking. At that point "sexbot" becomes a degradation, since instead of making an animatronic realdoll or dildo with legs you're instead making what is essentially an unwilling slave, with all the violation of basic rights that entails. In which case, if someone does build a "robot girlfriend" with the capacity to leave and be her own person (i.e. not a slave), does there still exist a difference between robot and human relationships?

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626854)

Of course, that does bring up the interesting question of what happens when they build a droid that's fully human, mentally speaking. At that point "sexbot" becomes a degradation, since instead of making an animatronic realdoll or dildo with legs you're instead making what is essentially an unwilling slave, with all the violation of basic rights that entails.

Slave or not, that doesn't make the "relationship" any less real if the AI is programmed well enough. If it truly believes that it enjoys it (because it was programmed that way), then it probably won't matter.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627152)

Then it isn't "fully human, mentally speaking". It could be sapient, could even be smarter than mere people. Still pretty far removed from the mind of one of our species.

I suspect the approach you're talking about - keep the AIs under control by making them not want freedom - will be a viable method, I'm just not sure a piece of software could really be self-aware, or humanlike, and accept slavery. And if you did make a fully humanlike AI and control it by way of, say, curtailing certain brain functions or making obedience pleasurable, then ethically, it's still a slave, just as a lobotomized and doped human is.

(Now, a purely inhuman AI would have plenty of uses I can think of. "Sexbot" isn't one of them. There's got to be something like the uncanny valley for minds as well as bodies, and who wants to fuck a toaster?)

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627588)

I'm just not sure a piece of software could really be self-aware, or humanlike, and accept slavery.

It could fully be aware that it was programmed that way but still not care. Yes, in that sense, it probably wouldn't be "human," but I don't think it would matter in the end.

then ethically, it's still a slave

According to whose ethics? If it was created this way from the very beginning and enjoys what it does, then I don't see how it could be considered a "slave," despite the intention of its creator(s). Of course, if they are legally considered your property rather than them just being programmed to want to be, then you could, by definition, call them a slave.

Now, a purely inhuman AI would have plenty of uses I can think of.

We could replace most (if not all) human workers with intelligent AI.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (3, Interesting)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625430)

I honestly think if something like this becomes mainstream for too long, we will have trained all the empathy out of ourselves. If our primary emotional interaction unconditionally obeys our every whim, it is inevitable that we will expect the same from our flesh and bone counterparts. Since it will be easier to love a machine than a human being, it is not absurd to assume that we may value human life less. The fact that we are exploring human-robot love is a symptom of a much larger problem in that human empathy is decreasing all around. We can see it everywhere nowadays, all we have to do is compare current society to the same 30 years ago, but from a more local POV.

I think more studies should be put into figuring out who we all are as individuals, what types of people exist from a psychological stand point (e.g. introverts vs extroverts, highly sensitive vs low empathetic persons, sane vs insane), how all these different types of people can interact in a more efficient manner, and how to best match people in different settings to reduce unrest. We also need to get rid of ridiculously fabricated categorizations of people (e.g. race, royalty, etc) since the prevalence of psychological traits have similar distribution in most of these situations.

how many men won't have a choice? (1)

AndroSyn (89960) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625740)

And that will be the end... when we stay home because we prefer a machine. We'll give up on loving our own kind not because it is superior, but just because it is less "work".

How many men in the world will *need* a robot girlfriend, given the skewing of the male/female birth ratios towards boys. Too many men, not enough women...that doesn't bode well for social stability. Perhaps some sex bots can fill the gap...so to speak.

Our species will still breed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625992)

Women will still want to have and raise kids for the sense of significance it gives them. Some men will too, for that matter. And that only works if the babies are real.

And even if that didn't work, the government would just start offering incentives and state-run boarding schools and such to keep the population growing.

Life will find a way.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (1)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626432)

I hear they have these things called vibrators and fleshlights. Apparently some crazy people still prefer human contact. Besides, if it ever gets to that point, we'll all be cyborgs anyway, so we'll still be loving our own kind.

Re:How long until we prefer a machine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36627954)

We'll give up on loving our own kind not because it is superior, but just because it is less "work".

No, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be superior, too.

The Three Laws of Lovotics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625088)

  1. Don't stick your SIM card in crazy.
  2. If you love something, release its source code.
  3. If you can't download what you love, love what you've downloaded.

Well, this will work well (1)

Starfleet Command (936772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625358)

when connected into the "brain" of one of those hyper realistic Japanese love robots. We can call them Cybernetic Love Nodes, or CYLONS for short. oh...wait

Let's work on AI first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625370)

Let's work on artificial intelligence before we start in on artificial emotion. We already have way more naturally occurring emotion vs intelligence as it is.

I once saw a documentrary on this (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625452)

I once saw a documentary on this. The strangest thing was that it was done in as a cartoon and had as one of the main charters an alcoholic robot named Bender.

careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625472)

this is a big step towards robots manipulating human emotions. just sayin

The end result (3, Funny)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36625490)

We all know what the end result of this will be:
Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

Re:The end result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625802)

"Man's extinction was not unpleasant. Human beings merely preferred to copulate with
robots specifically designed for the task than to procreate with other flawed humans."

http://www.bohemiandrive.com/comics/npwil/2.html

Re:The end result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625844)

That's a great link and all, but slashdot is so broke I can't left, right nor middle-click it to do anything effective. Anyone else having this problem?

Re:The end result (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626302)

That's a great link and all, but slashdot is so broke I can't left, right nor middle-click it to do anything effective. Anyone else having this problem?

For me, only left and middle click is broken.

Re-inventing the (sexy) wheel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625656)

Anyone remember Julie Newmar as "Rhoda the Robot"?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057774/
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Living_Doll

The Realistic Married-Bot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625658)

At Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, realism is our goal! Our newest Married-Bot is designed to emulate the feeling of matrimonial bliss. Guaranteed that within two years of purchase it will put on at least 40 lbs, drink beer every night and fall asleep in front of the TV. It will make a mess and not clean up after itself. It will always pretend to listen to you and never know what you just said. It will leave the toilet seat up, fart in bed and play video games for hours. Within 5 years it will have an affair with your best friend or the young girl at the coffee shop.

Its an artificial pussy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36625998)

ummmm - I meant a CAT.

A Love Spehere, Why not a Cube? (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626236)

You could call it something like a partner square or friendship block or or.......

Re:A Love Spehere, Why not a Cube? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#36626748)

Not worth the emotional attachment, you're just going to incinerate it anyway.

Re:A Love Spehere, Why not a Cube? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36627314)

In Portal 2 if you escape the room in the beginning before it starts moving, there's a platform with a Companion Cube with one of the emblem caps removed...not sure how they slipped that past the censors...

Re:A Love Spehere, Why not a Cube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36627352)

A companion cube, perhaps?!

Finally!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36626636)

By the power of lovotics! I could have a girlfriend!

love shmove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36626964)

Can you fuck it?

IMPORTANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36627264)

I really hope these lovebots have the Three laws programmed in!
      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36627652)

Do they come in brown-orange?

I wanna know where I can order my lovable tribble....

We really shouldn't do this. (1)

SheridanR (2040452) | more than 2 years ago | (#36628012)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want my computer to give me a low squeal and a dose of the puppy eyes whenever I turn it off.

Anime future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36628084)

Chobits!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...