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Science on the Verge of Creating 'emotional' Computer


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Japanese electronics giant Sony plans to create an emotional robot that can bond with humans.

Virtual Actor is an emotion-based artificial intelligence under development at the National Research Nuclear University's Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at the National Research Nuclear University's Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) are developing Virtual Actor, an emotion-based artificial intelligence.

The researchers say the system will have both an emotional and a narrative intellect, and it will be able to understand the context of what is going on, as well as unfolding scenarios. Based on this information, Virtual Actor can make plans and set targets.

"Our principal goal is to formulate the basic principles that natural intelligence in the human brain is built upon," says MEPhI professor Alexei Samsonovich.

The researchers also want to create a simplified form of Virtual Actor that can be played like a video game. "A virtual agent and a real person control the figures on a computer screen, interacting with each other, thus building social rapport based on emotionally charged actions," Samsonovich says.

He says the agent also must be able to study as a thinking person, instead of via programming or "carrot and stick" reinforcement learning.

The researchers note Virtual Actor must be able to set learning goals, formulate questions to achieve these goals, and actively seek the answers, which requires logical thinking, all aspects of perception, decision-making, meta-thinking, and many other cognitive functions.

From National Research Nuclear University
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