Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have carried out awareness testing in programmable robots – a test which proved positive. “Each of these robots had the capacity to speak but, during the test, two of these robots were reprogrammed to remain silent whereas the third could still talk. Scientists also programmed the robots to realise that two of them, without specifying which ones, had received a ‘mutism pill’ to prevent them from speaking”.
Thus, none of the robots knew which ones could not speak and which one could.
“Scientists then asked the robots to establish which of them had received the mutism pill. Not having any idea, all three robots attempted to reply ‘I don’t know’, but the two that had been reprogrammed to remain silent stayed silent. Only the third one got up and said, ‘I don’t know’”.
As soon as this robot heard and recognised its own voice, it realised that it could not have had the mutism pill because it had just spoken. It went on to say, “Sorry, now I know. I have been able to prove that I was not given the mutism pill”.
To arrive at this result, Selmer Bringsjord, Professor of Computer and Cognitive Sciences and his team used cognitive programming called psychometry AI.