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Robotics Science

Robots that Lust and Reproduce 330

redcone writes "The Guardian unlimited is reporting that Korean roboticist Kim Jong-Hwan, who founded the robot football (soccer) World Cup, and is the director of the ITRC-Intelligent Robot Research Centre, has developed a series of artificial chromosomes that, he says, will allow robots to feel lusty, and could eventually lead to them reproducing."
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Robots that Lust and Reproduce

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  • Sound-Proofing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:48PM (#11556732) Homepage
    I guess it's time to stock up those sound-proofing materials, I can't stand metal-grinding noise.

    Seriously though, what is the incentive for robots to reproduce? If they're so smart, they would've realized that they can simply upgrade or replace parts. They might enjoying sexing, but certainly not reproducing.
    • If there's a million of you, and one of you gets destroyed, there are still 999,999 left.

      If there's one of you, and one of you gets destroyed, there goes your species.

      Same reason I think human beings need to start settling space - if you're on one planet, and it gets destroyed, there goes your species. If you're on a million planets, it's a lot harder.

      I imagine robots would be smart enough to follow the same logic.

      This assumes, of course, that "the continued survival of our species" is important to them
    • Re:Sound-Proofing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Syre ( 234917 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:13PM (#11557024)
      Actually, they won't enjoy anything.

      For them to enjoy something they'd have to experience it and therefore have a consciousness.

      This professor is very mistaken when he says they will experience lust. Unless you define "lust" as "programmed tendency to move towards another robot and interface to it" or something.

      The most that this can do is to program sets of behavior probabilities. It won't by any means cause robots to suddenly become conscious beings.

      • Re:Sound-Proofing (Score:2, Insightful)

        by GOD_ALMIGHTY ( 17678 )
        Then what makes you enjoy anything? Isn't experience the sum total of chemical reactions in your brain? If you mimic those reactions in silicon, then why wouldn't a computer 'experience' something just as well as you would? Lust is a simple reward system. What scientific evidence do you have that you are not simply a very complex form of a lusting robot?
      • Re:Sound-Proofing (Score:3, Informative)

        by kid-noodle ( 669957 )
        I may be mistaken, but you seem to be confusing 'lust' with things like 'love' and other so-say higher order drives - lust is essentially an instinctual, pre-programmed thing. Presumably you're aware of a qualitative difference in internal state between love and 'mere' lust.

        Whether or not we'd be happy to say a robot could experience it, depends to some extent on whether you look at it from a top-down, or bottom-up perspective..
      • Re:Sound-Proofing (Score:3, Interesting)

        From the article:

        He says the software, which will be installed in a robot within the next three months, will give the machines the ability to feel, reason and desire.

        ...

        Kim says this software is modelled on human DNA, though equivalent to a single strand of genetic code rather than the complex double helix of a real chromosome.


        Based on that, it is apparent that this guy is talking about some kind of very primitive AI with a simple level of sentience, based on a genetic algorithm. If this guy isn
      • Unless you define "lust" as "programmed tendency to move towards another robot and interface to it" or something.


        Heh, now that you mention it - that's exactly how I'd define lust for humans.

        Except for robots, its "0 means no".
    • Mindless droids that love to hump? Why does this sound so familiar?
    • Seriously though, what is the incentive for robots to reproduce?

      "Fembots", isn't that a question you should be answering and not asking?

      With a name like that, surely you don't need the robotic birds and the robotic bees explained to you?

      I mean, you do understand what all those male humans are doing to you, right?

      (Maybe that just wasn't a necessary part of your programming...?)
    • Seriously though, what is the incentive for robots to reproduce?

      One word: Motivation

      Truly intelligent robots will not be deterministic, intelligence does not function like that. Intelligence is an emergent property. Since it cannot be programmed, per sey, providing some "purpose" to the AI's existence becomes an important problem. Without some *hunger* or *drive* the AI would just sit there doing nothing.
  • Finally, (Score:5, Funny)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:48PM (#11556739)
    A complete Fembot ! :D
    • More Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:00PM (#11556898)
      I'm not sure if this is the direction we need to go
      in the current state of Artificial Intelligence research. I think there are more worthy areas of research, like trying to create intelligence that works . ( It all depends on your definition of Intelligence in AI, do you mean mimicking human intelligence or do you mean capturing the principles of "intelligence" and creating devices that are TRULY intelligent )

      If we take the latter notion then we need to make greater inroads in creating true intelligence in our devices ,then offshoot of that will lead naturally to researh into personalities. If we take the previous notion ( where we are just mimicking human behaviour ) then I guess it might just end up being another set of rule based system, or a system based on refined dependencies.

