• Question: Can a robot develop feelings and emotions? Do robots have common sense?

    Asked by itsamonster713 to Alan on 24 Mar 2011.
    • Photo: Alan Winfield

      Alan Winfield answered on 24 Mar 2011:

      Great question. Well we can already build robots that behave ‘as if’ they have feelings and emotions. Of course they don’t really – they are pretending – just like human actors. (Actually as an aside I think that could be an ethical problem with robotics because I’m worried about people thinking that a robot likes them, or cares for them, when in fact it’s just behaving as if it does.)

      The other part of your question is interesting about common sense. Robots mostly do not have any common sense at all right now. In fact they hardly have any sense at all! But I have a student right now who is working on a project to give a robot a sense of safety, so that it knows that some actions might potentially hurt someone and therefore stops itself from making those actions.

      Here’s another answer I gave about whether robots could become more like humans http://ias.im/35.1633