Monday, June 14, 2010

Why don't we have augmented reality?

I keep seeing brainwave reading headsets being used in toys and computer games, I also recall seeing VR "sunglasses" for watching iPod movies in those "SkyMall" catalogues on airplanes. So I ask, why has no one combined the two yet? The EEG would allow someone to work a attached smartphone without touching it and the glasses would make bending over to look at it unnecessary, though the level of concentration required would probably make texting while driving ill-advised. Also it would allow Virtual reality without those bulky gloves. Granted it would be expensive, VR glasses often cost $200-$500 and the cheapest EEG headset I saw was $99, but the cool factor alone should make it profitable (you reading this, Bill Gates?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To all AI designers out there, program for compassion not empathy

Do you know, the difference between an Aspergarian and a psychopath? The answer is probably found in how they would respond to a Vioght-Kampf test from Blade Runner. "You are walking through the desert, you see a tortoise, you flip it over onto it's back..." An Aspie might state that they would flip the tortoise back over once it was obvious it couldn't do that itself; a psychopath would say the same, if they had figured it out, in reality they would most likely watch it bake in the sun. The difference is compassion, not empathy, the ability to gauge another's emotional responses is secondary to being able to "feel" for another.

I am stating this because some involved in the field of AI research have warned to beware of creating a superintelligence with "hyper-Asperger's". And I am worried that this may result in programmers designing an AI with a database of emotional responses and what usually triggers them, but forgetting to program actual compassion. So, at the very least we should prevent AIs from seeing Blade Runner and do a compassion test as well as the Turing test.