We Love Robots… But Can Robots Now Love Us?

By IGI Global on Jul 15, 2011
What does it really mean to love? Scientists at the National University of Singapore are working on a new project that is coming up against that question. The team's mission is to create the possibility of love between a human and a robot. This project is called Lovotics, short for Love Robotics.

In order to make this "love" a possibility, scientists have given a robot all of the "emotional and biological tools that human[s] have," according to Clay Dillow in a recent article in Popular Science. "That means artificial hormones--dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin, endorphin--that ebb and flow based on how the robot is ‘feeling.' It also means psychology, in this case using MRI brain scans to recreate artificial intelligence that creates affection—or a lack therof—towards a human counterpart."

This all leads to a very important aspect of love: interactions. Similar to the same way that humans react to each others' actions, the robot can use its various tools to react to the human's actions with jealousy, anger, boredom, affection, or other emotions. Touching (or a lack of touching) raises most of these "feelings" within the robot.

How real and how humanlike are these "emotions?" To decide for yourself, visit the article on PopSci's Web site and watch videos of the human and robot together.

Are you interested in additional reading on these topics? We recommend the following publications:

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