“chromosomes,” which allow it to have an artificial
genome-based personality. (Right) A representation of Rity’s
artificial genome. Darker shades represent higher gene values, and red
represents negative values. Image credit: Jong-Hwan Kim, et al.
(PhysOrg.com) -- Does your robot seem to be acting a bit
neurotic? Maybe it's just their personality. Recently, a team of
researchers has designed computer-coded genomes for artificial
creatures in which a specific personality is encoded. The ability to
give artificial life forms their own individual personalities could not
only improve the natural interactions between humans and artificial
creatures, but also initiate the study of “The Origin of
Artificial Species,” the researchers suggest.
The first artificial creature to receive the genomic personality is
Rity, a dog-like software character that lives in a virtual 3D world in
a PC. Rity’s genome is composed of 14 chromosomes, which together
are composed of a total of 1,764 genes, each with its own value. Rather
than manually assign the gene values, which would be difficult and
time-consuming, the researchers proposed an evolutionary process that
generates a genome with a specific personality desired by a user. The
process is described in a recent study by authors Jong-Hwan Kim of
KAIST in Daejeon, Korea; Chi-Ho Lee of the Samsung Economic Research
Institute in Seoul, Korea; and Kang-Hee Lee of Samsung Electronics
Company, Ltd., in Suwon-si, Korea.
“This is the first time that an artificial creature like a robot or software agent has been given a genome with a personality,” Kim told PhysOrg.com.
“I proposed a new concept of an artificial chromosome as the
essence to define the personality of an artificial creature and to pass
on its traits to the next generation, like a genetic inheritance. It is
critical to provide an impression that the robot is a living creature.
With this respect, having emotions enhances natural human-robot interaction for human-robot symbiosis in the coming years.”
As the researchers explain, an autonomous artificial creature - whether a physical robot or software
agent - can behave, interact, and react to environmental stimuli. Rity,
for example, can interact with humans in the physical world using
information through a mouse, a camera, or a microphone, with 47
perceptions. For instance, a single click and double click on Rity are
perceived as “patted” and “hit,” respectively.
Dragging Rity slowly and softly is perceived as “soothed,”
and dragging it quickly and wildly as “shocked.”
To react to these stimuli in real time, Rity relies on its internal
states which are composed of three units - motivation, homeostasis, and
emotion - and controlled by its internal control architecture. The
three units have a total of 14 states, which are the basis of the 14
chromosomes: the motivation unit includes six states (curiosity,
intimacy, monotony, avoidance, greed, and the desire to control); the
homeostasis unit includes three states (fatigue, hunger, and
drowsiness); and the emotion unit has five states (happiness, sadness,
anger, fear, and neutral).