Interview with Adrian David Cheok in Sydney Morning Herald “Robots starting to feel the love”

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Adrian David Cheok was interviewed for an article in Sydney Morning Herald, one of Australia’s leading newspapers. Read article on http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/robots-starting-to-feel-the-love-20130918-2tzey.html#ixzz2gUbt0Itz and an extract is given below.

Researchers believe we will become emotionally attached to robots, even falling in love with them. People already love inanimate objects like cars and smartphones. Is it too far a step to think they will fall deeper for something that interacts back?
“Fantastic!” says Adrian Cheok, of Japan’s Keoi University’s mixed reality lab, when told of the Paro study. Professor Cheok, from Adelaide, is at the forefront of the emerging academic field of Lovotics, or love and robotics.
Cheok believes the increasing complexity of robots means they will have to understand emotion. With social robots that may be with you 24 hours a day, he says it is “very natural” people will want to feel affection for the machine. A care-giver robot will need to understand emotion to do its job, and he says it would be a simple step for the robot to express emotion. “Within a matter of years we’re going to have robots which will effectively be able to detect emotion and display it, and also learn from their environment,” he says.
The rather spooky breakthrough came when artificial intelligence researchers realised they did not need to create artificial life. All they needed to do was mimic life, which makes mirror neurons – the basis of empathy – fire in the brain. “If you have a robot cat or robot human and it looks happy or sad, mirror neurons will be triggered at the subconscious level, and at that level we don’t know if the object is alive or not, we can still feel empathy,” Cheok says. “We can’t really tell the difference if the robot is really feeling the emotion or not and ultimately it doesn’t matter. Even for humans we don’t know whether a person’s happy or sad.” He argues if a robot emulates life, for all intents and purposes it is alive.
Psychologist Amanda Gordon, an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra, is sceptical. “It’s not emotional, it’s evoking the emotion in the receiver,” she says. ”That seal isn’t feeling anything. It’s not happy or sad or pleased to see you.”
She says the risk is that people fall for computer programs instead of a real relationship. “Then you’re limiting yourself. You’re not really interacting with another. Real-life relationships are growth-ful, you develop in response to them. They challenge you to do things differently.”
Cheok’s research shows 60 per cent of people could love a robot. “I think people fundamentally have a desire, a need to be loved, or at least cared for,” he says. “I think it’s so strong that we can probably suspend belief to have a loving relationship with a robot.”
Probably the most advanced android in the world is the Geminoid robot clone of its creator Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics lab at Osaka University. Professor Ishiguro says our bodies are always moving, so he programmed that realistic motion into his creation along with natural facial expressions.
The one thing it does not do is age, which means 49-year-old Ishiguro is constantly confronted with his 41-year-old face. “I’m getting old and the android doesn’t,” he says. ”People are always watching the android and that means the android has my identity.” So he has had plastic surgery – at $10,000, he says it is cheaper than $30,000 to build a new head.
Robots can help kids with autism who do not relate to humans. Ishiguro is working with the Danish government to see how his Telenoid robots can aid the elderly.
Moyle says she has had inquiries from throughout Australia about Paro. A New Zealand study showed dementia victims interacted with a Paro more than a living dog.
“There are a lot of possible negative things [that artificial intelligence and robots could lead to],” Cheok says, “and we should be wary as we move along. We have to make sure we try to adjust. But in general I think the virtual love for the characters in your phone or screen or soon robots is ultimately increasing human happiness, and that’s a good thing for humanity.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/robots-starting-to-feel-the-love-20130918-2tzey.html#ixzz2gUbt0Itz

Interview of Adrian David Cheok on Swedish National Radio Friday 12 July, about communication by touch via the internet. Den första som kramade en höna via internet – Tekniksafari | Sveriges Radio

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Interview of Adrian David Cheok on Swedish National Radio Friday 12 July, about communication by touch via the internet. Den första som kramade en höna via internet – Tekniksafari | Sveriges Radio

The next step in augmented reality: Electrify your taste buds

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The next step in augmented reality: Electrify your taste buds

New schools, new knowledge for the Internet age, by Adrian David Cheok | Forum:Blog | The World Economic Forum

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New schools, new knowledge for the Internet age, by Adrian David Cheok | Forum:Blog | The World Economic Forum

Adrian David Cheok is appointed Advisor to Assemblage which is making exciting new internet communication products

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Adrian David Cheok is appointed Advisor to Assemblage which is making exciting new internet communication products

Interview with Adrian David Cheok (Keio University), Howard Charney (CISCO), Genevieve Bell (Intel) about reality-virtualtiy co-existence at Seoul Digital Forum

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1) What kinds of technologies realise the ‘reality-virtuality coexistence’ in our daily life?

– Adrian:A process of hyperconnectivity, afforded by such technologies as cloud computing and social media is merging the physical reality and digitaldata.

– Howard: Fundamentally we are talking about video, mobility and cloud. This presumes affordable broadband services with infinite bandwidth.

– Genevieve: It’s more about the experiences supported/enabled by various technologies (e.g. mobile phones, social networks) than technologies themselves. In fact, experiencing virtual worlds is not strictly about technologies- take religious rituals for example.

2) Where is this zeitgeist heading and how will they shape our future?

– Adrian: in a direction that encompasses more of our senses and feelings. Our social networks may extend beyond humans to an emotional/non-verbal communication between humans, their environments, devices and objects.

– Howard: mixed reality technologies will be applied more extensively to the such areas – but not limited to – as virtual training, immersive teaching/learning. These virtual reality-supported learning experiences will increase competence, success and well being in many of our activities.

– Genevieve: The ways for ‘social networking’ will become more diversified,and new modes of digitally enhanced social engagements will continue to emerge. Cultural, social and regulatory frameworks will play an important role in this process.

 

3) How we can make AR/MR become more humanised and sustainable?

– Adrian: The use of visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory and gustatory senses will enable a new paradigm of more humanised telecommunication. This field has a long way to go, but it would be especially interesting to see how children will grasp these technologies to create value.

– Howard:Are AR/MR technologies about creating alternative realities or enhancing the ‘real world’? – it should be about extending and enhancing our physical world. When used for learning and training, AR/MR can prove to be powerful tools for creativity, innovation, collaboration and productivity.

– Genevieve: We are moving from command-control interactions with technology to possibilities of forming ‘relationships’ with them. Siri for example promises to ‘listen’ and gives us a sense of being taken care of. We might imagine a relationship in which humans and technologies are effectively bound to each other.

That’s Not A Droid, That’s My Girlfriend | The Global Mail

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That’s Not A Droid, That’s My Girlfriend | The Global Mail

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