With all those science fiction movies we have seen, it may seem that nothing can surprise us anymore. Zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, AI takeover – we have seen it all on the screen. But what about possessing a robot that has your deceased loved one’s personality? It’s not a sci-fi concept; it’s a real technology that can soon become a part of our daily life. Google has secured a patent which could result in the possibility of robots having downloadable personalities. Moreover, this technology will also allow to download a dead individual’s personality into a robot.
When Google announced securing a patent for robot personality development last April, some compared this news to a good April Fools’ joke, doubting that the company will ever proceed with the realization of this claim. Well, it seems that Google was not joking and is quite serious about providing robots with personalities as the patent was updated on February 2.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the way in which robots will have the possibility to attain a personality. In short, the process will be quite simple and could be compared to downloading an app for your smartphone from the Internet. It will be possible to download your own personality, one of your friend or a celebrity, and even the personality of your deceased family member! Moreover, personalities could become swappable among robots through a cloud system. The fact that personalities will be stored in a cloud also means that their lifespan will basically be unlimited.
To get the necessary information about a user’s personality, the robot will need to access their devices and be updated on their data, including those gained from speech and facial recognition systems. So, it basically means that your robot will be able to mimic your facial expressions or the particularities of your way of speaking.
“A robot may access a user device to determine or identify information about a user, and the robot may be configured to tailor a personality for interaction with the user based on identified information,” the patent states.
The robot will also be able to change mood and reflect different emotions. “These moods can again be triggered by cues or circumstances detected by the robot, or elicited on command.” Furthermore, the information about the user’s personality, preferences and habits will be collected into a history database, which will then allow the robot to anticipate the changes in their moods.
While all of this may sound somehow creepy, according to the Computer World, Google may have the best intentions and actually plans to use this technology in the field of service robots. Giving the machines some emotional and empathetic features could, in fact, revolutionize such industries as caregiving and health care.
At the moment, we know too little about Google’s patent for robot personality development, but the only thing is clear: science and technology are advancing so rapidly that our world may soon become unrecognizable. Whether it is good or bad, the time will show.