Developing creative robots

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About Developing creative robots

Description

1. Developing creative robots

Within the SELEMCA project that focuses on robots for care, an internship on building creative robots is available. In this internship, theory is formalized as a computational model. The internal logics will be proven by simulation experiments. If within the student’s reach, lab experiments are performed with real humans and/or working prototypes of applications are developed. Background of the SELEMCA project and the model follows next.

2. Services of Electro-Mechanical Care Agencies

SELEMCA (Services of Electro-Mechanical Care Agencies) is part of the national Crisp program to sustain the creative industries (e.g., arts, design, video, animation, games) with academic knowledge, tools, and methods so to come up with novel product-service combinations that boost the knowledge economy (http://www.crispplatform.nl/projects/selemca). Research in SELEMCA focuses on three topics: Intelligence, Affect, and Creativity. Intelligence should be interpreted as both information and reasoning. Affect is limited to involvement-distance trade-offs, emotion generation and regulation. Creativity focuses on the process of insight, conceptual blending, and idea optimization. The application area and population under investigation are in the health domain, where we compare adolescents with the elderly. The aim is to keep patients empowered and self-supportive for as long as possible. The means are to develop technologies that behave as smart, sensitive, and ingenious humanoids. These agents, robots, avatars, coaches and so on work in interactive environments such as games, virtual reality, or inhabit augmented household objects (e.g., chairs, tables, and coffee machines). We cooperate in a consortium of academic, social, and business partners – of national as well as international origin.

3. How to be a creative problem solver: ACASIA

ACASIA is a general purpose functionality that solves problems in an unconventional way once the reasoning types of strategies run out of options. If it is advisable to take some medicine but the patient refuses to do so one could repeat the complete medical encyclopedia to argue why it is sensible to take it yet. Or after trying several times, one could break away from the conventional and turn the medicine into a tasty cookie.

ACASIA is a software capable of making creative combinations and optimizing the blend in relation to certain goals or concerns (Hoorn, 2002; Hoorn, submitted, Chapter 6). Two entities are drawn from a database with entities that are described by their features. There should be a minimal associative distance between those entities: Turning a pill into powder is not creative; turning a pill into a candy is mildly creative; turning a pill into a pencil that you can chew on is highly creative. Creativity increases as the entities lie associatively further away from each other.

In running ACASIA, robot helpers can do many suggestions for creative solutions ranging from hobby work (e.g., turn your hat into a lampshade) to health interventions (e.g., pill becomes chewable pencil). In combination with Silicon Coppélia, ACASIA may be helpful in doing creative therapy. Its success all depends on the richness of the database the software can work with. The more different things it knows, the most unforeseen associations it can make.

4. Other internships within the SELEMCA project

Within the SELEMCA project that focuses on robots for care, several other internships are also available:

• Developing creative robots: Computational ACASIA (creativity model)

• Developing robots that distinguish fiction from reality: Computational Epistemics of the Virtual (knowledge model of virtual encounters)

• Developing emotionally intelligent robots that stimulate autonomy: Integration of Silicon Coppélia (on emotion regulation) with model of Moral Autonomy

• Developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots: Integration of Silicon Coppélia with ACASIA model

• Explaining criminal behavior with a Moral Coppelia, a model of moral reasoning and affective decision making