Talking about the Chinese-room in class got me thinking about what it means for a machine to be intelligent. Though many say the Turing-test is the be-all-end-all of intelligence, I think it is interesting to take a look at the work being done by a team for AI researchers from universities across the country. Meet RoboBrain:
RoboBrain is part robot and part machine learning agent. The machine learning side of RoboBrain spends all-day scouring the internet and trying to learn how humans interact with the world. This style of learning mimics the learning of children who do as they see others do.
Although many robots have been programmed to do tasks much more quickly than RoboBrain, what makes RoboBrain so special and so exciting is that no one has told it how to do anything. It learns on its own from the actions of others. Here is a video of RoboBrain making a dessert.
Although the user tells RoboBrain the recipe for the dessert, RoboBrain uses its learned knowledge of how the world works to properly scoop the ice-cream and squeeze the bottle of syrup. I believe this style of learning much more closely mimics that of humans, and is a path that could eventually lead robots to the intelligence of humans.