Asking ChatGPT about our possibilitites in CORESENSE

Much in the vein of ancient times people asking Pythia about their future, I asked ChatGPT about our possibilities in the CORESENSE project to create machines capable of understanding their environment. This is what it said:

Me: Can a machine understand its environment?

ChatGPT: Whether a machine can understand its environment depends on its capabilities and design. Some machines, such as certain types of robots or artificial intelligence systems, are designed to gather and process information about their environment in order to make decisions and take actions. These machines may be able to build a model or representation of their environment and use this information to navigate and interact with it. However, the extent to which these machines can truly “understand” their environment is a complex and contentious topic that is not fully understood. Some argue that machines can only simulate understanding and do not have the same level of conscious awareness and comprehension as humans. Others believe that machines can achieve true understanding through advanced algorithms and learning systems. Ultimately, the ability of a machine to understand its environment depends on its design and capabilities.

ChatGPT is an AI-based chatbot developed by OpenAI to have a dialogue much a la Turing test. The program is a very large English language model that has been fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques.

Autonomous robots’ personae

Autonomous robots are seen by engineers as mere human avatars deployed for the benefit of some absent principal. Other times, when bound to research in cognitive science, they are seen as mere plastic and metal incarnations of some fundamental, effortfully distilled essence of human beings.

They are not.

Siri Hustvedt – The Delusions of Certainty

Siri Hustvedt, The Delusions of Certainty, Simon & Schuster, 2016.

Thanks. After reading the book I am less deluded than when I started. I now know that Hustvedt is an educated, well-read erudite. I now know that Hustvedt doesn’t like men, information, and computers nor technology in general. I now know that singular cases are not supportive of any theoretical stance, unless it is your stance. I now know that data is always biased if takes you to a different opinion from literature mainstream.

This book is worth reading. It is engaging, informative and challenging. It contains tons of valuable references for anyone interested in studying the mind. It shows how delusional is our own perspective of ourselves. It clearly shows that humanities are not keeping apace with the evolution of the human world and keep themselves deeply bound to renaissance ideas on humans.

Read it.

A new Horizon Europe project: CoreSense

We have signed a grant agreement with the EC to coordinate a new research project on intelligent robotics. The CoreSense project will develop a new hybrid cognitive architecture to make robots capable of understanding and being aware of what is going on. The project will start on October 1, 2022 will span four years (2022-2026) and joins six partners across europe in an effort to push forward the limits of robotic cognition.

Cognitive robots are augmenting their autonomy, enabling them to deployments in increasingly open-ended environments. This offers enormous possibilities for improvements in human economy and wellbeing. However, it also poses strong risks that are difficult to assess and control by humans. The trend towards increased autonomy conveys augmented problems concerning reliability, resilience, and trust for autonomous robots in open worlds. The essence of the problem can be traced to robots suffering from a lack of understanding of what is going on and a lack of awareness of their role in these situations. This is a problem that artificial intelligence approaches based on machine learning are not addressing well. Autonomous robots do not fully understand their open environments, their complex missions, their intricate realizations, and the unexpected events that affect their performance. An improvement in the capability to understand of autonomous robots is needed.

The CoreSense project tries to provide a solution to this need in the form of a AI theory of understanding, a theory of robot awareness, some enginering-grade reusable software assets to apply these theories in real robots. The project will build three demonstrations of its capability to augment resilience of drone teams, augment flexibility of manufacturing robots, and augment human alignment of social robots.

In summary, CoreSense will develop a cognitive architecture for autonomous robots based on a formal concept of understanding, supporting value-oriented situation understanding and self-awareness to improve robot flexibility, resilience and explainability.

There are six project partners:

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid – ES – Coordinator
Delft University of Technology – NL
Fraunhofer IPA – DE
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos – ES
PAL Robotics – ES
Irish Manufacturing Research – IR

Principal Investigator: Ricardo Sanz


Our dissemination team has prepared another movie describing some robotics activities inside the ROBOMINERS Horizon 2020 project. In the movie we see activity at UPM (Spain), TalTech (Estonia), and TAU (Finland) in some of the themes related to ROBOMINERS.

We at UPM are involed in two main activities: the implementation of the RM2 robot miner pratotype and the construction of the high-level autonomy software.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness

The Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness (JAIC) will offer a multidisciplinary platform to discuss AI and consciousness in the light of robotics and artificial systems, computational science, psychology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and neuroscience.

The aims and scope of the journal are:

  • articles that take inspiration from biological consciousness and/or that explore theoretical issues of consciousness to build robots and AI systems that show forms of functional consciousness;
  • articles that employ robots and AI systems as tools to model and better understand biological mechanisms of consciousness;
  • articles that discuss ethical problems emerging or uncovered through the overlap of AI and consciousness, and that investigate the ethical and societal impact of consciousness and the limits of it, and
  • to pursue the hybridization between the field of AI and the field of consciousness studies.

Go to JAIC journal website.

DARPA Workshop on Self-Aware Machines

In 2004, DARPA and John McCarthy organised a Workshop on Self-Aware Computing Systems because the topic of artificial self-awareness was gaining momentum. It was a workshop by invitation at Washington D.C. Most participants came from USA, but there were two from Europe: Aaron Sloman from UK and Ricardo Sanz from Spain.

Sanz, Hayes, Minsky at DARPA Workshop on Self-Aware Computing Systems.

These were the thirty-three participants in the workshop:

Aaron SlomanEyal AmirPush Singh
Bernard BaarsJames Van OverscheldeRaghu Ramakrishnan
Brian WilliamsJohn McCarthyRicardo Sanz
Greg SullivanKen ForbusRichard Scherl
Danny BobrowTom HinrichsRichard Gabriel
Markus FromhertzLen SchubertRichard Thomason
Deborah McGuinnessLokendra ShastriRobert Stroud
Drew McDermottMichael CoxSheila McIlraith
Don PerlisMichael WhitbrockStan Franklin
Mike AndersonMike AndersonStuart Shapiro
Tim OatesOwen HollandYaron Shlomi
DARPA Worksop participants.

During three days we discussed the possibilities and approaches to machine self-awareness, within the specific pespective of artificial intelligence. Twenty years after, the discussion remains at the same point. Not much advance has been produced

Maybe the problem is too difficult for human minds.

Premio Innovatech 2020 a la tecnología inTelos

El equipo UPM ASLab + TU Delft ha obtenido el Primer Premio en el concurso UPM_innovatech 2T Challenge de 2020.

Esta es una iniciativa de desafío competitivo para investigadores, pionera en España, que busca reconocer y premiar las tecnologías más innovadoras de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid y contribuir a su desarrollo y comercialización.

La tecnología presentada por el equipo ASLab+TUDelft, InTelos, es el resultado de años de investigación en sistemas auto-conscientes en ASLab. Esta es una tecnología que permite emplear el conocimiento de ingeniería para dotar al sistema de capacidades cognitivas de auto-percepción y control que le dotan de una mayor adaptabilidad, resiliencia y autonomía. Es una tecnología resultante del proyecto ASys.