It’s safe to say that most of us are familiar with downloading computer applications. We have apps for weather, apps for games and even apps for generating insults. It’s not surprising that we are now developing robot personality apps. Although, the idea of downloading your own or anybody else’s personality into a robot is rather creepy.
If you’re wondering who developed the robot personality app, it’s Google. Recently, Google patented the app which allows personalities to be downloaded online, into robots. Whether it’s the personality of the robot’s owner, a relative or even a deceased loved one, we will be able to see artificial intelligence in a more personal light.
The patent states,
‘The robot personality may also be modifiable within a base personality construct which provides states of mood like happiness, surprise, perplexion, thoughtfulness and derision.’
How does the robot personality app work?
This application works on a cloud based system which allows personality to be downloaded just as easily as any other app. This enables robots to be cloned with interchangeable personalities. How freaky is that!
‘This means, a user could travel to another city, and download the personality into another robot. The robot personality becomes transferable’
Google already owns several firms in robotic technology development. One firm, Boston Dynamics, created the robot, called Atlas, a 6.2 ft., 330lb. metal specimen with a plastic body. The robot has hydraulic joints and stereo vision. This one can jump, run and even open doors. What’s more, the Atlas robot can imitate a karate stance and drive a car. All this is now done by battery alone. The robot’s 3.7-kilowatt-hour-lithium-ion battery pack holds only enough juice to complete one hour of various motion operation.
‘We have to cut the cord,’ says Jill Pratt of DARPA.
And now what?
The next step was obviously to test the limits of this technology, by sending robots into simulated natural disasters. Just last year, the DARPA robotics challenge (DRC) or the ‘Robo Olympics’, presented $3.5 million in prizes to finishers in this test. The event was held at the Fairplex in California on June 5-6 of 2015.
The tests were hard, to say the least. The robots had to complete every test without a moment’s help from human hands. Since the hardware was identical, the teams had to use software to differentiate themselves.
The goal of this event was to discover the best ways to handle natural disasters through technology. This will lead to further development and improvement of future robots as well. Not only will performance improve, but visual enhancements will also be on the menu, together with personality upgrades moving even closer to true artificial intelligence.
What’s in store for the future in robotics? Hmmm, it can only get more interesting. We should take caution, however. If our personalities are downloaded into these ‘beings’, then how will it fare with our various emotions when the robots get bored or angry by our restraints?
We shall wait and see.