The arrival of intelligent robots that can read, learn and even breed is a step closer as two advanced robotics projects in the US and Korea announced breakthroughs today.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded $1.2m to two researchers in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to build a computer that can read documents and learn from them.
"Humans learn best and most efficiently by reading, and yet the brute fact is that machines, although often touted as learning this and that, cannot read," said Selmer Bringsjord, director of the Rensselaer Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning Laboratory.
"Humans do something very special when they read intelligently: they ponder, almost automatically, how their new knowledge might solve future problems they encounter.
"Our goal is to take appreciable steps toward implementing machine learning at the genuinely human level; an intelligent machine that can read books, comprehend and reflect on what it has read, answer questions in English, and then explain why it answered the way it did."
Meanwhile in South Korea Kim Jong-hwan, professor at Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, unveiled software which creates 14 artificial chromosomes that he claims gives the code the traits of an individual. The software will be installed on a robot within three months.
In tests the chromosomes within the software, which ultimately could allow the robots to 'breed', caused different reactions to external stimuli in different software systems. The code is modelled on human DNA, although as a single not double helix.
Kim Jong-hwan has organised a robot football world cup which is used by researchers around the world to test their latest creations.
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