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[Articles & News] Could robots be psychology’s new lab rats?

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Post time: 8-10-2019 12:08:52 Posted From Mobile Phone
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AI-equipped rovers could offer psychologists a new—and highly malleable—model of the brain.William Hahn/Florida Atlantic University
▼ WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sending a mouse through a maze can tell you a lot about how its little brain learns. But what if you could change the size and structure of its brain at will to study what makes different behaviors possible? That’s what Elan Barenholtz and William Hahn are proposing. The cognitive psychologist and computer scientist, both at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, are running versions of classic psychology experiments on robots equipped with artificial intelligence. Their laptop-size robotic rovers can move and sense the environment through a camera. And they’re guided by computers running neural networks–models that bear  some resemblance to the  human brain.
Barenholtz presented this “robopsychology” approach here last week at the American Psychological Association’s Technology Mind & Society Conference. He and Hahn toldSciencehow they’re using their unusual new test subjects. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Q: Why put neural networks in robots instead of just studying them on a computer?
Elan Barenholtz:There are a number of groups trying to build models to simulate certain functions of the brain. But they’re not making a robot walk around and recognize stuff and carry out complex cognitive functions.
William Hahn:What we want is the organism itself to guide its own behavior and get rewards. One way to think about it would be to try to build the simplest possible models. What is the minimum complexity you need to put in one of these agents so that it acts like a squirrel or it acts like a cat?
Q: What kind of experiments can you run with these machines? (▪ ▪ ▪)

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Post time: 10-10-2019 12:14:33
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Using such robotic devises/models atleast we can spare the life of n number of animals sacrificed for dissection classes at college levels.
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Post time: 11-10-2019 16:39:27
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Robots can definitely be used for studies. So many innocent animals will be spared.
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Post time: 11-10-2019 17:26:36
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Yeah, it is good choice. While robots can not completely replace animals, they can still save the animals up to an extent.
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Post time: Yesterday 09:47 AM
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That's really a great achievement! Countless Animals sacrificed on the altar of science.

Thanks for sharing.
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