MIT’s computer science researchers are reportedly working on teaching robots how to interact with other robots and give them social skills, according to a new paper released by MIT.
The researchers want the robots to work just like the ones that we see in the movies, which are known for helping humans because, in real life, robots have limited social skills.
MIT to Give Robots Social Skills
The new research could lead to improved human and robot interactions, especially in assisted living facilities. Robots can also help psychologists better measure social interactions between people, according to Engadget.
To further study the interactions between humans and robots, the MIT researchers created a 2D environment that allowed them to work on their social and physical goals.
For example, a physical goal of a robot may be to navigate to an object, while a social goal of a robot is to guess what another robot is trying to do and then act based on that guess.
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The robot will be rewarded for its actions as it gets closer to its goals. There will also be a matching reward for helping other robots, and there will be an opposite reward for hindering it.
The team created three different types of robots. The first one only has physical goals, the second type has both physical and social goals, and the third type assumes that other robots all have social and physical goals.
The third type of robot can take more advanced actions like joining other robots to complete a task.
The team also created 98 different scenarios that are used by all three types of robots. Twelve people watched a total of 200 video clips of the robots interacting with other robots and people. They also had to estimate the physical and social goals of the robots.
The researchers stated that in most situations, the model interacted well with what the humans were doing in every single frame in the videos, and the social interactions happened smoothly, according to MIT News.
The MIT researchers hope that the results will be a benchmark that will allow others to work on similar social interactions. They also want to build a complex environment using 3D agents because it allows different types of interactions to happen.
The research aims not just to teach robots how to interact socially but to dig deeper into the human aspect of the skill, according to the research author Andrei Barbu.
Working Toward Sophistication
The 3D agents that the MIT researchers are working on can create an environment that allows for different interactions to happen, like manipulating household objects, according to California News Times.
The researchers are also planning to modify their model so that it will include environments where actions can fail.
The MIT researchers also stated that they want to use a neural network-based robot planner and apply it to the model to perform faster and learn quickly from experience.
Also, they stated that they would run an experiment to collect data regarding the features that humans use to know if two different robots can engage in social interaction.
MIT researchers are working on its robots these past few years. Its robots were trained last year to clean warehouses from the coronavirus.
In 2019, MIT researchers developed a robot that can play jenga as part of its experiment regarding the robot’s abilities.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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