By solving a traditional wise men riddle, a robot has for the first time shown a degree of self-awareness.
In an experiment conducted by Professor Selma Bringsjord of New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a robot proved that it was capable of responding to a logic puzzle based off the premise of the traditional “wise men” riddle, reported Discovery News.
The robots were asked to solve a riddle involving a king calling the three wisest men and giving them all either a white or blue hat to wear atop their head.
Without communicating with each other, they are left to work out the colour of their own hat by what the others are wearing.
So far, only human beings have been able to solve this riddle.
The robots were programmed to believe that two of them were given a “dumbing pill” that would cause them to lose the ability to speak.
Two of the robots were, in fact, muted when a programmer pushed a button on the top of their heads.
One robot had a placebo button and was not muted and he rose to the challenge.
When a researcher asked all three robots which pill they had received, the one that was not muted responded, “I do not know.”
The robot then stood up and waved its hand and said, “I know now. I was able to prove that I was not given a dumbing pill.”
The robot demonstrated the ability to understand the contest’s rules, recognize the sound of its own voice and display a level of self-awareness to distinguish itself from the other two robots.
It also opened the door to the possibility that self-aware robots could make their way into the future.(AGENCIES)