[ExI] Robot cats for companionship

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 1 02:33:15 UTC 2016

On Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 1:11 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> The Paro robot is amazingly hard not to pet. It does not take much to make
> us humans cuddle stuff.
> The real question is what it takes to construct high-level companionship.
> Cuddling is a direct physical/emotional activity. Hiroshi Ishiguro has been
> exploring transmitting/creating presence using his Telenoid (plus, earlier,
> telepresence using a Geminoid). But doing things like friendly chatting or
> sitting together may still be tricky.
> I was recently in a great conversation with a scholar about the future of
> relationships, where we tried to figure out how much can be predicted about
> making emotional and social connections to robots. Sexbots are hard enough,
> but systems that could develop good enough socioemotional bonds are really
> tricky given our human uncanny valley response - yet, as many people show,
> there are always some people who bond to the strangest entities.

​Briefly there were machines in public places (though where I dunno), that
performed Rogerian therapy. (My memory is not too great on this.)
Extremely easy to program - just take the last statement and put it in the
form of a question.

"I've been rather sad lately"  AI  - "Oh too bad, when did you start
feeling sad?"

I think this idea ran afoul of the APA (psych) and the APA (psychia.) and
so died.

Maybe they didn't like the idea that people could actually get better this
way and take their jobs.  Frankly, with a good enough AI, I think it would
definitely work.  Many people are refreshed by talking to others or even
themselves (if one wanted the ultimate in an empathic listener).

But I think they did establish that people would take these seriously.  A
Turing test of sorts, I suppose.  A great AI might make them forget they
are talking to a machine.

The ultimate of this, as you may know, is the downloading of 'female' AI
spaceship mind into a physical body of a woman in one of Heinlein's last
books.  'She' wanted to experience sex.

bill w

> On 2016-01-31 17:58, BillK wrote:
>> Hasbro has announced a robot cat aimed at companionship for old folk.
>> It only costs 100 USD, so it doesn't do much more than purr when
>> stroked, meow and roll over occasionally.
>> The next few generations should be more capable.
>> (Catching mice???).  :)
>> The robot seal pup Paro that has already been produced for dementia
>> patients costs 5,000 USD, so the cat has a lot of competitive space
>> for improvements.
>> Video here:  (4mins).
>> <
>> http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160129-are-these-robot-cats-cute-or-creepy-watch-this-and-decide
>> >
>> Review here:
>> <
>> http://uk.businessinsider.com/hasbro-companion-pet-robotic-cat-review-a-strange-but-fun-stuffed-animal-2015-11
>> >
>> BillK
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> --
> Anders Sandberg
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford Martin School
> Oxford University
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