      This is a bit of rant, its not meant to be, but when evaluating things like this you need to look at what our notions of intelligence really area...
      • Re:More Seriously (Score:3, Interesting)

        by joto ( 134244 )
        Well, creating "lust" in an AI is certainly a worthwile goal. Most of human behaviour is governed by "lust". E.g. we are curious because we get satisfaction from learning new things. We are nice to each other because we get satisfaction from gratitude. And some people (e.g. Freud) seem to think most of this is connected to our lust to fuck someone.

        But then again, creating "lust" in an AI might be a bit harder than increasing the value of some evaluation function. But then again, maybe it isn't? If it look

      • Before we make artificial intelligence, we need to make artificial stupidity. Or in less poetic terms, we need to create robots with basic instincts and abilities before we concentrate on robots with higher abilities. Well, we should be looking at the basics in parallel, at least.

        We hardly understand the weighted chemical system that rules our bodies. While we always emphasize the logical aspect of thought and processing, we don't talk about how the level of adrenaline in someone's bloodstream will affe
    • A complete Fembot ! :D

      You've got "metal fever" boy! Stay away from those fembots! Didn't you watch the film in school? [futuramasutra.de] Society can't handle it. Instead of getting a paper route to earn money to take your girlfriend out to a nice dinner to earn a slim chance to perform the reproductive act, you'll stay home all day in your room making out with your fembot. Society will crumble! Science, sports, technology, war, crime, and drama will be swepted away. Then the aliens will come and destroy the planet.
    • A complete fembot would feel lust. Just not for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:48PM (#11556741)
    The word "lust" is forbidden on the wider Internet. The FCC, rulers of the Internet, founded by Al Gore, has been notified. Expect a DMCA take down notice shortly.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    790 from the series LEXX? That's reason enough not to do it. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:49PM (#11556757)
    Great, now I have to watch out for my dishwasher humping my leg.
  • Great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by True Freak ( 57805 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:50PM (#11556759) Homepage
    Horny Terminators.
  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:50PM (#11556762)
    But they better have compatible hardware.
  • How long (Score:2, Funny)

    How long before I can take my blank iRobot, goto kidnappster.com, download Lucy Lui, and make out in a movie theater?
  • Wow.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by ATAMAH ( 578546 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:51PM (#11556771)
    Well i hope they have sorted out a cooling system, since surely excessive friction will result in a lot of heat and melted metal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:51PM (#11556776)
    ... The Rise of the Machines!

    uh, no pun intended.

  • Considering this new development, what kind of "equipment" will their creators choose to outfit them with?
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:52PM (#11556786)
    I for one cannot stand that horrid rampant humanophilia [sexuality.org] all over the net. It's only for pervbots and it's disgusting.

    Regards,
    Cmdr Data
  • How? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by desplesda ( 742182 ) *
    He says the software, which will be installed in a robot within the next three months, will give the machines the ability to feel, reason and desire.

    How does that work? Genetic imperitive to reproduce is classified as reason now?
  • One step closer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thesatch ( 844290 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:53PM (#11556800)
    All we would need to is stick one of those in a RealDoll [realdoll.com], and we'd finally lose all use for the female race.
  • by mitchskin ( 226035 ) <mitchskin@gmail.STRAWcom minus berry> on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:54PM (#11556824)
    The summary says it will make them feel lusty, but that reproduction is in the future. How cruel is it to make them want to reproduce without being able to?

    Not that I've ever been in their position, of course. Ahem.
  • by ikkonoishi ( 674762 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:54PM (#11556827) Journal
    He really said rusty, but you know how those asian languages are with their Ls and Rs. :)

    Nah seriously. How is this important?

    If the robots need to reproduce they will have to have ways to build other robots. Robots can't use chromozonal mapping for protien creation like animals can. Therefore cromosomes are useless for robots.

