Now fuzzy self-programming will be used to help gadgets learn about human emotional response, and try to emulate it. A little robot dinosaur called Pleo will be hitting consumer electronics shelves soon.
The idea that robots will be able to reprogram themselves on-the-fly to "better serve" humanity seems a little scary to me, since I read every science fiction horror story I could get my hands on when I was in grade school. Of course, as long as they make the robots this small and without opposable thumbs, I guess we'll be all right. When they start making true androids with this sort of capability, I say we're screwed.
But I do hope that my prejudices will be ill-founded. One of the earliest texts of Buddhism begins:
1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow
I wonder how Mind and mental states apply to robots. Will they be happy if they seem happy?
Categories: Buddhism, computers