[ExI] Robot cats for companionship

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Jan 31 19:11:04 UTC 2016

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.

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
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list