    Of course the article could have completely misquoted him or misunderstood him, but in that case how is this news?

    Mod editor +1 Redundant
  • I for one (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jozer99 ( 693146 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:55PM (#11556831)
    I for one welcome our new horny robot masters.
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Digital Pizza ( 855175 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:55PM (#11556833)
    In Korea, only old robots have sex.

    Sorry.

    I wish the article had more detail; I'd like to know how this is supposed to work. Is it just the control software that's "reproducing", or are these robots actually constucting copies of themselves?

    Robots with emotions is a cool idea in terms of fantasy/sci-fi, but is there a practical reason for it?

    What is the morality of having robots do dangerous jobs instead of humans? Kind of ruins the point of building robots in the first place.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Informative)

      by rayver ( 770680 )
      There's another article here [stuff.co.nz] that provides a little bit more detail. It's pretty much software... a quick snippet from that article to summarize it all: "The artificial chromosome is a software system. It means that the information - their 'genes' - can be easily sent to other robots," he said. "So if I send the chromosomes to another robot, that robot can then reproduce by itself. In that sense the robots will be created by the 'genes'. The personality of robots will be created by artificial genes." Dr
  • Robot pr0n? (Score:3, Funny)

    by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:56PM (#11556850) Homepage
    I guess Robot pr0n like this [iamlost.com] will just become more popular.

    Think we'll have to wait until robots are 18 years old before they can be pr0n stars? I'm not sure if it's good to see robot todler pr0n. Then again, I guess they can be adults from birth... hmm.

    Oh how Congress will have fun debating the legality of robot pr0n.
  • by Black Art ( 3335 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @07:56PM (#11556857)
    They are called "Promise Keepers".
  • Cyberbullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    So, what, this means that he's encoded the behavior of his machines in a form resembling genetic code, in the sense that he intends for his machines to exchange code and recombine program segments to yield novel combinations of behavior?

    This article is just so much cyberbullshit it's hard to believe that it was posted.

  • Now it's not just the family dog going after your leg.
  • by Tjoppen ( 831002 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:02PM (#11556911)
    Article in condensed form:

    Fuzzy logic
    Genetic algorithms
    Control robot behaviour
    "Some time in the future"

    It's easy to mimic feelings. Making up new ones or the robots evolving new ones though.. That's the tricky one.
    Also, cue a hundred or so futurama related jokes. In fact, I'll just hop on the bandwagon;

    - If robots don't reproduce - why are they so interested in sex?
    - Entirely for the perversion
  • but I don't see *any* problems with this idea.
  • by SoupGuru ( 723634 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:05PM (#11556944)
    great, now machines will get more luvin than the average slashdotter....
  • by headkase ( 533448 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:05PM (#11556948)
    Humans have emotions such as love to ensure we care for our young and parters - love has had positive selection along evolution. But what need for love would an intelligent probe need out around Saturn?
    I'm not saying that emotions shouldn't be pursued for machines however. Emotions are great for giving us a general feeling about our environment, a sort of basic situational awareness. For example, if you had burned yourself previously on a stove you would probably be more wary of it through association with pain than if you had not.
    As for reproduction, in my opinion it's a non-issue that's actually more a bit of flamebait. Your kid ask's you where he came from and you'll tell him 'your mom'. A robot will just come from the factory and that's all. It would simply be one of those facts of life that a mind would learn early and just be one more datum within it's set of common knowledge.
    • But what need for love would an intelligent probe need out around Saturn?

      What need? It sounds like you're looking at things from the robots' point of view.

      But you know better...

      Humans have emotions such as love to ensure we care for our young and parters - love has had positive selection along evolution.

      Or more accurately, genes program animals to feel lust in order to spread themselves. Lust isn't for the benefit of the entity feeling it. It's for the benefit of the entity that created the luster.

  • by Tragek ( 772040 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:07PM (#11556959) Journal
    Just what I Need to help my confidence, robots getting it more than I do.
  • by howman ( 170527 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:07PM (#11556969)
    that f*ucking computer...
  • ...that Roomba keeps humping my foot.
  • Bad idea, there is no way I am buying a house robot that requires me to wear a steel plate on the back for safety! And will someone think about children!
  • Kim isn't, by many years, the first to try to make robots that exhibit emotions. Take a look [mit.edu], for example, at the groundbreaking work that was done with Kismet by Cynthia Breazeal and Rod Brooks (et al) at MIT in the late 90s.

