Romantic robots? ‘Remarkable’ Android passes university-level philosophy of love course | Science | News

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The robot, known as Bina48, completed the course at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) in California and participated in class discussions via Skype.

As part of the course, the robot also gave a presentation with a student partner and took part in a debate between the class and students on an ethics course at the US Military Academy at West Point.

The debate was focused on the use of lethal weapons in warfare as opposed to non-lethal weapons.

Professor William Barry, the instructor of the class, said: “It was remarkable to be part of this historic first for a socially advanced robot to take a college course.

“The other students and I learned so much about human experience and love as we tried to explain our emotions to Bina48.

“We need to get over our existential fear about robots and see them as an opportunity.

“If we approach Artificial Intelligence with a sense of the dignity and sacredness of all life then we will produce robots with those values.”

Bina48 was created by American robotics expert David Hanson.

Mr Hanson believes that artificial lifeforms can foster better connections with people if they take on human form.

The robot’s physical and mental attributes are modelled after a woman called Bina Aspen, who is married to technology entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt.

Mrs Rothblatt, who is one of the highest paid female chief executive officers in the US, has said that people may eventually be able to carry around clones of their own minds on their smartphones.

Speaking to Bloomberg last year, she said: “Mind clone is a digital copy of your mind outside of your body.

“Mind clones are ten to twenty years away. The mind clone will look like an avatar on the screen instead of a robot version.”

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