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Robots + Humans + Negotiation = Achievement Of Goals..?

Can robots negotiate with people? In the near future robots will be able to negotiate with humans by offering different alternatives for achieving human goals:

New research could let vehicles, robots collaborate with humans – MIT News

You get into your car and ask it to get you home in time for the start of the big game, stopping off at your favorite Chinese restaurant on the way to grab some takeout.  But the car informs you that the road past the Chinese restaurant is closed for repairs, so you will not make it home in 30 minutes unless you choose a different food outlet. You select a nearby Korean restaurant from the options the car suggests, and set off on the chosen route. Vehicles, robots and other autonomous devices could soon collaborate with humans in this way, thanks to researchers at MIT who are developing systems capable of negotiating with people to determine the best way to achieve their goals.

Robots Humans Cars 1

More importantly, reobots can help children with autism to improve their social skills and be more sociable by taking advantage of specially designed robotic appliances:

Robots as Autism Co-therapists | Science News | Autism Speaks

Study suggests that robot “co-therapist” helps some children with autism learn social skills that hold up in real life. It’s become a truism that many individuals with autism gravitate toward gadgets –even preferring them to people. This has inspired great interest in developing devices – including robots – that can interact with individuals on the autism spectrum. However, little of this research has involved evaluating how effectively robots might be used to help children with autism overcome social-communication disabilities, says University of Notre Dame psychologist Joshua Diehl, Ph.D. Dr. Diehl presented the promising results of just such a study at this year’s International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), in San Sebastian, Spain. Dr. Diehl’s team found that a robot “co-therapist” can, in fact, increase gains in social skills among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the benefits varied widely from child to child. The investigators enrolled 19 children – 17 boys and 2 girls, ages 6 to 13. Their communication abilities varied widely. All the children completed 12 one-hour sessions of Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy with a trained human therapist. In six of these sessions, a robot “co-therapist” joined the mix. Hidden from view, a second human therapist operated Kelly. The robot had a distinctly “computerized” voice and limited mechanical movements (reaching, fist pumping, etc.).

On the other hand, the U.N. is against the production of “Terminator” type robots which may have lethal power against humans:

U.N. Wants to Stop All Production, Testing of Killer Robots –

A draft United Nations report says that killer robots that can attack targets without any human input “should not have the power of life and death over human beings.” It deals with legal and philosophical issues of giving robots lethal powers over humans, echoing the “Terminator” movies and countless other science fiction novels and films. The report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission dated April 9 but published online this week calls for a worldwide moratorium on testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use of killer robots. Report author Christof Heyns, a U.N. human rights lawyer, calls them “Lethal autonomous robotics” (LARs) and says: “Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans – while they are fallible – at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not.” The reports’ conclusion says LARs have the potential to be “tireless war machines, ready for deployment at the push of a button, pose the danger of permanent (if low-level) armed conflict, obviating the opportunity for post-war reconstruction.” Heyns wrote that while they could be made to comply with laws, if used with human soldiers, he doesn’t think there is enough information or regulation currently to allow their creation or testing yet. He cited experience with drones as being an indication that there will should to be a considerable amount of transparency and accountability with this technology from the very beginning. The moratorium, he said, is need to “prevent steps from being taken that may be difficult to reverse later… .” In the mean time, Heyns wrote that an international body needs to be established to monitor LARs among other measures.

Finally, it is realistic that as our lives is becoming more involved with technology, robots are to have a gradually decisive role with the implementation of different, daily, business, scientific, technological or defense tasks. On the other hand, is there any limitation on what special technological devices or robots can do..?

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