Robot, know thyself; machines get more self-aware

In this image made from a Feb. 1, 2019, video, Robert Kwiatkowski, a graduate student at Columbia University, demonstrates a robotic arm picking up a red ball and dropping it in a cup at the school in New York. Columbia University engineers have given a robot the ability to model itself without prior knowledge of physics or its own shape. It’s learned that it’s a robotic arm using a process of self-simulation. (AP Photo)

NEW YORK — Forget dreaming of electric sheep. Robots first need to figure out how to imagine themselves.

One New York robot has done just that. It's learned that it's a robotic arm using a process of self-simulation.

Columbia University engineers have given the robot the ability to model itself without prior knowledge of physics or its own shape.

The robot starts out moving randomly, but over time learns enough about itself to be able to perform tasks and even detect if it's been damaged.

Columbia mechanical engineering professor Hod Lipson says "self-awareness is the Holy Grail" of autonomy. He says there are ethical risks in gifting robots with self-awareness but also many benefits, including adaptability and resilience.

The research was published last week in Science Robotics.

Must Read

AP FACT CHECK: Multiple missteps mark Trump,...

Sep 8, 2016

Republican Donald Trump repeated a bevy of previous misstatements in a forum on national security...

In leaked emails, Powell calls Trump a 'national...

Sep 15, 2016

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, in newly leaked emails, is calling Donald Trump "a national...

Hyundai recalls SUVs; software flaw may stop...

Sep 15, 2016

Hyundai is recalling about 41,000 small SUVs in the U.S. because a software glitch can stop the...

Powell discusses secret Israeli nukes in leaked...

Sep 16, 2016

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed Israel's nuclear weapons capability with a friend...

Popular mobile game 'Pokemon Go' lands on Apple...

Dec 22, 2016

The wildly popular mobile game "Pokemon Go" is coming to the Apple Watch

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!