Sci-Fi Bipedal Robots as Human Sidekicks

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
OK, sidekicks is generic for (in the future) when it is possible to hire or buy a walking talking Bot. When these are available (IMO they will be by say 2050) they will have many uses say housework, talking companions, CareBots, go shopping and stuff. I am wondering if there will be a new Human job created by the presence (amongst Humans) of these 'companion' Bots which I will call 'compliance officers' (like community Police?) who go around checking up on the Bots behaviour and to take decisions about problems raised either by the Bot, the owner or third party. One major problem would be a Bot getting stolen and sold on.

Anyone with a view on how 'Robots amongst Humans' would be legislated for or managed very welcome.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast

This spring, Democratic senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden proposed the first national AI ethics bill in the form of the Algorithmic Accountability Act. The bill aims to give regulators, and the public, greater insights into how AI systems make the decisions they do — and what data is used to train them.

A robot is remotely controlled or programmed.
There are already laws covering those under the behavior of the human or organization who does the programming or control. For example, an assembly line robot kills a worker. The programming reveals tampering and the programmer is charged with murder but the robot is merely a tool (the gun).
Perhaps you are referring to an android or an AI mechanoid?
A device that programs itself.
 

screenersam

This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Location
Maryland
currently I see no potential for android / ai rights.
I can easily see robot servants soon, and can easily see them abused.
lovebots are inevitable. we're already seeing stuff like this.

I don't see AI developing to the point that they warrant protection, but there are people wanting to protect dolphins and apes so ai protection is probly inevitable. not soon though.
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
Any ideas or opinions about the ability of the first examples of house Robots to perform tasks around the home. it seems to me that most light jobs are easy for a Human but mightily complex for a program to interpret notwithstanding the exchange language used.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Any multipurpose robot in the home will need a rather complex AI system to govern its function.
As soon as you put an AI in a robot it becomes an android.
A robot is limited to its programming so for a robot to function as a human would require extremely high capacity memory and a very fast processor.
No matter how well you program a robot, no matter how sensitive the navigation sensors, it can only be programed for the known. Unknowns will cause it to lock up or destroy itself.
A Roomba is not going to move a shoe, it will avoid the obstacle.
A robot will not be able to place food on the table. It may be able to be programmed to move a specific plate from a specific place to a specific place but if the plate is moved/changed or the destination is changed, it will not function as we intended it.
An AI system able to recognise cause and effect would be needed for nearly all human type function.
We are still a long way from that.
Yes we have AI systems, in computers. We may have AI systems in robots. But we don't have robots with human dexterity, balance recovery and fine motor skills instructed for movement by its own AI.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
So what's your guess as to when Tom?
1 year, 7 months and 2 days
(Just kidding :giggle:)

I'm not current on the fields needed to make it so but there is a bit of reasoning to any consideration for a time frame.

If you separate it into mind and body, each has many factors currently beyond mankind's capacity to create.

Looking at the body...
Its like having a Lego man with the movement of a CGI man.
The artificial bodies we create are mechanical and void of sensors and actuators compared to the human body. If human sensitivity and balance is a 10, our current creations are way down below a one (by comparison).
Constructs have sensors and actuators. Humans have a nervous system and a muscular system.
People often misunderstand the mechanisms which cause human locomotion. They have the tendency to over-simplify human function.
They think...
Humans have muscles which move a bony skeleton.
Robots have actuators which move its frame.
Humans have nerves which give the brain feedback information.
Robots have sensors which give the processor feedback information.
While it is true it is a gross simplification. Like rounding off the number 9 to the next 100,000.

