機器人小夥伴?

MIT Technology Review (MTR) 前日(Feb 22, 2017)有篇文章談到世界各地研究人員利用人工智慧技術打造幫助教養小孩的機器人,有人打造聊天機器人協助人類培養健康的飲食習慣,有的小孩在機器人的影響下培養出積極(can do)的人格。有人樂觀的說,機器人是人類的朋友

有正面的例子,也有反面的例子,有報導說小孩被 Amazon Echo 影響,變得粗暴無禮(Parents are worried the Amazon Echo is conditioning their kids to be rude)。

MTR 的文章 What Happens When Robots Become Role Models 破題就問了一個很尖銳的問題。我們都聽過所謂「言傳身教」和「三人行必有我師焉」的說法,如果這個和你朝夕相處的長輩或者同儕,是個機器人,那麼所謂「身教」這回事還算數嗎?

When you spend a lot of time with someone, their characteristics can rub off on you. But what happens when that someone is a robot?

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看完這篇短文和相關連結指向的參考資料,和作者下的副標 Children can find their behavior shaped by robotic companions—so let’s not screw them up,不由自主想起收錄在艾西莫夫(Issac Asimov)成名作 I, Robot 的短篇小說 Robbie。小女孩 Gloria 的母親,害怕保姆機器人Robbie 會傷害自己的小孩,一方面也受不了左鄰右舍的異樣眼光,所以把機器人送走。但是 Gloria 什麼都不要,只要她的小夥伴 Robbie。

不管 Gloria 的雙親做了多少努力,新玩具、遊樂園、國外旅行 ,沒有一樣東西能想讓 Gloria 忘記 Robbie。小女孩的父親沒辦法,安排讓小女孩再見到 Robbie,當 Gloria 在小說結尾終於與她的小夥伴 Robbie 重逢,那場面實在讓人揪心。

…Gloria had a grip about the robot’s neck that would have asphyxiated any creature but one of metal, and was prattling nonsense in half-hysterical frenzy. Robbie’s chrome-steel arms (capable of bending a bar of steel two inches in diameter into a pretzel) wound about the little girl gently and lovingly, and his eyes glowed a deep, deep red.

“Well,” said Mrs. Weston, at last, “I guess he can stay with us until he rusts.

就像心理史學預言大數據,Robbie 同樣預見人類對機器人的矛盾情節。我幾乎懷疑艾西莫夫是從未來穿越到 20 世紀的…

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