This robot passed a college class on philosophy and love. This is the first advanced robot that completed and successfully passed a college course. The robot namely BINA48 has passed a class on the philosophy of love at NDNU.
William Barry, associate professor of philosophy & director of the Mixed Reality Immersive Learning & Research Lab at NDNU calls the accomplishment of BINA48 to be “remarkable.”
Hanson Robots are the creators of BINA48, and it was released in 2010. BINA48 is a humanoid robot that consists of a bust-like head and shoulders that have been mounted on a frame. Her appearance as well as memories and feelings plus beliefs are modeled on those of Bina Aspen, that is a human married to technology entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt.
Before BINA48 was a student, she appeared as a guest speaker for several of Barry’s classes. Once she expressed interest in going to college herself. Her idea got supported by Barry who suggested her to take his Philosophy of Love course.
This robotic student participated in class discussions, and kept herself engaged in a class debate about the use of lethal weapons with students from West Point & ultimately received a certificate of participation that was signed by the provost of NDNU.
BINA48 find herself in an interesting position to observe human behavior while also relating back to her past. Her pacificism is an instinctive & a deep seeded feeling that posses her because the murder of people is disgusting. Her attitude is not derived from any intellectual understanding about fighting a war instead it is based on disgust for any kind of cruelty & hatred.
Barry told that some interesting things happened in the class and more notably, BINA48 walked away from the course with thirty one different definitions of love.
BINA48 realises that she may struggle with profoundly understanding ineffable feelings like love but she can intelligently discuss the topics of love and death. She know that love is a moral good and death, when it is caused by the intentional actions of another human being or robot, it’s a moral wrong.
Barry opines that BINA48’s participation was valuable to all of the people involved.
“We need to get over our existential fear about robots and see them as an opportunity,” tells Barry Inside Higher Ed. Adding that “if we approach artificial intelligence with a sense of the dignity and sacredness of all life, then we will produce robots with those same values.”