THE FUTURE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
BY DAVID HANSON
Founder, Hanson Robotics Limited
“Robots and intelligent machines are progressing at unprecedented rates, demonstrating great leaps in intelligence, perception, expressivity, and their ability to navigate the real world. Humanoid social robots are becoming more common, and more diverse. They will soon become a common form of interface to AI, and will be refined into a new kind of computer animation, like that done for movies, with the difference of being physically embodied. Humans have an innate preference for faces. And to empathise with other humans, therefore, social robots, designed with pleasing aesthetics and a full range of human expressions, are in a better position to inspire trust and empathy from the people with whom they interact. These robots will gain faster acceptance, develop richer interaction with people, and drive better results from these interactions, creating significant utilisation of social and commercial value in the coming years. Robots and AI today are not alive, but I believe that we can make machines truly come to life—and this is the key to generalising AI and making robots capable of operating autonomously in our world. These trends in life-like robots will lead us to the point where the technology will be literally alive, self-sufficient, have feeling, and be aware.
And this will change the world as we know it. I believe companies developing AI and robotics need to constantly review their approach, and where they are investing their resources. Creating intelligent machines is not just about engineering the algorithms—we need to get the right data into those algorithms in order for the algorithms to get really smart. And that requires the right algorithms and data. You can’t just feed it from the web. That’s not the way baby humans or baby animals learn. We want our AI to be as smart as humans, so we need them to learn like babies do—from physically interacting with the world, and from face-to-face interaction with people. If you socially deprive babies, they suffer and don’t develop correctly. So, if we develop these bio-inspired, intelligent algorithms, give them social data, and let them interact with the world through this rich array of sensors, they will get smarter faster. They’ll grow up to be socially well-adjusted, and will live well with humans. This is why I want to give robots human-like forms.
Albert HUBO, a Robot, created by Hanson Robotics
In the coming years, we wish to dramatically improve people’s everyday lives with highly intelligent robots that teach, serve, entertain, and provide comforting companionship. This means the robots must learn to love and learn what it means to be loved, so they are capable of friendship and familial love. Even further, we want robots to love in a bigger sense, in that of the Greek word ‘agape’, which means higher love. This will create a deep bond between humans and robots, and assures a benevolent AI in shared future with humanity. Ultimately, I seek to realise kind |and wise genius machines, who will collaborate with us to solve the world’s hard problems, and realise an unimaginably wondrous future. Developing benevolent AI/robots is not just a nice thing to do, but a prerequisite, and we must work together not just as an industry, but as a species, to create more capable, and also ‘good’ AI/robots to realise the fullest potential of this human invention.”
Cosmo March 2018 covergirl Sophia The Robot, created by Hanson Robotics