Flesh and Machines
Many researchers have been building robots that are modelled
after living creatures. Recently there has been an explosion
of work in humanoid robots. At MIT we have been concentrating
on social interactions between people and humanoid robots,
including endowing them with emotions.
This talk will outline that technical work and then conclude
with two more philosophical questions directed towards the
somewhat distant future. What ultimately will separate humans
from robots, and will robots ever want to rid themselves of
humans? The answers offered are a little different from the
standard Hollywood fare.
Rodney A. Brooks is Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence
Laboratory, and is the Fujitsu Professor of Computer Science.
He is also Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of iRobot
Corp. He received degrees in pure mathematics from the Flinders
University of South Australia and the Ph.D. in Computer Science
from Stanford University in 1981. He developed the behavior-based
approach to mobile robots which iRobot Corp is now commercializing.
During the last decade he has concentrated at MIT on humanoid
robots and social interactions. His new research projects
are aimed at building "living machines", machines whose natural
description will be that they are alive in the same sense
as animals or plants.