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MIT COG project

The MIT Cog project is part of the Humanoid Robotics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why bother to make humanoid robots? One possible motivation can be understood in terms of a perspective on mind found in the book Philosophy in the Flesh by Mark Johnson[?] and George Lakoff. They made the point that the contents of our thoughts are to some degree dependent on the physical structure of our brains. Certain patterns of thought and behavior come more easily than others because of the genetically determined neuronal circuits of our brains and mechanics of our bodies. By constructing artificial intelligence systems that have structural features similar to those of humans, we may be more likely to achieve human-like functionality. Another motivation for building humanoid robotic systems is that a machine with a human-like form may have more human-like interactions with people. This could be particularly important if you want your artificial intelligence device to learn from people in the way that human children can learn through interactions within a social group.

Some Current Research in the Project

  • development of a human-like face for Cog
  • allowing Cog to learn how its own movements alter its sensory inputs
  • forcing Cog to take energy efficiency into account during movements
  • providing Cog with the idea that people have minds

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