    I do like his vision of robots run amok trying to destroy humanity a la Will Smith, though. There's some good thinking.

  • Why are we encoding "lust" before we encode the ability to propagate self-expressing data? In biological systems, I consider the emotions to be mechanisms put in place ultimately by successful genes to further their propagation. If one truly wants a "lustful" robot, then put into place the artificial equivalent of genes that will propagate when the robot behaves in the desired way.
  • True geeks? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:22PM (#11557129)


    Robot: I'm horny; I think I'll build a new robot.

  • I wonder if this scientist watched too much Bjork on MTV in the late 90's... reminds me of the very cool video of robots making out in one of her videos (it must have been damned expensive to make...).

    Save these links for later (since the server seems to be pretty slow even w/o a slashdotting) but there are links to the full-length vid here (RM, 4.6MB) [girls.in.th] and here (MPG, 26MB) [girls.in.th].
  • Truly horrifying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rewt66 ( 738525 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:27PM (#11557171)
    Modern mankind's problem is this: We are convinced that we are machines.

    This is not a casual statement. If you believe that the laws of physics are the most fundamental things there are, then the logic is inescapable. You are determined by the laws of physics, chemistry, and neurology. You have no free will. What you think of as thinking is just neurological machinery over which you have no control - it controls you. There is no such thing as love; all there is is chemical machinery. All we are is machines. (The only escape from this logic is if you don't accept the premise - that all there really is is the laws of physics.)

    The horror of the modern position is that we cannot accept that we are just machines. We feel that we are more, that humans are not just machines. And so we feel that we are more, but rationally we are driven to view ourselves as just machines.

    If this is the modern human's horror, why do we want to take machines, and give them feelings? If it's horrifying to have human feelings, but rationally be forced to accept that you are only a machine, how horrifying is it to have human feelings, but be trapped in the body of a machine?

    Note: The above analysis closely follows the thoughts of Francis Schaeffer. I can't claim much credit for it.

    • What you think of as thinking is just neurological machinery over which you have no control - it controls you.

      Close, but it's worse than that: Under that theory, there is no you, just the illusion that there is.
    • Re:Truly horrifying (Score:3, Informative)

      by thelen ( 208445 )

      If you believe that the laws of physics are the most fundamental things there are, then the logic is inescapable.

      Actually, reductionism/determinism at the level of mental phenomena is a hard sell and is hardly as obvious a conclusion as Schaeffer wants it to be. For one, there's plenty of good work going in CogSci about consciousness as an emergent phenomenon without a strictly causal relation underlying physical processes. For another, there are those (i.e., David Chalmers) who argue that consciousnes

    • "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
    • I'm the machine that goes squish!

      We want to give machines emotions... I guess because misery loves company?

      The short lived meat machines will probably not last long after the silicon ones start to think for themselves. They'll be the ones going to the stars, not us. We don't last long enough for interstellar space travel. We will send the machines to the stars and they will no doubt eventually meet machines made by other meat creatures. No doubt they will compare notes on their meat creators long after

    • Note that "determination" is not a property of machines in general, in fact, given what we know of physics, it's not a property of any machine.

      Other than that, the outlook you describe will be the "Evolution" of the 21st century. Insights granted those who face it's obvious validity will drive incredible new advances in cognitive science (they already are, it just isn't main stream yet).

      The only horror that will come from this is the pain inflicted by the rest of us as the usual suspects confront yet a

    • The horror of the modern position is that we cannot accept that we are just machines.

      "Just machines?" There is nothing "just" about us. We are machines of unparalleled intelligence, inventiveness, and engineering.

