Do you live in constant fear, preparing for the day that robots will take over the world? If you do, you won’t be too pleased to learn about what the folks over at the Hasegawa Group at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have been up to. The group has managed to create robots that are capable of thinking and learning by themselves.
The robots make use of a technology called SOINN (Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network) lets it think like humans when it encounters tasks that it has never done before. The robot makes educated guesses and decisions based on its past experiences and knowledge. This means that robots with this technology will be capable of adapting to different situations that it’s normally used to working in.
If a robot has no idea to do something, it will even be capable of looking on the internet for help or even asking other robots around the world. The robots can also store what they learn and eventually become smarter over time.
While robots are constantly getting smarter, one of the main problems with robots right now is that they are all designed for specific purposes. A robot that assembles phones isn’t going to wash the floor or serve you drinks – just because it wasn’t built to do so. But the day when flexible, humanoid robots (i.e. Honda Asimo) are combined with this learning and thinking technology is the day people with the Frankenstein complex should start to get a little worried. For now, we can rest assured it won’t be happening too soon.