alternate dissenting view on this!!!!!
THAT ROBOT IS NOT SELF-AWARE
The way the media cover AI, you'd almost think they had invented being hopelessly naïve
JAY RICHARDS FEBRUARY 5, 2019
...the really big morsel comes in the final sentence. “Self-imaging,” they speculate, “will be key to allowing robots to move away from the confinements of so-called narrow AI toward more general abilities. We conjecture that this separation of self and task may have also been the evolutionary origin of self-awareness in humans.”
This is the only reference to self-awareness in the paper. But even here, the authors apply it to humans, not to the robot, and they qualify it as a conjecture. They leave it to readers—and reporters—to connect the dots along the following lines: “If we became self-aware in this way, then perhaps the same thing is happening with this robot arm.” That’s no doubt the inference they’re hoping for, but they don’t risk stating it explicitly.
It is surely this brief concluding conjecture that provided the thread that the science correspondent then used to knit together a story about the rise of self-aware robots. Without that thread, the paper from Science Robotics would not likely have made international news (and found its way to news headline site Drudge, which loves robot stories).
The scientists are hardly blameless here. One of them even provides a quote not found in the paper itself: “This is perhaps what a newborn child does in its crib, as it learns what it is.”
If this is how The Telegraph reports on a robotic arm, can you imagine what it will sound like when we get humanoid robots who seem to carry on conversations? We had best inoculate ourselves now against AI hype from science reporters while most of us still have enough self-awareness to realize what’s going on.
[link to mindmatters.ai (secure)