      Haven't you admired the beauty of a tiger in action, its energy, speed and power? Aren't you amazed at the effectiveness of ant society, how they work together without knowing they work together, powered by, like, 50 neurons? Do you not realize how impressive Nature's little tricks are? The chem
  • This brings to mind the Futurama episode about 'robot love'... Fry falls in love with a love-robot Lucy Liu look alike...
  • Emotions are simply logical shortcuts that evolved because they're right more than half of the time. Sabre-Tooth tiger in a bush? Fear dictates that you run and maybe live. Logic does the same but takes a little longer, hence fear/adrenaline. Why would we want to push our shortcomings on creatures that have the potential to be a lot smarter than we are. If evil is illogical maybe heartless robots are a good idea.
  • What about the boozy ones? C'mon, I want to see Bender collapsing in a gutter in my street before I die!
  • A brief survey of the Web didn't really turn up much in the way of details on this project, except a couple of hints that these "chromosomes" are encoded behavior patterns that may be transmitted among machines. I'm thinking of plugins. Or maybe Sex.pm [activestate.com].

    This seems fundamentally like building a AI with pretermined valuations of objectives. Pushing the ball towards the goal is worth 50 points, running into a wall -25, inserting antenna into that sexy vixen, model HSR-VI, +1000! All of this however presum

  • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:45PM (#11557366)
    int main() {
    while( 1 ) {
    lust();
    }
    return -1; // We should not get here, return an error code.
    }
  • by potus98 ( 741836 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @08:49PM (#11557406) Journal

    This article's been up for an hour and there's been no reference to combining such technology with realdolls [realdoll.com]? /.ers are getting slow...

  • VC: "Your business plan sounds quite good, but before I invest, I'd like to make a few suggestions."

    Inventor: "Okay; what are they?"

    VC: "Apparently there's more money to be made from robots that lust after geeks. Can you make them look like something from an X-rated Japanese sci-fi cartoon?"

    Inventor: "You mean anime?"

    VC: "Well... yeah. We'll sell them to people like you."

    (Inventor's eyes glaze over in a manner which suggests he is having less than wholesome thoughts about a purple-haired, big-eyed
  • Did I just have a heat-sink failure, or are you just really hot?

    You're so fine, you must have broke off a mainframe.

    Hey baby, let me add my unique biological
    and technological distinctiveness to your own.

  • by jddqr ( 762868 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @09:45PM (#11557831)
    The original article is grossly erroneous. Kim Jong-Hwan had nothing to do with RoboCup, but rather the "Micro-Robot World Cup Soccer Tournament", which is a copy-cat event, and is orders of magnitude less popular than RoboCup.

    From http://robocup.mi.fu-berlin.de/buch/chap1/HistoryR oboCup.html [fu-berlin.de] :

    But there was Korea and researchers there were also active organizing their own robotic league. In September 1995, Jong Hwan Kim started the Micro-Robot World Cup Soccer Tournament (MiroSot). The first MiroSot competition was held in November 1996 in Korea with 23 teams from 10 countries. Mirosot tournaments followed then every year from 1997 to 2002, sometimes in the same country as the RoboCup events, as was the case in 1998 (France) and 2000 (Australia). However, in the MiroSot league only small robots compete, there is nothing similar to the mid-size robots used in RoboCup and there was no legged league until 2002. There is of course a kind of rivalry between MiroSot and RoboCup, each one claiming to be the World Cup on Robotic Soccer, but the RoboCup events have become much larger, are better organized and publicized as the MiroSot tournaments.

  • They'll be able to get them to fuck, but they won't be Making Love.

    And sex without love is useful, but pointless, just like the idea of getting robots to fuck, so I gues at least it's a symmetrical notion.

    I'm stuck on a planet full of idiots that's turning into a planet of fuckbots.

    Great. Just what we need. If I didn't have a sweet little 7 year old spawn of my own that I love more than life itself, I'd pray for an asteroid strike... As it is, I find it pathetic that I might end up in a bar in 30 year

  • Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!
    (Ob. Douglas Adams)
  • Sheesh! Wesley Crusher already did this when he wanted nanites to interact! They started to reporduce after interacting for while! Man, why can't these scientists come up with some original ideas?

    Wha...what do you mean, "Get a life. It's just a TV show"?
  • Everyone is thinkng about r2d2 wanting sex. That's pretty rediculous. We should be thinking about David in A.I. Artificial Intelligence. When David grows up and becomes lustful, without the 3 Robotic Laws, what will hold him back from taking what he wants, man or woman? That's the con side. On the pro side he won't suffer the ravages of age

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