Artificial Brain Parts
From Sensopac, who've announced plans to build an artificial cerebellum for robots:
Breakthroughs and Innovations at a Glance:
+ Developing a theoretical understanding of the basis of cognition
+ Building a machine that can explore its own environment under its own guidance
+ Understanding how to abstract cognitive notions through a self-discovery which can bootstrap cognitive development
+ Developing principles that are applicable to any sensorimotor system, even those that are not well understood.
+ Methodologies for building systems-level models that remain biologically relevant
+ Developing methodologies for reverse-engineering high-level function such as haptic cognition
+ Understanding the contribution of key brain areas such as the cerebellum in behaviour and finding application for that knowledge in artificial systems
+ Developing technologies to simulate large complex systems in real-time and so allowing these systems to be applied in artificial machines
Those are pretty amazing breakthroughs. Understanding cognition and simulating it in real time, wow. Only, that hasn't happened yet and there are many people trying to do similar things without success.
No matter, BBC News decided to report on one Sensopac goal of building an artificial cerebellum (nevermind that nobody can presently model that number of neurons and neural systems, but technology moves fast) for robots, with the future goal of improving their motor skills.
I do hope some of these breakthroughs are achieved in Sensopac's four-year quest. "A theoretical understanding of the basis of cognition" and an artificial cerebellum sound fab.
Read more from BBC on the artificial cerebellum.
Read more from BBC on robot ethics. "Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives," Park Hye-Young of the ministry's robot team told the AFP news agency. [What does that mean?] "Others may get addicted to interacting with them just as many internet users get hooked to the cyberworld."
Gr8 that the cyberworld delivers infomacnuggets like this. FTW and bring on the sensitive robots!