THINKING, EMOTION, AND SELF-AWARENESS
of musical intelligence.And it has sufficient spatial intelligence to plot a path and avoid obstacles as it walks.
QRIO and its predecessor, Sony’s AIBO dog, are carefully crafted to mesh with human expectations. Like Cynthia Breazeal, the design team at the Digital Creatures Laboratory and its consultant Ronald Arkin at GeorgiaTech, draw on theories of emotion, and on ethology, the study of how living species behave in their natural settings. In- sights from these areas are translated into programming architectures that create believable behavior patterns. (Interestingly, the designers note that ethological information for humans is more limited than for dogs, mostly because of privacy issues.)
These pioneering researchers have constructed a psychic space between human and robot where the person naturally tends to as- cribe emotions and other characteristics of living beings to the crea- ture. In addition to behaving in a variety of intelligent ways, the three smart beings, and others, seem to have emotional components too.
THEY THINK . . . BUT DO THEY FEEL?
With their social capabilities, ASIMO, Kismet, and QRIO all show what look like emotions or frames of mind, although to vastly differ- ent extents.ASIMO’s aspect is similar to a spacesuit helmet visor rather than a face, but its confident walk and jaunty hand wave suggest a certain attitude. QRIO has a face, with appealingly big eyes, but the features are immobile; still, it can simulate emotional expressions by singing, dancing, and conversing appropriately.
Kismet shows emotions directly, however, in its face and voice, and as we have seen, these expressive features can make a bond be- tween human and robot. Because Breazeal also uses the words “emo- tions” and “drives” to describe Kismet’s internal workings, it is natural to ask whether they have meaning to the robot itself—does it have innermost subjective feelings beyond what people ascribe to it? To put it another way, some people empathize with Kismet, feeling bad when they make it “sad.” But is anything like sadness going on inside Kismet? And might such feelings hint at intrapersonal intelligence, Gardner’s seventh category?