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Could you create a robot with a mind of its own?

Could you create a robot with a mind of its own in a lab? Could it have human features?
Brandy Jo Anderson from Conwy (Aged 55+)

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One Response

  1. Hello Brandy

    Yes, we can already create a robot with a mind of its own, in a lab. Such a robot is called an ‘autonomous’ robot, which means that it decides what to do next on its own, without human intervention. However, even though current autonomous robots do ‘have a mind of their own’, it is a very simple mind indeed and doesn’t even begin to approach human level intelligence. In fact, current autonomous robots – even the most advanced – really only have insect-level intelligence. (Of course I’m doing insects an injustice here, since even they are rather complicated animals.)

    Scientists disagree on how long it will take before robot intelligence will be comparable to human intelligence, or even whether this is possible at all. My own view is that robots with human level intelligence are – in principle – possible, but that it will until the next century before we understand enough about how human level intelligence works to be able to re-create it artificially.

    You also ask if a robot could have human features. In fact robots that look like humans, called androids, do already exist. Researchers in Japan are especially interested in building android robots, Dr Hiroshi Ishiguro, of the Intelligent Robotics Systems lab in Osaka University Japan, has for instance recently demonstrated a robot double of himself. It looks very lifelike, but unfortunately it actually has very little intelligence or autonomy, and most of its functions are remotely controlled by human operators.

    I hope this helps to answer your question.

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