Give Me Some ‘Bot to Love

Robots’ Decisions Are Based On Emotion Too?

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about some very smart robotics experts at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab who are working to develop robots’ ability to make independent decisions.  What fascinates me about this process is that these very smart scientists have learned that in order for robots to make decisions, they need to have some capacity to feel emotion.  It turns out that even in the robot species, decisions are based on emotion – not reason alone.  The same is, of course, true for humans.

Social Robotics

I found this intriguing, but I have since learned that the story does not end there.  Some robotics specialists believe it is possible to develop in robots the capacity to engage in reciprocal, emotionally-based relationships with humans. It’s called Social Robotics and I stumbled upon this new dimension of research through a couple of TED talks given by some world-renowned robotics experts.  At Brandtrust, one of our favorite pastimes is watching TED talks.  In fact, we watch lots and lots and lots of TED talks.  But those TED fellows are just so smart and innovative that we can’t help ourselves.  Here is a link to two videos that highlight some of the amazing developments on the horizon for robotics.

From Robot Relationships To Brand Relationships

I suppose I am so taken with this movement in the robotics world because I see it as a metaphor for the work we seek to do with our clients and their brands.  If scientists can make robots more human and design them to have the fundamental attributes that enable people to develop relationships with them and to create spaces for them in their lives, then we can certainly do this for brands.  Because, unlike robots, brands are not made of circuit boards, switches, wires and chips.  Brands are made of relationships.  In a very real sense, brands are already social beings. They exist in the minds of consumers and the engagement people have with brands is governed by emotional interaction.  This is why it’s so critically important to understand consumers on an emotional level.

And, additionally, I suppose it’s a good thing that the robots of the future will likely have emotional intelligence in addition to artificial intelligence.  Otherwise, we could be in danger of meeting the grisly demise predicted by Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement, noted musicians and comedic prognosticators, also known as The Flight of the Conchords.  See their predictions in this clip entitled “The Humans are Dead.”

If we can teach robots to love us, perhaps they won’t use poisonous gases to poison our…….masses, after all!

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