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View Full Version : Is it possible to create robotic mechs that are as curious as a cat?



potoole
2012-Aug-22, 12:29 AM
My cat checks everything out. Any movement, which was unseen before. If I print out a paper from my laptop, he's right over there watching that paper as it creeps out of the printer.:confused:, ;)

potoole
2012-Aug-22, 07:00 AM
Is there a way to delete this question?

PO'T (op)

swampyankee
2012-Aug-22, 11:42 AM
Is there a way to delete this question?

PO'T (op)

Use the little "report it" triangle to send a request to an admin. They may be able to do it.

LookingSkyward
2012-Aug-22, 12:23 PM
Is there a way to delete this question? . But why? I think it's kind of a cool question, that will undoubtedly lead to a long discussion of curiosity - was kind of looking forward to reading it :>

potoole
2012-Aug-23, 12:48 AM
But why? I think it's kind of a cool question, that will undoubtedly lead to a long discussion of curiosity - was kind of looking forward to reading it :>

I believe I committed a minor faux pas in one of my past questions.

swampyankee
2012-Aug-24, 01:21 AM
I believe I committed a minor faux pas in one of my past questions.

A faux pas in a different question, in a different part of the forum is probably not an issue in this part. The readers have a sense of humor ;)

SkepticJ
2012-Aug-24, 05:22 AM
It's not possible to create them yet.

What could be done right now is create something that appeared to be curious. Something that would wander around seeking out shapes, temperature profiles, moving objects . . . that hadn't been previously encountered and stored in it's memory. But it wouldn't actually make anything of them, it'd be as dumb as a moth seaking out lightbulbs.

Jens
2012-Aug-24, 05:48 AM
What could be done right now is create something that appeared to be curious.

I think it's definitely true that it is possible to create something that appears to be curious. What I'm a little bit skeptical about is, I'm not sure we really understand so well what makes the difference between "appears to be curious" and "is curious." What is curiosity beyond being the appearance of curiosity? We know how to make a robot that looks around at moving things, but it is merely programmed into the robot. But at the same time, the cats does this because it has a kind of program (genetic code) that tells it to do it. We presume that the cat is doing it because of curiosity, but it is really doing it out of curiosity or because its genetic code has programmed it to do so?

eburacum45
2012-Aug-24, 06:12 AM
Well, the difference is, cats are (somewhat) sentient; you can't program a sentient being like you can a non-sentient robot. You can certainly influence the way a sentient entity acts, by giving it instinctive reactions to certain stimuli, but with enough willpower a sentient entity can sometimes overcome its instincts. I wouldn't say (categorically) that cats have much will-power, on the other hand...

On the gripping hand if we could create a robot as sentient as a cat, we would probably find it difficult to stop it from being sentient.

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-24, 11:47 AM
I believe I committed a minor faux pas in one of my past questions.

Shouldn't that be a "fur paw"? I'd think even mech-cats would have those... unless there's not more than one way to skin it.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-24, 02:44 PM
In addition to curiosity, you'd also have to make it sleep 20 hours a day!

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-25, 03:57 AM
I once had a cat. I loved the snot out of her furry ***.

What can I say? I cried for days when she died. She was one of the best friends I ever had.

Romanus
2012-Aug-25, 07:13 PM
A machine that curious would probably kill itself.

;)

Swift
2012-Aug-25, 10:46 PM
A "device" for creating objects as curious as a cat (and some of the products of that creative effort) (http://www.ottawahumane.ca/enews/2010/july/web_catkittens.jpg).

;)

Jeff Root
2012-Aug-25, 11:23 PM
if we could create a robot as sentient as a cat, we would
probably find it difficult to stop it from being sentient.
That may be true whether you meant

If we could create a robot as sentient as a cat, we would
probably find it difficult to stop it from being curious.

or

If we could create a robot as curious as a cat, we would
probably find it difficult to stop it from being sentient.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

potoole
2012-Aug-25, 11:39 PM
Cats are fun to watch. They are very curious about a lot of things; strange movements, sounds, sights; but they seem to know when something has been plenty nuff checked out. They reserve the right to curb their curiosity. A simple robotic mech would keep at it until it got itself burnt out.

swampyankee
2012-Aug-26, 12:46 AM
Cats are fun to watch. They are very curious about a lot of things; strange movements, sounds, sights; but they seem to know when something has been plenty nuff checked out. They reserve the right to curb their curiosity. A simple robotic mech would keep at it until it got itself burnt out.

That's because of evolution. Cats who didn't know when to stop being curious died before they could reproduce. ;)

Of course, some level of curiosity is advantageous for animals, especially predators (and all mammalian predators will scavenge), because they might run into some easy food.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-26, 01:06 AM
That's because of evolution. Cats who didn't know when to stop being curious died before they could reproduce. ;)

Don't forget -- nine lives! They could be as curious as they wanted for the first eight!

swampyankee
2012-Aug-26, 04:02 AM
Don't forget -- nine lives! They could be as curious as they wanted for the first eight!

Maybe the use the first eight up learning when disdain is better than curiosity.

Romanus
2012-Aug-26, 04:22 PM
Cats who didn't know when to stop being curious died before they could reproduce.

Hence, the number of Smilodon in the La Brea Tar Pits. :D

Solfe
2012-Aug-27, 02:54 AM
It couldn't be powered by solar cells or an RTG, with that much independence it would never come back. Unless you taught it to poop in a box, in which case it wouldn't travel that far. :)

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-27, 05:52 AM
Hence, the number of Smilodon in the La Brea Tar Pits. :D

...or in caves in Missouri. One the the weirdest out-of-time experiences in my life was seeing "fresh" smilodon tracks deep underground.

Swift
2012-Aug-27, 01:16 PM
It couldn't be powered by solar cells or an RTG, with that much independence it would never come back. Unless you taught it to poop in a box, in which case it wouldn't travel that far. :)
Actually solar power would be perfect, as biological cats are solar powered. No really, just observe the fact that a cat will find the one sunny spot on the bed to curl up in. And no, that is not a nap, they are recharging. Given the inefficiency of solar power, they have to recharge for several hours to produce an hour of activiity. ;)

http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Cats_and_Dogs/cat-aquarium.gif

swampyankee
2012-Aug-28, 01:24 AM
Well, cats are solar powered, just indirectly.

natattack
2012-Aug-28, 02:26 AM
Yes, the sunrise tells them to wake up their owners. Or would that be solar-triggered?

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-28, 02:18 PM
Yes, the sunrise tells them to wake up their owners. Or would that be solar-triggered?

One of my cats feels no need to wait for the sun for that. Come 4:00 AM it's playtime and she brings us a toy to throw so she can retrieve. We get the most pitiful little mews if we don't respond! Of course, by the time we actually wake up (6:30, so my wife can take some medicine), she's zonked out again.

swampyankee
2012-Aug-28, 02:44 PM
One of my cats feels no need to wait for the sun for that. Come 4:00 AM it's playtime and she brings us a toy to throw so she can retrieve. We get the most pitiful little mews if we don't respond! Of course, by the time we actually wake up (6:30, so my wife can take some medicine), she's zonked out again.

Did you move west after you got the cat? Maybe cats don't get the idea of time zones. I know dogs never get the idea of weekends (every dog my parents or I had would cheerfully wake me up at 5:30 every day. When I was in high school, I didn't need an alarm clock) or daylight savings time.

"With dogs you're family; with cats, you're staff."

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-28, 09:12 PM
I used to depend on the "alarm cat" to get me up for work. She was very reliable, and only took a few days to adjust to daylight time. We don't have that one any more; the current ones are less consistent. Born and raised in this time zone, though.