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Thoughts on Robotic Artificial Intelligence

Ok, this is really cool. I found this video link awhile back that was published by the BBC, and had bookmarked it for it had really intrigued me. Many of you may have seen this already as it has been out for some time. An inventor created robotic fish using modern technology of artificial intelligence and displayed them at the London aquarium. These fish can move and operate on their own, and their movements are so realistic that they swim like real fish! How cool is that!

Remember about ten years ago when the Tamagachi pet craze was happening? They were selling out like crazy and I recall running to the store to buy a couple of them, one to give as a gift and the other for myself. If you’re not familiar with the Tamagatchi pet, this was a small egg-shaped video game ($10US) where you get to raise a virtual pet from the time it hatches from its egg to the day it dies of old age in about 2-weeks. You didn’t know what was going to hatch, whether it was going to be a boy or girl, whether it was going to be cute or ugly, or even if the personality of this thing was going to be shy or outgoing. It was like having your own kid!

The purpose of this gizmo was to raise your pet how you would a real child. There were regular feedings, regular diaper changings, and even regular playtimes. If you took good care of your pet it would be happy and grow up well, but if you neglected it, it’s personality would change to be mean and grumpy, and the pet would eventually die. You were graded on its 2-week life cycle…

It was such as chore to take care of this thing, and I remember 5-days into it I had a happy pet who got regular feedings, diaper changes and play time. I felt like the best parent in the world! That was until I accidentally dropped the gizmo onto the ground causing it to reset! I felt horrible! I had killed my Tamagatchi! But after all that work, that was it, I had decided to just put it away… This was my Tamagatchi experience.

In Japan a few years ago, came the development of the Sony AIBO, a robotic dog with a cult-like following. The AIBO had movement like a real dog, and like the Tamagatchi, grows up over time depending on how its care taker interacted of it. The AIBO was such a hit, that there are many websites devoted to its followers. The only drawback is the price, which can cost up to $10,000 US. Just recently, Sony pulled the plug on the AIBO.

So, we’ve progressed from robotic eggs, dogs, and fish. It’ll only be a matter of time before the first robotic human is built, with the capabilities to stand and sit on 2-feet, and to have the ability to hold a conversation. I guess this’ll be a good thing, If anything, we’ll at least be able to use the carpool lane!


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