Digital puberty

1 Jun

The robots of the future will have their own awkward teen years:

Even though robots might someday have better brains than people, and could surely be built out of sturdier materials, they lack nuances of action and expression that even the dullest humans possess. So robotic replication of human abilities might depend on two words: digital hormones.

Yes, computer scientists can imagine giving robots the electronic equivalent of human hormones – messages that traverse the robot's body, causing its parts to respond in new ways to the circumstances responsible for the hormone surge. And digital hormones could initiate tricks that humans would find impossible – in particular, robots might respond to hormones by changing their body's structure.

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