Artificial intelligence seems to be making huge strides. It has become the key technology behind autopilot cars, machine translation systems, voice and text analysis, image processing and all types of diagnostic and facial recognition systems.
In many cases, artificial intelligence can exceed the best levels of human performance on specific tasks.
If we ever want to develop the kind of advanced artificial intelligence featured in science fiction movies, we may need a human-like body.
Aberystwyth University computer scientist Mark Lee argues that a truly advanced AI system that can learn and interact with its environment must also have a robotic body. Lee wrote in The Conversation that otherwise, even the best artificial intelligence technique could not develop the sense of self that gives people a subjective point of view and helps us to deduce things about the world.
Lee highlights recent attempts to learn artificial intelligence algorithms in a way that reflects how children learn about the world, slowly learning the rules through experimentation, while taking and interpreting their surroundings. In this way, he argues, robots that lead AI can one day become empathetic enough to develop a relationship with them.
“So while unincorporated artificial intelligence certainly has a fundamental limitation,” Lee wrote in The Conversation, “future research with robotic bodies may one day help create lasting, empathetic social interactions between robots and humans.”
However, Lee’s human-centered ideas are not universally accepted in computer science. Thus, the modeling of artificial intelligence hardware and software after the human brain has certainly led to some major advances. But other experts say that focusing explicitly on recreating the human mind in a machine could hinder the field of development of the robot itself.