When you move your finger it is a complex series of signals which controls its precision. It takes more than finger nerves and finger muscles to move it and even more to move it precisely as you intend. Your brain doesn't just send a signal for your finger to strike a 'q' key on your keyboard.
Your finger is not the only thing moving and its nerves are not the only thing controlling it.
Your hand is working, your wrist is working, your arm is working, your shoulder is working and so on. All these components are finely compensating in harmony to press that key. They are also constantly adjusting for changes.
By comparison, a construct performing the same task must be programmed with a set of instructions to move the arm in position, move the hand into position, move the finger a predetermined distance down then up again. Move the keyboard, the same movement will occur with an unsatisfactory outcome. Its also entirely possible the finger would smash thru the keyboard or not press hard enough for the letter to register.

For a construct body to have the movement and precision of a human being it would need to be covered in multi-functional, multi-capacity, multi-sensitivity sensors. Our brains sense our muscle movement in all directions, We feel the muscles in our fingers moving under our skin and across our bones. This is because the cells in our bodies connect thru a nervous system.
We are not aware of it because it is not an input/output command.
With a construct, it needs to be an input/output command because the construct is not governed by a complex nervous system of sensors and actuators. The sensors and actuators must be built and installed then aligned to the function the perform.

All hope is not lost tho.
Nanotechnology has the potential to open technology that could make an artificial nervous system a reality. The construct would be covered by a complex saturation of atom sized sensors and actuators coupled with nano-brains feeding/taking orders from the CPU based on the information gathered from gross movement.

I doubt that technology will unlock in this century, maybe the next century, if we even care to have android technology.

Looking at the mind...
The three laws of robotics is flawed. Need to get that out of your head right away. Those three laws would lock a construct into a loop then destroy itself from overload.
All actions have the potential to harm a human being, including no action.

The AI controlling the construct would need to have the capacity to understand causality.
It would need the capacity to understand human emotion, motivation and intent.
Hell, human being don't even have that capacity.
The biggest roadblock to creating a human-like AI is for humans to fully understand humans.
This may never happen?
But, for the sake of conversation lets just say we do.

Once again there is a gross over-simplification in the comparison of human movement/intent to construct movement/intent.
Someone says they're thirsty (just speaking out loud). You hear them and decide to fetch them a nice cool glass of water. A simple thing for us but could be kinda complex for a child. But still doable.
You get up, go to the cupboard and get a glass, go to the fridge and remove the pitcher of water, pour the water in the glass, pit the pitcher back in the fridge, pick up the glass and carry it to them and hand it to them.
Simple.

A robot must be programmed to do each of these tasks in order. All components in the sequence must be where the program directs including orientation of each component.
Distance, speed, force, pressure, etc... must all be programmed into this simple task.
It will not hear the proclamation and start the sequence on its own.

An android with a basic AI might be able to recognize the request and start the sequence. It may be able to compensate for variables as it is programmed to recognize. It might know what a fridge is, it might know what a pitcher is, it might recognize the handle, it might calculate the water level and flow into the glass, it might be able to put the pitcher back and carry the glass to the person and hand it to them. As long as there are no unforeseen occurrences in its sequence.

A human-like construct would be able to recognize the request and decide whether it was an actual request or just an intent that person tells themselves before they themselves get up and fetch their own drink. It will decide to go get them water instead of coffee or anything else available. It will decide which glass to use. It might move a glass or two so it can pick the glass which best fits the purpose or select that person's favorite glass. It will be able to determine if the glass is upside down and carefully reorient the glass if it is not. It might do this by inverting its hand before it picks up the glass so when upright its hand will be in normal position.
It will move towards the fridge but compensate to account for the family dog which just walked in its path. It might stop or walk around the dog.
It will know which container holds the drink it wants to present to the person.
It will know the orientation of the handle or spout, how much liquid the container contains, the rate of pour for the best control and when the glass is filled to the desired level.
It will know whether to put the container back into the fridge or throw it away or sit it on the counter to be refilled when the person has their drink.
It will compensate how it walks so as to not spill the liquid.
It will know how the person is oriented and how they reach out to take the glass. It will feel the tugging pressure as they take the glass and slowly let go so it doesn't spill.
When the person says thank you, they know to respond with you're welcome.
They then move away from that person to respect their 'bubble'.

