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  • We're going to do a little test togetherTake a look at this image and tell me what you see.

  • Okay, and now this one, this one and this one.

  • This is an inkblot test, similar to the famous Rorschach test, designed by Swiss psychologist

  • Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s. It’s been used since 1939 to examine your personality

  • by looking at what you associate with these random ink blots.

  • So when I look at them I see… a masquerade mask, two people surrounded by evil leg-eating

  • fish, a leaf and a clown face.

  • But we haven't only tested these images with people.

  • Recently Google researchers showed these images to four different artificial intelligence

  • systems. They labelled their participants robot 1, 2, 3 and 4. And the robots all had

  • quite different responses.

  • In the first image, the robots saw a hook, barrette, art and one said it was a Rorschach inkblot.

  • In the second a jigsaw puzzle, fleur-de-lis, a design and a black ink splotch illustration.

  • In the third a mask, pin, isolated and another Rorschach inkblot.

  • And in the fourth image a hook, handle-bar mustache, a print and a black face paint print.

  • Soif a machine can understand and independently answer a personality test... Can computers

  • have personalities?

  • The termRobotwas coined by Czech playwright Karel Capek, in his 1920 play Rossum’s Universal

  • Robots. Typically the word makes people think of a metal-clad machine with blinking lights

  • and a monotone voice, or a modern version of that, but robots include machines that

  • dispose of bombs, perform delicate surgeries and virtual software agents, what we also

  • call Artificial Intelligence or A.I.

  • In his 1950 paper, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence". Alan Turing proposed a test

  • called 'The Imitation Game', where a human examiner would listen to a conversation between

  • another human and a machine. If the examiner can’t tell who is human or machine, the

  • machine wins the imitation game. It’s artificially intelligent. That test is now widely known

  • as The Turing test.

  • A strength of the Turing test is that it’s really simple. It doesn’t matter how we

  • define intelligence, the examiner sits there and decides who is human and who is machine.

  • It’s still considered a milestone in Artificial Intelligence.

  • Though in contrast, the Rorschach test is pretty out of date. A big part of the test

  • involves you explaining why you see what you see. And an examiner uses a scoring system

  • to tell you what this says about your personality.

  • But studies have shown it’s not reliable or valid.

  • Really, the Rorschach test is better described as a problem solving task that gives us some

  • indication of your past and future behaviours, or at least some of your thoughts.

  • And the fact that mechanical brains can have unique thoughts, enough to distinguish responses

  • in a task like this, is pretty cool.

  • It does set them apart in some waybut is it personality?

  • Personality can be defined asThe unique psychological qualities of an individual that

  • influence a variety of characteristic behavior patterns across different situations and over time.”

  • But how does it apply to robots?

  • In his collection of stories I, Robot, Isaac Asimov introducedRobopsychologyas

  • the study of the personalities of intelligent machines.

  • It started out as fantasy but Heather Knight, a roboticist from Carnegie Mellon University,

  • argues that robots need personality so we can achieve things with machines that neither

  • of us could do alone.

  • And earlier this year Google patented a method to download and customise personality to a robot.

  • But, what does a robot personality look like? In humans our personality traits are our thoughts,

  • feelings and behaviours that distinguish us from each other.

  • The Five Factor Model of personality suggests your traits are organised in terms of five

  • broad factors. Research indicates these traits are present from a young age, come from both

  • nature and nurture and can change throughout your life.

  • The plasticity principle suggests personality is an open system that can be influenced by

  • your environment. Research suggests change is most likely at certain ages or life stages

  • (think 20-40 or when you become a parent).

  • We tend to think of robot personality like we think about human personality, that everyone’s

  • different based on our makeup and experience. After all, those different A.I. saw different

  • things in the inkblot test.

  • But if one A.I., like Apple’s Siri, has millions of interactions every day, what does

  • that mean for its personality?

  • Siri, do you have a personality?

  • I can’t answer that.

  • Let me know what you think in the comments. And see you next week.

  • And if you don’t already, subscribe to BrainCraft! For a new brainy video every week.

We're going to do a little test togetherTake a look at this image and tell me what you see.

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B1 UK TOEIC personality test robot examiner machine

Can Computers Have Personalities?

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    Adam Huang posted on 2015/08/23
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