Can Emotion Help Robot Do a Better Job?

Can robot use emotions to do a better job? Mehdi Dastani and colleagues at Utrech University in the Netherlands are "giving" robot 22 artificial emotions like anger, hope, fear and joy, to see if "feelings" allow it to work better.

The Dutch scientists believe that assuming these "emotional" states could help robots perform complicated tasks without getting too bogged-down in planning and analysis. During navigation, for example, many sophisticated robots repeatedly analyse their position and strategy, requires plenty of computer power.

A robot with artificial emotions could perform much less analysis, relying instead on its "feelings". Once it sees that its current plan is going wrong it would become "fearful" and this would modify its behaviour from that point onwards.

Ultimately, Dastani thinks robot "emotions" could help machines interact with people in more sophisticated ways.


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I wouldn't want a robot that's likely to get pissed off and become irrational, they've already decided we taste like bacon (click the link). o_O
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This could go one of two disastrous ways: we could end up with Skynet (we all know 'going with your gut' is a good way to end up in senseless wars)... Or we could go the Sirius Cybernetics Corp. route and end up with Marvin the Paranoid Android, and robots that take more personal days than their human counterparts.
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Doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. People (and other animals) sometimes do dumb things as a result of fear. Why does anyone think that giving robots emotions would be a GOOD thing?
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If you speak Dutch: here's a short documentary about the Robocat:
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