Some researchers at Cornell have set about teaching robots how to think like people and perform menial tasks ’round the house in pursuit of a limited, non-scary sort of artificial intelligence. “If we’re ever going to have robot butlers, then they’re going to have to learn how to figure things out for themselves,” Gizmag writes of the experiments. “After all, if you have to reprogram the robot for every slight variation on a task, you might as well do it yourself.”
The researchers are attempting to train personal assistant robots to learn and adapt when presented with new problems, rather than repeating tasks they’ve been programmed to do and repeated many times. The robots had a 98 percent success rate “when dealing with objects and environments they had seen before” … and a 95 percent success rate “when dealing with new objects in new environments.”
But just when Betabeat was started to get creeped out about the rise of the machines, we watched the video of a robot at Cornell. They still seem really stupid! This bit of machine learning is “very cutting edge,” a Cornell representative told Betabeat by email, and the robots don’t require human bodies as fuel. Our reaction? Phew. Mankind still reigns.