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AI Idle Science

The Science of Human-Robot Love 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-let-anyone-catch-you-loving-the-robot dept.
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."

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The Science of Human-Robot Love

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  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:35PM (#36624774) Homepage

    Bzzzzzzz.....

    • by rbrausse (1319883)

      but at least the robot is able to get some haptic feedback [slashdot.org] of the act ;)

      • ...has been able to demonstrate engineering human -> non-human love since, oh lemme see, maybe the first 30 seconds I met her.

        Of course humans will love robots that treat them accordingly while enhancing their quality of life. We've already seen outliers in love with their RealDolls; there, most of the interaction is being provided by the human, but mark my words, the net result will be the same.

        When they finally manage to build a nominally acceptable sexbot, you'll see this all over -- because said sex

        • by rbrausse (1319883)

          your argument is valid and I couldn't agree more - but you should add the comment to this thread [slashdot.org]

        • by orkysoft (93727)

          This interactive pet rock might be useful for treatment of emotionally problematic people. People you wouldn't necessarily trust with a cat.

          If the patient messes up with the robot, you can just reset its emotional state, and try again. A real pet could be dead or traumatized.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:38PM (#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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Eponymous Hero (2090636) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:46PM (#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.
      • by operagost (62405)

        Neo: It's a... human emotion.
        Rama-Kandra: No, it is a word.

        What could better exemplify the unfeeling machine than unrelenting pedantry?

        • i'm gonna have to add that word to my sig list of slashdot memes. i love it when people just throw this word around every time they miss the point.
    • by Abreu (173023)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NortySpock (1966236)

      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.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        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 issue

        • 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 p

        • I think if you're in "love" with the mechanical device you're humping, you likely have some serious social issues.

          I think if you're required to hump something to be in love with it you are in need of mental therapy.

          Clearly you are a heartless fool that has never had a relative or child or even a pet dog, cat, or chinchilla.

          I can tell you that I've loved my pets more than some girlfriends I've had, and I've certainly loved my nieces and nephews more than a lover. Love comes in many forms, and humans love many non sentient things.

          Are newborn babies unlovable because they're non-sentient? Are kittens or puppies?

      • 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?

        • by fyngyrz (762201)

          Personally, I've never considered love a one-sided affair.

          Suppose you are in love, and your counterpart with you; and then they die. Does love evaporate instantly because the partner is gone? Of course not. That very much one-sided love will afflict what you do for quite some time, perhaps even the rest of your life, under those circumstances. And of course one can develop love for someone without that love being returned; love doesn't have to include a longer for a person, or even reciprocation: love can

          • 1. If a loved one dies them memory of the love remains. Of course you no longer love them, they aren't there to love. All you have are memories.

            2. Paternal/Maternal love is natural. Either the parent or child must do something horrible to one another to break that bond. And yes, I would argue that if one side breaks the bond it's broken. Love is shared.

            3. Finally, as I told the other guy, don't try bringing subjectivity into an argument. No, nothing is subjective but fancies. Not love, not art, not morality

            • by fyngyrz (762201)


              We can't disagree and both be right.

              Yes, certainly you can. On anything that is a matter of subjective interpretation and personal experience. That's a rather severe fault in your worldview. For instance, Joe may be enamored of redheads; while John only responds to brunettes. Larry doesn't even raise an eyebrow unless they're blond. Joe is a leg man, goes nuts for stockings and garters, lingerie and artful makeup. John despises makeup, considers it superficial and unnecessary, but responds negatively to th

    • Yeah, yeah. So it was parody week. It still counts!
      http://xkcd.com/144/ [xkcd.com]

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      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".

    • 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.

    • by operagost (62405)
      English speakers are hamstrung by having essentially only one word for love, although we can usually get our point across with a few adjectives. The greeks have several:
      • Agape, which is slightly modified now to include romance but traditionally meant a deep, unselfish love reserved for one's spouse or children. In the Bible, it is used to describe the relationship with God.
      • Eros, a passionate love. "Romantic", "erotic".
      • Philia, "brotherly" love. This is compassion, felt through a sense of duty, honor,
  • by jcoy42 (412359)

    Don't tell me they're bringing back the furby..

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:41PM (#36624854) Journal

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:42PM (#36624880)
  • It can hate too!! i bet that little robot is gonna murder his owner in his/her sleep if she/he doesnt pay attention.
  • by lmcgeoch (1298209)

    I love my scuba when it cleans the kitchen floor, bathroom floor, etc...

  • by Divide By Zero (70303) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:47PM (#36624938)
    http://www.dieselsweeties.com/ [dieselsweeties.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 leve

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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?

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

  • "Oh, Fry, I love you more than the moon, the stars, the..."
    [monotone] "POETIC IMAGE #36 NOT FOUND."
  • I wonder which U.S. State will be the first to legalize Robosexual Marriage. [wikia.com]
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:56PM (#36625086) Journal

    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".

    • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by RsG (809189) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:20PM (#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?

      • 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.

        • by RsG (809189)

          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

          • 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

          • Why would freedom be a necessity in an intelligent mind?
            If it's possible to program what stimulates it's pleasure, it's entirely possible to make it feel bliss to perform the most vile and repulsive acts you can think off.

            Without human inhibitions, all becomes possible.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        violation of basic rights that entails.

        Since when does a non-sentient *machine* have rights?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DemonGenius (2247652)

      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 huma

    • 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.

    • 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.
    • In two months, I get married. I'll keep you posted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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.
  • I want my Lucy Liu-bot [comedycentral.com]!!

  • But how many BULLETS does it hold? If it can't lovingly defend my baby with a rain of lead, I'll kick its ass!

  • The name is Human Samani.

  • 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
  • How is there an article about robots and robot love without any mention of Japan in it?
  • 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.
  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:23PM (#36625490) Homepage
    We all know what the end result of this will be:
    Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      How quaint, a time when "android" meant a humanlike robot.
  • I can't wait to be rejected by one of these things!
  • You could call it something like a partner square or friendship block or or.......

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

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

    • 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...

  • The first name of a researcher who does work on robots is Hooman. Daft Punk would be proud.

  • ELO Did a song similar to this....
    "Yours Truly 2095"

  • 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.
  • It will just lead to betrayal.

  • Apparently the girls there will fall in love with anything!

  • I can accept not having relations with humans (females, in case you were wondering), but getting the "cold shoulder" from a robot? Sorry, that is more then I can take.

  • why isn't the tag line "from the more human than human" dept.?
  • I love my fiancee, but, I still acknowledge that our emotional responses to each other is a genetic byproduct of the necessity of mating being necessary for our long-time survival.

    What lovebots (not sexbots) do is remove the need for very many of the unneccesary biological functions which complicate life to such a huge extent.

    Reproduction will surely not be an issue, an artifical womb wouldn't be that hard and using genetic combinations could easily create children this far into the future.

    And, yes, to crea

  • I cant wait to be able to get a robot that looks like Rosie Huntington, and then start wining her and dining her....and maybe even sit down near a fire with her, and start leaning in, and tell her how much i love her 1s and 0s....

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas

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