Judgement Day is one step closer to reality

We are officially one step closer to Judgment DayI understood that Sky Net was supposed to be an American company but apparently it was a Japanese-based network of scientists that laid the foundation for John Connor’s destruction.

The creators of the Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, say it’s slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship. […]

“Babies and infants have very, very limited programmes. But they have room to learn more,” said Osaka University professor Minoru Asada, as his team’s 33 kilogram (73 pound) invention kept its eyes glued to him.

The team is trying to teach the pint-sized android to think like a baby who evaluates its mother’s countless facial expressions and “clusters” them into basic categories, such as happiness and sadness.

Asada’s project brings together robotics engineers, brain specialists, psychologists and other experts, and is supported by the state-funded Japan Science and Technology Agency.

With 197 film-like pressure sensors under its light grey rubbery skin, CB2 can also recognise human touch, such as stroking of its head.

Is anyone as weirded out by this as I am? If you’re making a humanoid robot baby why does it have three fingers? I’m guessing this is a safety measure so we don’t confuse them with living 10 year olds. I wonder if there is cyborg priest out there salivating.

Thousands of humanoids could be working alongside humans in a decade or so, if that is what society wants, said Fumio Miyazaki, engineering science professor at the Toyonaka Campus of Osaka University.

“Robots have hearts,” said Kokoro planning department manager Yuko Yokota. “They don’t look human unless we put souls in them. When manufacturing a robot, there comes a moment when light flickers in its eyes. That’s when we know our work is done.”

Yes that’s right he said “Souls!” Damn, I’d be more prepared for this if I could have stayed awake through all of Spielberg’s A.I.

Asada said Japan’s indigenous animistic belief system may also have readied people to accept human-like robots with minds of their own.

“Everything has a mind — the mind of the lamp, the mind of the chair, the soul of the desk,” he said, pointing at objects in his office.

“Therefore the machines should have their mind too. If we proceed in this study, machines may have something like a human mind or ‘robo-mind’,” he said.

These scientists are obviously off their rockers. We all know a machine can not have a soul… unless it is struck by lightning, pals around with Steve Guttenberg and is named Johnny 5.

One the thing for certain… we now know a side effect of generations of people living in the midst of atomic radiation is the inability to recognize creepiness.  [h/t]

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