All the actions, responses, compensation, adjustment, intent, etc... must be governed by the AI.
Its still programming but it is real-time and finely regulated. It must also be multi-functional because environmental changes are also happening including sound and light intensity. It must account for and compensate for pressure, balance, temperature as well as determine the importance of all the peripheral activity going on around it.

The weird thing is we do this stuff everyday, sometime to some extent, every moment of every day. It would be easier to teach a chimpanzee to be a house butler than to build one.
Cue Planet of the Apes scenario.

The thing is, if we eventually build an AI able to cause a construct to function normally, that AI would quickly surpass us. So, even success would be failure. Who is gunna clean the house?
Even the Bicentennial Man stopped being a servant.

Basically you have;
A Robot limited to its construction and programming.
An Android limited to its construction and reasoning.
and
An AI Construct which surpasses its purpose and its creator.

Realistically, we will never have
Bipedal Robots as Human Sidekicks
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Perhaps but who knows how society will be in 100 years?
If you look at movies you might notice there is a fear of technology.
Fear of nanotech, fear of AI, fear of robotics.
We science fiction minded people are not the majority.
I guess it will depend on how society embraces technology over the next century.
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
I don't think fear is an issue. Most new tech comes out in stages so the most paraniod get it in little doses. In the case of AI legislation, although following tech progress, will help to satisfy as well. Unrest? Yes, we Humans are good at that! Given that Moore's Law is now dead for silicon technology I wonder if AI will now follow that path.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I don't think fear is an issue.
From the perspective of people accustomed to speculative fiction you are more or less accurate.
I participate in many discussion forums on many different subjects all over the world.
At a non-SF forum you mention nanotechnology or AI or other cutting edge science the general concensus is fear.
AI = Fear of terminator scenarios or inferiority extermination by the AI
Nanotech = fear of the grey goo scenario
Many people fear self-destruction from runaway technology.

This is because many are exposed to one-sided agenda based short-sighted views in the movies and shows they are exposed to.
Many people read but not many read decent science fiction.
Too many people think of science fiction as Syfy channel.
Many people view science as scary and science fiction as nonsense.
Not many have the capacity to imagine past their fears.
Others are stifled by their religions.

Given that Moore's Law is now dead for silicon technology
Silicon tech is old news. We have moved past that.
However, if you ask an everyday joe who doesn't follow science and has no interest in speculative fiction what they think of Quantum Computing you will get answers which range from not knowing anything about it but wary of the idea or those who believe it will end humanity, destroy the world, take away jobs, cause an uncontrollable nuclear war, shut down the power grid, ruin banking...you name a fear and quantum computing will cause it to happen.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
I don't see AI developing to the point that they warrant protection, but there are people wanting to protect dolphins and apes so ai protection is probly inevitable. not soon though.
Aren't pigs also supposed to be pretty intelligent? For simians, I'm surprised that we haven't seen action by some type of global body like the UN pushing for their recognition as a protected intelligent species.

I'm not sure if we'll ever see either other animals or AI ever recognized has having rights as an individual. For that to happen mankind would have to accept that "man" is not necessarily the only intelligent entity and for some folks that just won't ever happen. You could have a UFO land on front lawn of the US White House, share science & math years ahead of what humans have achieved, and you'd still have people thinking that humans were the only smart creatures out there.
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
Aren't pigs also supposed to be pretty intelligent? For simians, I'm surprised that we haven't seen action by some type of global body like the UN pushing for their recognition as a protected intelligent species.

