Bringing up Baby (robot)

Consider this an addendum to my previous post concerning the use of robot babies in Mexico.

Researchers in six European countries have undertaken a 2.3 million Euro project (that's $3,031,149.46 for today's exchange rate) whose goal is to build robots that "learn from humans and respond in a socially and emotionally appropriate manner".

From the article: "The project involves building a series of robots that can take sensory input from the humans they are interacting with and then adapt their behaviour accordingly."

This involves feeding the robots sensory input, teaching them the ability to detect facial expressions, and even programming them so that they will imprint on the first object (human) they see.

So far the researchers have been using only "simple" robots, in some cases, off-the-shelf products. (You go! Maximize those European research, er, Euros!) However, something tells me it won't be long before they start playing with bigger, more potentially lethal machines. (Don't they ever learn???)

But back to the the robot babies. It's not a huge jump to the point where we'll start seeing this adaptive knowledge programmed into the little tykes they're doling out to the teenagers in Chihuahua, et. al. Then who's to say that robot changelings aren't next? (If it worked for fairies and ghouls, why not 'bots?) Project this out to its logical conclusion: not only will the robots be scaring the kids out of having sex, but they'll be replacing little bundles of joy right in the cradle.

With a little luck, maybe there's still time to build in the appropriate switches.

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