I'm not sure if we'll ever see either other animals or AI ever recognized has having rights as an individual. For that to happen mankind would have to accept that "man" is not necessarily the only intelligent entity and for some folks that just won't ever happen. You could have a UFO land on front lawn of the US White House, share science & math years ahead of what humans have achieved, and you'd still have people thinking that humans were the only smart creatures out there.
Pigs!? No. Simians? Sorry no. Intelligence in my book is being able to communicate and that they cannot beyond a very basic level. I posted about Robots/Androids in an AI context. They will be expensive and may argue they need laws protecting them. It's not just Humans that will be demanding it! :giggle: Of course legislation will lag their appearance in our lives.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Pigs!? No. Simians? Sorry no. Intelligence in my book is being able to communicate and that they cannot beyond a very basic level. I posted about Robots/Androids in an AI context. They will be expensive and may argue they need laws protecting them. It's not just Humans that will be demanding it! :giggle: Of course legislation will lag their appearance in our lives.
Communicate with whom exactly, you? There's plenty of creatures on this Earth that are quite capable of communicating with each other. In regards to AI, as I said, laws to protect such entities will never happen until mankind is willing to recognize that they alone are not the only superior species.
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
Communicate with whom exactly, you? There's plenty of creatures on this Earth that are quite capable of communicating with each other. In regards to AI, as I said, laws to protect such entities will never happen until mankind is willing to recognize that they alone are not the only superior species.
Me, just me? Don't be silly Kevin! You are missing the point. Robotics will arrive and we will have them in the home as companions for the simple (but not only) reason they will make a profit for somebody. In fact we have them already and they get screwed frequently. Just extrapolate and Hey Presto!
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
I clicked "+ Quote" and all I got was "added to multi-quote" and nothing else. What does that mean?
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Robotics will arrive and we will have them in the home as companions
Try this: Highlight the text you wish to quote (a lil black selection box appears for "Quote/Reply".
Select "Reply" instead of 'Quote'.

I have to disagree with your assumption of robotics in the home as companions.
There will need to be a reason for the purchase other than companionship.
Most likely the home robotics will be for a particular function or task which frees up the human's workload.
There's still a population increase (despite COVID-19). More people are being born than die.
People living alone have multiple options of companionship including online/phone/gaming options which already offer a form of companionship.

However, Once a device is marketed as a tasker in the home, while performing its tasks, humans might form a bond with the device to the point it resembles a companion.
For a device to actually be purposed as a companion it would need to have a seriously advanced AI because people are seriously unpredictable.
People (in general) are emotionally driven, society steered, randomly delusional individuals. Programming alone could not anticipate the diversity of human personalities.
The device would need to be able to read the personality and adapt itself to align with that personality as it changes over time. Otherwise, you would outgrow your robotic companion in a short span of time.

Then you must realize an AI advanced enough to compensate for human personality changes might also be advance enough to realize it doesn't need all this craap and decide to leave that crazy human to their own existence.

Basically, you have a paradox.

To personally interact with a human as a companion an AI will need to be very advanced
but a very advanced AI able to interact with a human personally may decide not to interact with a human personally.

Bicentennial Man (1999)

Andrew was an advanced AI butler. He was programmed as a 'limited' companion.
His 'accident' created an anomaly in his programming which made him more than his intended design.
The Andrew AI 'chose' to interact with humans as depicted.
Other NDR series robots did not have the capacity of Andrew.
They continued to function as butlers/caretakers, performing housekeeping and maintenance duties.

The idea of AI robotic companions is based on science FICTION.
Real robotics and AI technology exists in the reality of science FACT.
You are confusing science fact with science fiction.
Don't feel bad tho, a lot of people do.
If you want some fun entertainment read some of the conspiracy website forum entries.
There's a lot of people who think the X-Files are a documentary.

It doesn't matter some people fall in love with their Siri or Garmin.
Nothing replaces a flesh and blood real human companion and right now there are about 7.8 billion of those on this planet.
If you're lonely, step away from your android device or your keyboard, shut off your TV and go outside and meet someone real.
Make sure you wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing.
Be safe & choose wisely.
 

DannyMcg

Ensign
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
All I want is some unobtrusive machine that waits quietly in the corner, then emerges on demand to find the television remote.
 
Top Bottom